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How to Choose the Best Leave In Conditioner for Bleached Hair

7 mins

Andela Patrnogic

Bleaching hair can cause significant hair damage. The best leave-in conditioner for bleached hair helps in preventing and reversing it. Here’s all you need to know.

Bleaching has been a popular exercise for lightening one’s hair color for decades now. Trying on different hair colors can give you a whole new look. 

However, it can take a serious toll on the health of your hair. This is because bleaching leaves the hair cuticles open, which makes them weak and compromised. 

The good news is that you can prevent and even reverse the damage caused by bleaching. 

This requires a comprehensive hair care routine, including targeted shampoos, hair masks, and the most important step – leave-in conditioners.

Using the best leave-in conditioner for bleached hair can help in delivering benefits to your hair in dire times of need by providing your hair with the necessary nutrients and hydration. 

In this article, we will provide you with some tips for developing a healthy hair care routine for bleached hair and also give you suggestions for some great leave-in conditioners.

Table of Contents:

  • How does bleach damage your hair?
  • Importance of proper hair care routine for bleached hair
  • Tips for hair care routine for bleached hair
  • The lowdown on leave-in conditioners
  • Who can benefit from applying leave-in conditioners?
  • When to apply leave-in conditioner?
  • How to use a leave-in conditioner?
  • The best leave-in conditioner for bleached hair

How does bleach damage your hair?

When you bleach your hair to try on a different hair color shade or just to go blonde, you have to be prepared to put in some effort in providing it special care. 

This does not mean that you have to completely overhaul your hair care routine. You can enjoy shiny, smooth tresses by bringing in small changes in your hair care routine, like adding a leave-in conditioner to your arsenal.

With bleach, you can choose to go brown, black, blue, purple, pink, burgundy, and blonde. 

However, the most damaging of them is bleaching your hair blonde. 

So, what does that mean for your hair? What exactly happens when you bleach your hair

Bleached hair can become damaged, dry and thin as the process of bleaching strips the hair of protective oils. When the bleach reaches deep into the hair shaft to color the hair, it can affect the fibers adversely, which leads to thinning of the hair shaft. 

hair bleaching, hair coloring

Here is a more detailed explanation of the process in which the bleach damages the hair:

  • In bleaching, the lighteners or alkaline agents reach into the hair, causing your hair cuticles to be left open.
  • After the hair cuticles start expanding, the lighteners reach deep into the cortex of the hair to dissolve the natural pigments or melanin. The bleach lightens the dark pigments of the hair by breaking down the hair shafts’ fatty acids. This can lead to brittle hair.
  • The hair cuticle keeps expanding until nothing can hold it together. This is when the cortex gets exposed.
  • You will start seeing the appearance of split ends and visible hair damage, which makes your hair look rough and unhealthy.

So, essentially, bleach strips your hair of moisture by raising the hair cuticles and damaging the protein structure. 

This is why post bleaching, your hair looks damaged, dry, and frayed. This is the time to provide some TLC to your hair by choosing the right hair care and styling products. 

bleached hair

You should also stay away from heat styling in the form of curling irons, blow dryers, and hair straighteners. By taking the right measures, you will be able to keep your hair shiny and healthy.

Importance of proper hair care routine for bleached hair

If you have applied bleach to your whole hair or even a part of it, there is a great chance the structure of your hair fibers has changed. Bleached hair is very different from colored or virgin hair.

  • It has a changed texture
  • The hair strands become voluminous and swollen.
  • It is quite brittle and dry.
  • The melatonin from the hair is removed.
  • It is vulnerable to ultraviolet rays.

Tips for hair care routine for bleached hair

When the hair is damaged by bleach, you need to provide special care to it by developing a targeted hair care routine for bleached hair. 

Here are some tips for a bleached hair care routine that will help in reviving damaged bleached hair:

  • Targeted hair treatment: Bleaching or hair lightening is a chemical process in which the natural pigments from the hair fibers are removed. By bleaching continuously, you would end up damaging the hair fibers and follicles even further, which will lead to dull-looking hair. To return your hair to its natural vitality, it is important to do targeted hair treatments that enhance and boost hair pigments. Using sulfate-free hair cleansers and keratin-focused treatment will help in restructuring the hair fibers.
  • Intensive hair treatment: After bleaching, you will notice that your hair seems like it has almost lost all hydration. The dryness in your hair is the result of bleaching agents. After losing moisture, your hair can become brittle and dry, with split ends and other hair problems. Using intensive hydrating hair treatments like leave-in conditioners will help in providing the necessary nourishment to the hair. You can also use an overnight mask treat or deep conditioner to rehydrate your hair.
    Intensive hair treatment
  • Protect hair from external elements: After it has been bleached, it is more vulnerable to external elements. The pollution, salty seawater, sun, styling tools, and chlorinated swimming pools can be very harmful to your hair. This is why it is important to take the necessary precautions. You can use scarves or a hat to protect the hair or a leave-in cream that provides protection from UV rays. Right after coming from a beach or a chlorinated swimming pool, remember to rinse the hair with tap water to remove any excess chlorine or salt. And, ultimately, use as few styling tools as possible, or use a heat protection spray before heat styling.
  • Wash less frequently: Ideally, you should only be washing your hair 2-3 times a week. Over-cleansing can strip the hair of necessary oils, which are important for hair health. Instead of shampooing regularly, you can consider going for a dry shampoo instead. This can be great for taking care of visible oiliness in your hair between washes. If you do plan to wash your hair every day, go for sulfate-free shampoos with natural ingredients.
    washing the hair, hair cleansing
  • Handle your hair gently: Your hair is in a very vulnerable state after bleaching, so it is important to be gentle while handling them. Instead of towel rubbing your hair, you can use a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to cause minimum friction. Besides this, you can detangle your hair with a leave-in conditioner by gently raking your fingers through your strands. Another important tip is to let the hair air dry as much as possible.
  • Use hair oils: Hair oils have been used for centuries to keep the hair glossy and healthy. Hair oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and argan oil are great for taking care of dry, damaged hair. They can repair the hair fibers and also prevent frizz. You can either do a hair oil massage or apply them to your hair like a serum. Oils work great in treating bleached hair and keeping them silky smooth.

