Getting beautiful, sunkissed highlights requires bleaching hair. First, all the natural dark pigment in the hair will be removed through bleaching. Then the alkaline ingredient in bleach opens up the hair cuticle, allowing the hair lightener to break down the pigment. Unfortunately, this chemical process also unintentionally breaks down the protein bonds in the hair, which leads to considerable damage.
Of course, if you’re convinced you truly want to change your natural hair color, you might be willing to take the risk and still want to get highlights. Here’s how you can get highlights with less damage to your hair.
See a professional colorist
The bleaching process requires lots of skill, as well as using proper equipment and top-notch products. The lightening pigment should be applied correctly and in a timely fashion to prevent excess breakage.
You might be tempted to buy a bleaching kit and do it on your own, but doing so may do more harm than good. As you can see, there are so many things that can go wrong, which is why consulting with someone who has done this many times before is a must. Find a colorist with great reviews and check out their salon’s Instagram photos to see results firsthand.
Be realistic about the damage
No matter how you go at it, getting highlights damages the hair to a certain extent. The bleach you’ll use creates an irreversible chemical reaction in the hair cuticle. The bleaching formulas used in salons are milder than what you’d find in the store or under your sink, but they will still dry your hair out, especially if you’re a brunette going blonde.
Use the best aftercare hair products
Start with a fortifying shampoo to repair damaged hair then follow it up with a deep conditioner. Bleach makes your hair dry and brittle, so a conditioning product will moisturize without weighing down or stripping the hair of its color. Check the ingredients list of your haircare products and make sure they have protein, as this is the primary ingredient needed to strengthen the protective coating on your hair.
Apply purple shampoo once you notice brassy tones to keep the highlights rich and clear. Also, use a hydrating mask weekly to make your hair less fried and frizzy, and to restore its softness and elasticity.
It’s also important to avoid heat styling after bleaching, so it’s best not to blow-dry, curl, or straighten your hair at this point. Once your hair is ready for styling, keep it to a minimum of once or twice per week. When using thermal styling tools, keep the temperature low and spritz on heat protectant spray.
If you’re already avoiding heat styling, then you’re probably using hair ties to style your hair. Traditional elastic hair ties tug on the hair, which can quickly break already fragile bleached strands. As an alternative, use silky scrunchies which gently grip hair without breakage.
Go for a trim
You may be thinking of skipping a trim or two in order to maintain your highlights for as long as possible. This is a big mistake because damaged hair is more prone to split ends. If you don’t get your ends trimmed, the split ends will travel upwards to the hair shaft, causing plenty of frizz and flyaways. Make an appointment for a trim at least once every three months to remove those pesky split ends.
Try alternatives to bleaching your hair
Bleaching agents cause hair damage. They will make your hair dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. The good news is that it’s still possible to get highlights without damaging your hair in the process. With highlighted clip-in hair extensions, you get to keep your hair healthy, hydrated, and beautiful.
Another reason to choose highlighted hair extensions over bleaching is lesser maintenance. Over time, highlights fade away or turn brassy, and will require frequent salon touch-ups
Try to extend the length of time before having your hair bleached again, and if possible, avoid bleaching sections of your hair that have already been bleached. With hair extensions, the color doesn’t fade as quickly as long as they are taken care of and stored properly.
Getting highlights without resorting to bleaching is possible with the ZALA honey beach highlights. They are easier to apply than bleach, and just as effective in satisfying your desire for blonde highlights. If you’re considering going lighter without having to make the commitment to coloring your hair, this could be the perfect option for you!