For people who know me beyond this blog, you might be aware that I’m very passionate and experimental when it comes to my hair. I first dyed it when I was twelve, and haven’t really stopped since. I’ve done everything from natural hair colours to absolutely whacky ones, and with hair as dark as mine, bleaching is a must to get any kind of result.
You would have thought that after doing it for so many years, I would’ve learnt over time what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to bleaching it, but you’d be wrong. I’ve read countless blogs and informative articles saying what you should and shouldn’t do with semi-professional powder and liquid bleach, but I’m very much of the view that you don’t know if something’s going to work for you until you try it… or at least, I was back then, earlier this year.
One of the things that often came up was the advice not to use 40 volume bleach on your scalp under any circumstances. They never went into too much detail about what would happen if you did, and maybe those with common sense can already guess, but my hair was dark and I wanted it blonde in the quickest way possible so I could move forwards and dye it blue. And anyway, what was the worst thing that could happen if I went against the advice of virtually every site I’d read on the subject and did exactly what they said not to do?
Chemical burns, apparently. This happened mainly because I took very little care over which parts of my hair I was actually bleaching, and slathered a generous amount on an almost bald spot near the back of my head. It was horribly sensitive for a few days and leaked puss like it was nobody’s business. To say it put my hair-dying/bleaching mantra of “no pain, no gain” under the test was an understatement.
Whether I ignored the damage this first attempt did or whether I was just too naive to care at the time I don’t know, but a month and a half later when I was bleaching my roots I decided I might as well re-bleach my fringe, too (that’s bangs for all the American’s out there). Hello, dead, straw-like hair.
I know what you’re all thinking. Surely after this ,I would’ve taken more caution when it came to bleaching my hair, right?
Apparently, my common sense took an eight-month leave from my mind and this wasn’t the case.
Instead, I got bored quickly and only a month or two after the previous incident, I decided I wanted to bleach it again. I’d brought a lilac dye to go on the underneath parts of my hair, and although looking back I could’ve just bleached that section and left the above as it was, I thought bleaching everything was a better idea. I also left it on for three hours against the advised 20-90 minutes stated in the instructions leaflet. Considering mine was blue at the time, I really didn’t need to leave it for as long as I did.
The result of this was that I had to cut nineteen centimetres off of the bottom of my hair because it felt like straw. I also had blisters practically covering all of the hairline at the back of my head. I’m honestly surprised that clumps of my hair weren’t falling out in my hands, although I was a little dubious about brushing it for the next few weeks.
You’ll be happy to know that my common sense recently came back to me and I realized that bleaching my hair for college wasn’t going to work, mainly because I don’t think it would’ve survived another bleaching session. Instead, I chose to go for a dark, conditioning dye close to my natural hair colour.
My plans are to keep this current hair colour for the next year to give my hair time to recover from the damage I’ve forced upon it in these last eight months and, in the longer term, the last four years of dye upon dye to my hair. This’ll be a massive challenge considering the longest I’ve left my hair in one (or two, really) colour was when I had ombré hair for six months. I know it’s my fault and I’m going to try my hardest to keep to my plan, though. Maybe even listing it here is the incentive I need to keep with it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my hair bleaching disasters this week. My question to you is have you ever had a similar disaster or maybe even disasters when it comes to bleaching your hair? Share them below if you dare. They might even help someone thinking of doing the same, although if they’re anything like me I highly doubt it.
Until next week,