10 Easy Steps To Fix Extreme Bleach-Damaged Hair

Medically reviewedby Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Chemical hair treatments, like colouring and bleaching, seem thrilling and fun, but they can hurt your scalp and leave your hair fragile, dry, and straw-like.

Fortunately, you have some options to repair bleach damage.

Even for the most severe bleach damage, there are still techniques you can use to protect and care for your hair.

Give this article a read to find out how to fix extreme bleach damage.

What is bleach-damaged hair?

fix bleach damaged hair

Melanin, a pigment inside the hair shaft, is responsible for our hair's natural colour. The hair shaft's cuticle is made of protein scales. Bleach opens this cuticle to change hair melanin. However, hair bleach removes the natural protective fibres and oils. 

Even though the hair cuticle should reseal and revert to its normal state, hair bleach has a way of upsetting the scales of the hair cuticle, making it impossible for them to lie flat.

As a result of this, moisture is lost from the inside of the hair shaft. The hair loses its moisture, becomes brittle, and is more prone to breaking. That's bleached damaged hair!

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How to identify bleach-damaged hair?

Several indicators can help you determine whether or not bleaching harmed your hair. If you are concerned about the possibility of such damage, the following is a list of a few of the most prevalent symptoms of bleach-damaged hair. This would assist you in making an accurate diagnosis.

Excessive tangles

Does your standard method for disentangling appear useless to you now? Your hair may be suffering bleach damage. When bleaching damages your hair, it becomes tangled more regularly, requiring additional detangling.

Fragile and dry

Bleach can cause frizz or odd dryness. Bleach damage disrupts the hair's protective cuticle, which permits the hair's interior moisture to be lost. This causes the hair to become brittle and dry.

Split ends

Excessive bleaching leads to split ends.  If you bleach your hair often and see splits at the ends, this is an obvious indication that it may damage your hair.


Bleach damaged hair is more susceptible to breakage, which often manifests as flyaways and frizz.

10 tips how to fix extreme bleach-damaged hair?

Here's the truth: fixing bleached hair will be one of the most time-consuming tasks because your hair has been under severe damage.

So, here are ten easy ways to fix bleach-damaged hair: 

1. Try a natural hair growth routine

repair bleach damaged hair naturally before and after

The hair growth routine from Scandinavian Biolabs is a three-step process that is meant to enhance hair growth, repair damaged hair and keep hair healthy.

The routine consists of a shampoo, conditioner, and active serum that should be used once a day. Users should stick to the routine for 150 days in a row to get the best results. 

The ingredients in the products are 100% vegan, plant-powered, and safe for everyday use. The Bio-Pilixin® formula in the products has been shown in clinical tests to make hair thicker in 73% of users and stop hair loss in 93% of users.

We offer a 150-day money-back guarantee for those who are not satisfied with the results of the products.

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2. Protect your hair from the sun

You are aware of the dangers of prolonged sun exposure to the skin. However, they can also harm hair, especially incredibly bleached or heat-damaged hair. Bleached hair is especially susceptible to damage from UV rays and may even cause scalp sunburns if you aren't careful.

If you are spending the day outdoors, protect your skin from the sun by wearing a hat and staying in the shade as much as possible. In addition, before going outside for an extended time, use a protective layer like the Hair Protection Oil.

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3. Increase your vitamin consumption

Because vitamins directly affect hair and nail health, taking hair vitamins is one of the best ways when it comes to promote healthy hair growth. Several factors, including vitamins A and C, biotin, and mineral iron, can impact your hair's health.

All the vitamins listed above are present in prenatal vitamins; some people take them for their hair. Also, taking supplements that only have biotin in them is becoming more common as a way to fix bleach-damaged hair. Give the supplement a try for a few months and see if your new hair improves.

4. Oiling aids

hair strands

Never underestimate the need to oil your hair when it is experiencing damage. Make use of essential oils as well as natural oils. They give your hair a shiny finish and repair hair strands. There are many benefits to oiling your damaged hair, including the following:

  • The use of argan oil, which originates in Morocco, has gained widespread popularity as a treatment for dry hair. Applying a few drops of argan oil to the tips of your hair may give it the appearance of being finished and more elastic.
  • Other essential oils, such as pumpkin seed oil, help reduce hair loss and breakage.
  • If you prepare a quick-spraying hair out of argan oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, and carrier oil, your hair may feel less dry over time.
  • To moisturize the scalp of your damaged hair, try using coconut oil. It treats teat and sun-damaged scalps and repairs hair strands. According to research, coconut oil is very effective in penetrating hair fibres.
  • The benefits of olive oil are most significant for dry hair. It helps retain hair strength and keep the scalp hydrated.

By using hair oils correctly, you repair damaged hair follicles and fix bleach-damaged strands.

See our top picks for the best hair growth oils!

5. Give thought to hair masks

Deep condition your hair at home using a hair mask. You can make your mask at home by combining one egg with one big spoonful of plain yoghurt and blending the two.

If you have hair that is longer than shoulder-length, add a teaspoon or two of yoghurt to the mixture. Keep the hair mask on for thirty minutes, then rinse your hair thoroughly with cold water. 

6. Chlorine is dangerous

The presence of chlorine, a chemical that is often present in swimming pools, may worsen the situation and make your bleach-damaged hair even more fragile. If you swim with bleached or damaged hair, keep your head above water or use a swim hat to shield your hair from the chlorine. 

Also, just before you enter the swimming pool or any other chlorinated water, give your hair a quick rinse with some cold water. After exposing your hair to chlorinated water, repeat the rinsing process as soon as possible.

