I am a habitual offender when it comes to bleaching my hair. I love it. Then I hate it. It is like the cycle of cutting your hair. First, you are bored. Then you get the style that you have to commit to for a few months. You then go through the funky period of the love/ hate relationship with your hair. Finally, you nurse your hair back to its natural state. And then you do the same damn thing again in a few months. We all know that story of that one guilt trip we keep taking.
Coloring is my issue. I have been bleaching my PERMED HAIR, since I was 16. That was harsh, however it grew out pretty fast. Now bleaching on natural hair is an entirely new issue! Here is what my story is like.
My hair is between a 4A and 4B, nothing special. It was super coily and had extreme shrinkage. I had only been natural for a year and a few months and I was ready for some PLA-DOW style. I went back and forth with the idea knowing that I might get some damage. I also knew it would loosen my curl pattern.
I barely weighed out my options due to being anxious. I walked in to the Dominican hair salon and asked for highlights. I tried to play it safe. They gave me highlights but they weren’t bright enough and they were splotchy. I still rocked it though. Even though I loved my hair, I still needed more.
I waited a few weeks and I went back for more. (I told you I was obsessed) I had not done my research, I pretty much just walked in and “winged it”. Little did I know that I should at least google how to say more highlights in Spanish before sitting it that chair.
When I told her more highlights, she would repeat back, “mas blanca”… Hmm. That should have been a red flag but I was already there. My natural girl spidey senses was being numbed by the anxiety of a new style. I could barely contain myself. I decided to go all out and get a blowout as well. I haven’t seen my hair straight for 2 years and I wanted to see how long it had gotten.
Now, I told you before, hairdressers hated me because of my thick hair… when it was relaxed. Since I have not been to a hair dresser since then, these people looked like they wanted to bury me under the devil’s lair. Especially since I came 2 hours before closing time.
It took 3 stylists to work through my head, and the only thing I could understand was “puta”, “mierda”, and “mas blanca”. Damn I should have paid more attention in Spanish class.
After they applied the developer, I had to wait. Now with experience I knew that I was supposed to wait no longer that 25 minutes. I also needed the color to be the same as the goldish, copper color I had prior.
Somehow I dosed off and woke up to a dense burning smell. My head was hot and I already knew. I yelled out “MI-DA”,(mira- to look) and they all looked at me with an attitude. I told them I wanted to wash out the bleach. She said I wasn’t ready yet. I yelled out :I DO NOT CARE! WASH IT OUT NOW!!!”
She rolled her eyes and got someone else to wash my hair. I could smell the heavy ammonia coming from my strands almost stifling me as she washed my hair out.
I told her to give me a mirror. Then on went more Spanish. My patience wore thin, I firmly said, “ESPEJO! DAME ESPEJO!” They brought me a mirror and I nearly passed out. How about …they bleached my hair so bad, that parts were damn near green. I was mad but I decided to tough it out. It was the most painful experience ever!!!
At this point there was no turning back. I had to commit to it. I figured if I get the blowout it would look better… You be the judge.
Yep it was worse. My ends were splitting and jagged and she did not even try to make it even. She was ready to go home! She did not care about the health of my hair. I knew I would get some damage, I just figured because I put so much emphasis on taking good care of my hair for 2 years, I would not have lost too much of my hair. Boy was I wrong!
I rocked that style for a full year as if I did it on purpose! It grew on me.. A little too much!
I learned so much about my hair that year. I started to notice my hair was changing. It was straw like in texture. It was shedding terribly. It also stayed matted no matter how much moisture I deposited. Due to prior experience with color, I remembered. THE BEST WAY TO FIX COLOR TREATED HAIR IS TO DEPOSIT MORE COLOR.
I got a cherry black dye from the store and colored it myself. It restored itself almost immediately. I did not have to clip too much hair. Then I waited until the bleach completely grew out to do the same damn thing I swore I would never do…. BLEACH IT AGAIN!!!
Tips to know when coloring your hair:
- Do your research.
- Keep up with moisturizing your hair.
- Keep track on how long you are waiting to rinse your hair.
- Make sure your hairdresser has a clear understanding of the look you want.
- Avoid excessive heat.
- Remember your curl pattern and texture will change.
- Do not use products with sulfur.
- Read all ingredients of the products that you will use as your hair will react differently.
- Trim your hair periodically.
- Before cutting your “damaged hair”, do a treatment and deposit color. This will help you see the hair that is truly damaged.
Until next time!