By Lindsay Loo
Lindsay Loo is a New York-based hairstylist and master colorist who merges plant-based advocacy with wellness education and artistic flair. With 20 years in the field, the multihyphenate creative has done hair for New York Fashion Week and numerous films, served as a Color Department Director for award-winning salons, and is a certified Wella Master Color Expert, among her many achievements. Her work and industry expertise has been featured in outlets such as Oprah Magazine, Bustle, NBC News, and Birchbox. Follow Lindsay in this ongoing series as she tackles all issues surrounding hair, beauty, cannabis culture, and more.
How Do You Bleach Textured Hair?
If your hair is blessed with texture, you are naturally prone to dryness and breakage. Bleaching for the first time might be intimidating, but this is an exciting first step toward a completely new look. Fortunately, bleaching naturally textured hair can be done without causing significant harm. Here's everything you need to know about bleaching and taking care of your hair type if you've been wanting a fresh look.
First, let’s tea about the makeup of hair.
What Is Keratin And How Does It Affect Different Hair Types?
Keratin, a complex protein structure that gives hair its suppleness, is a component of all hair; and when we say “all hair”, that includes 1A-4C (that’s a scientific code for natural hair types from straightest to most tightly coiled, with extra designations based on hair thickness). Contrary to straight hair, curly hair’s keratin protein is constructed a touch differently. Your individual wave pattern, volume, and definition are all influenced by the structure given by the keratin. Unlike the spherical shape of hair that is straight or merely slightly wavy, the hair follicles for curly hair are oval in shape. Oval follicles typically only have keratin coating on one side rather than evenly distributed throughout.
Why, you ask, is any of this important? This is because the structure of your hair will affect how it responds to the bleaching process. Since curly hair is already more prone to breakage and dryness, losing keratin and causing link breaks within your disulfide bond can result in greater overall damage.
What Is A Disulfide Bond And How Does Bleach Affect It?
What is a disulfide bond and how does bleach interact with them? Disulfide bonds are the chemical bonds that hold keratin together and keep hair in shape. They can be altered through certain processes, such as perming, relaxing - or bleaching.
Bleach will dissolve the disulfide bonds in your hair, which is why it’s imperative that you or your stylist use it properly when doing a hair treatment that requires bleaching. More bonds will be destroyed if you bleach your hair heavily, process it more frequently or don’t have the proper knowledge. As a result, the hair shaft may become frizzy, dry and/or damaged resulting in breakage and chemical haircuts.
Which Factors Can Impact Bleaching Your Hair?
A few things can impact the effects of bleaching, including overall health of the hair, to damaging results. These factors include the quantity of hydrogen peroxide, AKA developer, or other bleaching chemicals in the product; how long it stays on the hair for; and how often it is used. Along with this list, when it comes to bleaching your hair, costs, maintenance and knowledge behind the process are needed for a successful transformation.
Bleaching Cost And Maintenance: Is Going Blonde Right For You?
Seeing as you are already on the path of knowledge, let's now talk cost and maintenance. Many people bleach their hair to achieve a blonde tone. However, if you’re lightening your hair more than two shades from its natural color at any starting point, you will almost always have to begin by using bleach to strip the color.
When it comes to going blonde, platinum or whatever your color goals are, this can be a high maintenance service that requires upkeep and does come with a price. Some clients need to touch up their color every month to keep it looking fresh, so keep your reasonable budget in mind when deciding if you want to go lighter. This is not to say we are here to gatekeep going to a licensed colorist or DIY, but you need to take note and realize that some things should be left to the professionals. Or at the very least, you’ll need to have the approach that if something bad happens or the results are not what you wanted or expected when doing it DIY, that you will likely need to fix your mistakes by visiting an experienced colorist.
In a nutshell, this means that bleaching your hair is always possible. But depending on the results, you will need to ask yourself if the texture and health of your hair is most important, or is being the Queen of Dragons, a dream worth trying.
A Honey Of A Deal: Get 15 Percent Off Hair Services With Lindsay Loo
You can get 15 percent off any service with Lindsay Loo by using the discount code HONEY15 when you book. Visit jlbyrd.com for details.
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Featured image: Left: Lindsay Loo shows off her cannabis goodies from Certz, Old Pal, FlowerHouse NY, and Baker's (C) Ronit Pinto / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @honey_ronit. Right: Blonde hair by Lindsay Loo (C) Lindsay Loo @iamlindsayloo.