Can I Use Box Dye on Bleached Hair?
Bleaching your locks allows you to lift your hair’s shade to stunning lighter hues. But the harsh process leaves strands compromised and in need of recovery.
If you’re longing to experiment with a new colour, you may wonder if using box dye on your bleached hair is doable – or disastrous. When performed with care and smart strategies, it can work!
Moreover, this comprehensive guide covers all you need to know about box dye for bleached hair.
Table of Contents
Evaluating Your Post-Bleached Hair Health
Before even contemplating putting dye over bleach-damaged strands, assess their current state. Ask yourself:
- How recently was it bleached? Hair needs 48 hours minimum to recover before further chemical processing. Wait 1-2 weeks if possible.
- What level of damage is present? Significant dryness, breakage, and missing cuticle layers require professional care before dying.
- How porous does my hair feel? Severe porosity prevents healthy dye absorption and requires protein filler pre-treatment.
Be honest with yourself. Compromised hair likely won’t tolerate permanent dye chemicals well. You may still achieve your desired hue with gentler semi-permanent options.
Considering Dye Type Based on Hair Health
The darling of dramatic colour transformations but often overly harsh on bleached strands. Permanent dye uses peroxide or ammonia to open the cuticle and alter the actual hair pigment. The rich, long-lasting colour results can be irresistible. But proceed with immense caution onto severely bleached hair not adequately recovered and conditioned to buffer chemical stress.
Pro Tip: Still have virgin roots but bleached lengths? Colour your regrowth first with permanent dye. Then apply semi-permanent or demi-permanent dye onto the more fragile bleached hair a week later.
This gentler option adds dye pigments to bleached hair’s surface vs penetrating deeply to alter its intrinsic structure. No lightning occurs. Certainly, colour washes out gradually over 4-8 weeks depending on shade depth. Wonderful for trying trendy pastel hues. Can leave blonde hair feeling conditioned!
- Recently bleached hair still rebuilding integrity
- Achieving deeper tones on very pale hair
- Mimicking vibrant fashion colours temporarily
Blends the best aspects of permanent and semi-permanent dyes. Straightaway, uses low-volume peroxide to delicately tint the inner hair strand and lasts up to 24 shampoos. More subtle colour changes on bleached hair than a permanent dye.
From hair chalks to vibrant hair mascaras, temporary dyes simply coat bleached hair’s outer cuticle. Moreover, Eye-catching results range from chalky pastels to saturated neons. Certainly, shampoos are out fully with one wash.
Thoroughly assessing your hair pre and post-bleaching will clarify which dye type it can withstand for gorgeous, healthy results. Don’t be afraid to consult your stylist.
“My client had aggressively bleached her hair over several years. It desperately needed deep nourishment before we could refresh her colour. A series of conditioning treatments made dyeing her hair safely achievable.”
Finding a Flattering Tone for Your Bleached Hair
You likely have a fabulous new shade in mind for your pale locks. But simply grabbing the first eye-catching box dye you see can spell disaster! Choosing a hue that harmonizes with your hair’s undertones is key.
Here’s how to analyze your bleached shade:
Check for Warmth
Does your hair present golden, honey, or peach notes post-bleach? Does it still hold hints of your former brunette or red shade? If so, your locks likely have warm yellow and orange pigments underlying the pale tone.
Complementary dye options:
- Warm golden blondes
- Strawberry and also copper red hues
- Spicy ginger shades
- Rich chocolate browns with ruby reflex
Check for Coolness
On the contrary, does your bleached hair radiate almost icy, translucent purity with no trace of brassiness? Silver lavender notes are also indicative of cooling undertones.
Ideal corresponding dyes:
- Ashy platinum and sand blondes
- Smoky slate grey
- Deep jewel-toned blues
- Nightfall black with blue flash
Beige Bleached Hair
You may also be left with an elusive natural beige base after bleaching darker hair. This neutral shade combines the best of both worlds regarding dye options. From creamy nougats to multi-tonal melts, you have endless options.
Childhood Hair Hints
What did your hair look like growing up? Flip through old photo albums not just for nostalgia but for clues on how your strands respond to lightning. If childhood pictures show golden highlights in the summer sun – you likely have warm undertones. Cooler neutral and also ash tones probably dominate if your locks resist golden hues year-round.
This insight assists in determining if a box dye’s hue will flatter or fight your natural proclivities for brightness.
Using a Color Wheel for Smart Dye Selection
Still, second-guessing if that icy Barbie pink is right for your complexion? Consult a colour wheel. This visual guide displays how colours relate to each other – which hues are harmonious vs incompatible.
Complementary colours directly across the wheel from one another reduce the intensity of each other. This makes them ideal for toning and neutralization.
- Yellow bleached hair + Violet dye = Bright yet balanced blonde
- Orange bleached hair + Blue dye = Vibrant cooler blonde
Contrasting colours far away from one another on the wheel creates exciting drama. If seeking an intense change – go bold by selecting one!
- Yellow bleached hair + Emerald green dye = Exciting and unexpected
- Silver bleached hair + true Red dye = High-impact minimalist chic
Preparing Bleached Hair Before Dyeing
You’ve assessed the damage, choose a flattering shade, and have dye in hand. Ready to colour your strands? Not so fast!
Crucial prep must be done so compromised hair can fully receive pigment for even, lasting results.
Wait 48 Hours After Bleaching
Freshly bleached hair remains highly porous with lifted cuticles. Dyeing immediately after decolorizing can exacerbate damage and cause uneven colour absorption. Give your fragile strands a 48-hour breather before dyeing.
What can you do during this recovery time? Deep conditioning treatments of course! This leads us to the next step…
Deep Conditioning for bleached hair
The week before dyeing focus on intensive conditioning treatments to nourish bleached hair. Masks with repairing oils, hydrating humectants, and bonding proteins restore elasticity and seal damage.