In addition, if you want to wash your hair after it has been exposed to chlorine, you should use shampoo and a leave-in conditioner designed to remove chlorine. Ask your hairstylist for a recommendation.

7. Protein is a good treat

Protein therapy is yet another crucial hair treatment for damaged hair. Protein components like hydrolyzed wheat protein and silk amino acids for hair harden the cuticle layer directly on the hair follicle. 

This creates a barrier all around the strand, shielding it from any further harm. 

Protein hair treatments make hair firmer and smoother, which cuts down on breakage and flyaways. Protein also improves shine. For the therapy of protein at home:

  • From the scalp to the ends, apply a protein hair mask. To ensure that the product is spread evenly, go through it with your fingers or a comb. Create a bun with the hair, then cover it with a shower hat. However, It is also essential to always read the directions on the product since specific treatments do not call for a covering.
  • Use a low heat setting and blow dry your hair in circular motions around your head.
  • Take off the covering, and then thoroughly rinse the application. 
  • After completing this treatment, you may or may not need to wash and condition your hair, depending on the instructions with the product you used.

8. Get your hair trimmed

hot tools

This step is essential if you want to repair hair damage and promote growth. Make an appointment with your hairdresser to get your split ends trimmed if you find that portions of your hair are.

If your hair is breaking off in the centre, you may choose to get a haircut that naturally includes the length of the broken-off pieces.

The term "split ends" refers to the condition in which the tip of the hair shaft becomes divided into several smaller, brittle hairs. This may move down to your scalp, leaving you with broken and curly hair.

By cutting off the ends, the damage won't be able to go farther down the shaft. You can give bleach-damaged hair new life by having the split ends trimmed off, which can help revitalize the look of the hair. 

Let your hairdresser trim two to three inches from the length of your hair. Also, at the very least, you should have a trim every three months, and if you have split ends, do it more regularly.

9. Don’t re-dye or bleach your hair

Now that your hair is already damaged, you should stay away from bleaching your hair for a prolonged period. That can do even more harm to your hair. In the worst possible circumstance, it would cause more hair to fall.

If you feel like you need a change, see a skilled professional and ask them to concentrate on changing the colour of the new growth.

10. Do not over-style your hair

Maintain an essential style for your hair. It is crucial to avoid combing and styling your hair too much, which can pull, bend, and damage it. You should give your hair time to heal by allowing it to have as much freedom as possible. 

If you have no choice but to put your hair in a ponytail or bun, consider using a hair tie that won't leave creases in your hair. Keep your ponytail loose, and avoid using bobby pins or clips that are too tight. Wearing a hair tie that leaves creases in your scalp might lead to hair breakage.

Bleach-damaged hair vs. heat-damaged hair

If you are aware of the signs of damaged hair, you will be better able to recognize the damage quickly and take appropriate action. However, if you're unsure whether or not your hair has been damaged by bleach, you should know that hair that has been damaged by heat is quite similar to hair that has been damaged by bleach. 

So you're not off the hook just because you've never bleached your hair with chemicals. In the same way, that bleach may dry out hair. Heated equipment can permanently damage the cuticle layer that protects the hair. If your hair has been damaged by heat styling or bleaching, you'll find that many of the solutions we provide for repairing damaged hair will also work for you.

Five typical hair mistakes for bleach-damaged hair

1. Wrong shampoo

One of the things that you might need to correct is using the wrong kind of shampoo. Every type of hair requires a different product, and the hair that has already been exposed to bleach needs more care than any other.

And thus, the wrong shampoo can have the worst effects on your hair. Make sure you wash your hair with a shampoo designed for bleached hair before you start using it. 

2. Excessive washing

The hair has to be washed often. However, washing your hair everyday can cause hair loss and other harmful effects in some cases.

Being too rough with your scalp could hurt it, so be gentle when you wash your hair. When you wash your hair too often, you also get rid of the natural oils that help your hair grow and shine.

So, how often should you wash your hair? As a result, there is no such thing as the ideal time between shampooing. You may wash every two days or once a week. But there are hair types that require more frequent washings. Washing your hair every five days is perfectly good if you have fine hair.

3. Delaying trims

To keep your hair long, you may have avoided getting regular trims. Stop doing it. Heat and bleach damage cause split ends. Failure to maintain the typical edges of the hair's ends may cause split ends to move up the strand and cause damage even closer to the scalp.

Trimming must be done every three months or more often if split ends are present. Taking this action is crucial if you're trying to restore damaged hair.

4. Improper brushing

Combs are often used without much thought by the ordinary individual. They grab any old comb and run it through their locks without bothering to detangle them first.

Instead, you should begin by identifying the best brush for your hair. Then detangle your hair by combing it carefully from the ends to the roots. In addition, don't overbrush. 

Also, wet hair is more fragile than dry hair and easily breaks. Using the wrong brush or comb on damp hair may cause further harm, particularly to bleached hair.

You can't do it with just any old hairbrush. Instead, you should use a wet hair detangler brush with silicone bristles that are gentle on hair and can gently tug out knots without causing hair damage.

5. Drying hair using a towel

A towel is too abrasive and dry when it comes to your hair. A towel may create split ends and uneven drying, which lead to frizzy hair. If you constantly use a towel to dry your hair, it will become more brittle. You should quit drying your hair with the same towel repeatedly. 

Even though it looks unappealing, a microfiber cloth can clean your hair better without causing it to break or frizz. Refrain from rubbing your head harshly while drying your hair, too. Also, if you are not comfortable using microfiber, do nothing and let your hair air dry.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.