  • The lowdown on leave-in conditioners

    Even without bleaching, we put our tresses through a lot on a daily basis, with heat styling, towel drying, intense brushing, and more. 

    A leave-in conditioner is an intensive treatment that can help fix the damage caused by all these factors. A leave-in conditioner is not made to replace your post-shampoo conditioner. 

    It is not like the regular conditioner at all. As the name implies, it is supposed to be left in the hair. It is a no-wash conditioner that can be applied after shampooing and conditioning to give the hair some extra TLC.

    colored hair care, best colored hair treatment

    You can consider a leave-in conditioner like the moisturizer you apply on your face post washing. It can infuse the required nutrients and moisture in your hair to make it smooth, soft, and healthy. 

    A leave-in conditioner can be your saving grace when the hair feels unruly and dry. Besides this, a leave-in conditioner can help in detangling hair. It also acts as a heat protectant, so it should be applied before you go on to style your hair using blow dryers, straighteners, etc.

    Who can benefit from applying leave-in conditioners?

    Leave-in conditioners are essentially designed to benefit all types of hair. Whether your bleached hair is curly, wavy, or straight, you can apply leave-in conditioners post-wash to give an extra hydration boost to your hair. 

    It can help in protecting the hair from many factors like heat damage, pollution, and the sun. Of course, a lot depends on the formulation of the leave-in conditioner. 

    Not all leave-in conditioners are created equally. Different leave-in conditioners contain different ingredients that help in targeting specific hair problems. Bleached hair, for instance, would require more nourishment as the hydration has to reach inside the hair strands to target the damage. The best leave-in conditioner for bleached hair would be one that contains a range of ingredients that will repair the hair from the inside out.

    When to apply leave-in conditioner?

    A leave-in conditioner can be applied to the hair after washing. Since it is not required to wash out the leave-in conditioner, you can also apply it to wet hair before going to bed. 

    You can let your hair absorb the hydration and nutrients as you sleep and wake up to soft, smooth hair. Besides this, you can also apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair before any kind of heat styling.

    How to use a leave-in conditioner?

    Leave-in conditioner can be applied in a variety of ways, whether in dry or wet hair. It can also help in detangling the hair post-shower. Here is the right way to apply it:

    Step 1: Start with hair cleansing

    The first step is to wash your hair with a good shampoo and follow it up with a conditioner. Remember not to use very hot water while washing your hair.

    hair cleansing

    Step 2: Dry your hair partially

    The next step is to dry the hair partially. Remember that you are essentially aiming for damp towel-dried hair, not dripping wet hair. Since wet hair is more prone to damage and breakage, it is important to be gentle when drying the hair.

    Step 3: Apply the leave-in conditioner

    The best time to apply the leave-in conditioner is when the hair is damp. You can start applying the leave-in conditioner by keeping it at arm’s length and focusing on the tips and the lengths of the hair. It is important to keep it away from the scalp as your natural hair oils provide hydration to this area. It is the ends that need the extra nutrients. You can also spray the leave-in conditioner in your palms and then gently rake it in through the hair. If your hair is thick and long, you might need to apply a little more leave-in conditioner than usual.

    Step 4: Comb the hair

    The last step is to gently comb the hair after applying the leave-in conditioner. This helps in distributing the product more evenly. You should ideally use a wide-tooth comb to do this instead of a brush. You can start combing your hair from the ends to gently remove any tangles as you go up. After this, your hair will appear moisturized, shiny, and non-greasy.

    The best leave-in conditioner for bleached hair

    While rinse-out conditioners provide the necessary hydration after shampooing, a leave-in conditioner goes one step further by sinking into the hair follicles to hydrate the hair from the inside out. 

    A leave-in conditioner can be an absolute miracle worker for your hair, especially if they are bleached. When choosing the best leave-in conditioner for bleached hair, look for ingredients like fatty alcohols, triglycerides, and a range of oils that help in smoothening the hair cuticles. It is also a plus if the leave-in conditioner contains mostly natural ingredients that you can be sure that it will not lead to product build-up on your hair.

    Something that fulfills all these criteria is the Wow Skin Science Hair Revitalizer Spray which is designed to fulfill all your hydration needs. It contains super ingredients like Jojoba oil, Moroccan oil, Vitamin E, and Bhringraj extract, among other things, that can help in repairing the split ends caused by bleaching. 

    wow leave in conditioner, wow hair oil

    A leave-in conditioner is a great product for hydrating the hair follicles from the inside out. Besides adding moisture to the damaged, dry bleached hair, they also provide a protective layer so that you can heat-style your hair without causing further damage. This small and mighty product should be essential in your hair care arsenal.

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