- Avocado + Honey Hair Mask
- Coconut Milk + Shea Butter Treatment
Apply your nourishing mix, slip on a shower cap, then let hair soak for 30-60 minutes 1-2 times per week. The added moisture cushion protects against drying chemicals in the dye.
Apply Restorative Oils for bleached hair
The night before colouring your bleached locks slather your strands in natural oil blends to maximize hydration. Let them soak in overnight, then apply the dye in the morning directly onto oiled hair. Why at bedtime? Our hair best absorbs moisture while we sleep!
Avoid mineral oil – its molecules are too large to penetrate the hair shaft well. Light, penetrating oils like argan quickly boost hydration.
Use a Protein Filler
Fragile, porous bleached hair can greedily drink up dye – causing an uneven, splotchy colour. Using a filler equalizes this thirst so the shade absorbs uniformly. These temporary sealing treatments bind to open cuticles so dye remains only on hair’s surface as intended.
Look for fillers clearly labeled for use before colouring such as:
- Redken pH-Bonder
- CHI Ionic Color Illuminate
- Colour Prep Formula
Shake the filler well then massage thoroughly into your pre-shampooed, towel-dried hair. Distribute evenly focusing most on the ends. Rinse after 5 minutes then towel dry again before applying dye.
Step-By-Step Guide: Dye Bleached Hair
You’ve completed crucial prep. Now comes the fun part – refreshing your blonde with brilliant dye! Follow these steps for flawless application and development.
Section Hair Cleanly
Part dry hair neatly into four sections – ear to ear horizontally then forehead to nape vertically. Secure the quadrants out of your working area with clips.
Thoroughly saturating every strand is crucial for even colour results on porous hair. Precision sectioning prevents random splotches down the road.
Mix and Apply Dye
Do your gloves and plastic cape. Follow your chosen dye’s instructions precisely regarding mixing ratios and timing. Using the tinting brush, apply dye to the underside of one quadrant first. Paint dye onto mid-lengths and ends before going back through and covering roots last.
Slowly work the tint thoroughly from roots through tips strand-by-strand. As one section processes, begin applying dye to the next.
Time Development Carefully
Set a timer according to dye guidelines once the application starts. Check saturation and coverage while you wait. Add extra mixes of dye as needed to refresh fading sections as the minutes tick on.
For permanent dyes requiring up to 30-45 minutes of processing, use the wait time to double cleanse hands, tools, and working surfaces. You don’t want to leave the shower dripping in dye!
When the timer chimes, head back to the wash basin and rinse all dye residue out thoroughly. Be extra diligent in removing excess pigment from bleached hair as it deeply absorbs colour. A double lather with clear shampoo never hurts!
Maintaining a Healthy Dye Bleached Hair
You followed all the rules for prep and application – and now rock gorgeous refreshed locks! Don’t undo your hard colouring work by falling back into bad hair care habits. Maintain stunning dyed bleached hair by:
- Using sulfate/salt-free colour-safe shampoos
- Weekly reparative hair masks
- Limited heat styling to preserve integrity
- Delaying repeat dyeing 6-8 weeks for recovery
Also, touch up regrowth every 4-6 weeks to prevent stark roots. Bleached hair accepts permanent dye differently than virgin growth. Quick gloss touch-ups blend the two for seamless, lasting colour.
Troubleshooting Common Dyeing Dilemmas
Even seasoned colourists run into dyeing challenges now and then. Here’s how to troubleshoot some common box dye issues on bleached hair.
Rapid Fading of Dye
Cause: Porosity imbalance leads hair to rapidly lose applied colour. Frequent shampooing also accelerates fading.
Fix: Use a weekly color-depositing conditioner to refresh the tone. Cut back washing to every 3-4 days. Avoid chlorine and salt water that strip dye.
Uneven Patchy Coverage
Cause: Poor prep and rushed dye application cause uneven absorption.
Fix Thoroughly pre-fill porous areas with filler before re-dyeing. Section hair meticulously during re-application while saturating all strands.
Unwanted Brassy/Muddy Tones
Cause: Concentrated underlying warmth or minerals interact poorly with the chosen dye shade.
Fix: Re-dye utilizing a colour wheel complementary tone to neutralize the unwanted hue. Purple shampoo also helps brighten dull blonde dyed hair.
Itching/Sensitivity of Scalp
Cause: Bleached hair’s protective barrier is compromised – allowing chemicals to irritate the skin.
Fix: Discontinue use of concerning products. See a dermatologist if severe irritation, swelling, oozing, or rashes develop signalling an allergic reaction.
Consulting a Colour Correction Expert
Despite your best efforts prepping and dyeing over bleach-damaged hair – something still doesn’t seem quite right. Before distressing, consult a professional colourist. Ask nearby salons if they offer “colour correction” services. These colour experts creatively camouflage dye disasters.
During your consultation, a colour correction stylist will:
- Hear your colour goals and assess current hair health
- Recommend personalized treatments and techniques
- Formulate custom dye blends for your unique needs
- Safely transition you to your dream shade
Colour correction often requires multiple sessions and speciality products. So be prepared for an investment – but one worthwhile to get your strands back to fabulous!
Key Takeaways: Dyeing Over Bleached Hair
- Thoroughly prep and condition hair before applying dye
- Determine permanent vs semi-permanent dye suitability
- Select harmonizing shades using your colour’s undertones
- Section cleanly; apply dye slowly for flawless results
- Maintain hair health with weekly conditioning
- Seek colour correction guidance if things go awry!
With knowledge, patience, and TLC, you can successfully use standard box dye for bleached hair. But don’t hesitate to ask the experts for guidance when strands need special care. You deserve gorgeous locks in any colour!