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blonde hair preparing for bleach

How To Prepare Your Hair For Bleaching & Colouring

Bleaching your hair is nothing new, in fact choosing a lighter hair colour has been around since the early days of the Roman Empire. But what steps should you take to prepare your hair for bleaching so that you leave the salon with a colour you absolutely love?

It’s fair to say that becoming a blonde bombshell, and then maintaining the look, isn’t for anyone who wants to pay minimal attention to their hairstyle. 

You will need to prepare your hair for bleach, it may take your stylist some time to reach your desired shade of blonde, and you will need to look after your locks to make sure they’re always looking their best.

We’ll look at a hair care routine for bleached hair later on in this post, but first let’s find out how to prepare your hair for bleach.


Should You Wash Your Hair Before Bleaching?


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It might seem a little counterintuitive to apply bleach to hair that isn’t squeaky clean. But the reality is, your hair needs to be at least one day old – preferably two. This is because over time the hair produces natural oils which will protect it from the chemicals in the bleach.

If your hair is freshly washed when you arrive at the salon those essential oils won’t have had time to add their protective layer to your hair.

That’s the main thing to be aware of when you’re preparing to bleach your hair, but as mentioned, there are a few other things to keep in mind.


How to Prepare Your Hair for Bleach 

You’ve booked your appointment and you’re counting down the days until you’re in your colourist’s capable hands. But not so fast. There are a number of things to do before bleaching your hair, all of which will make sure your locks are left, not just blonde, but in great condition too.

Even the best colourist can only do so much if your hair isn’t in the right condition for bleaching or colouring it. Here’s what else you should do to get ready to bleach your hair.


  • Wash Your Hair 2 Days before Your Appointment

As we’ve mentioned, you should wash your hair two days before you have it bleached. This is so that all those lovely natural oils that your scalp produces are still coating the strands of your hair, protecting it from the effects of the bleach. 


  • Honestly Assess the Condition of Your Hair

If your hair is damaged or dry, we hate to break it to you, but bleaching it is probably not for you at this point in time. Instead adopt a great hair care routine using products specially formulated for damaged hair to restore it to its former glory before you book in with your colourist.

Likewise, if your hair is already coloured or highlighted you will need to wait for any existing dye to grow out. You should also avoid bleaching permed hair.


  • Put Down the Heat Styling Tools

We know you might not want to hear this, but trust us! Avoid using anything that uses heat to style your hair as you prepare for it to be bleached. This includes your straighteners, curling tongs, heated rollers, and yes, even your hairdryer.

This is because heat strips the natural oils and moisture from your hair – and as we’ve already seen, hair needs those oils to act as a protective barrier against the bleach or dye.


  • Moisturise Your Hair 

When you prepare your hair for bleaching, supplement your natural oils and give your hair an extra dose of protection by massaging a hydrating product such as Aveda’s Nutriplenish™ Multi-use Hair Oil through your locks and into your scalp. Do this for at least a week before going to the salon.

You might want to nourish your hair with a thirst-quenching hair mask a couple of weeks before bleaching too. We love Aveda’s Botanical Repair™ Intensive Strengthening Masque which conditions, strengthens and repairs hair, ensuring your locks are in prime condition before you head to your appointment. 


  • Be Up Front With Your Colourist

Going blonde is a big step and while your colourist will be an expert in lightening and colouring hair you do need to be completely honest with them. 

Let them know how you’ve been preparing your hair for bleaching, and also tell them if you’ve any remaining dye in your hair, if you’ve undergone any chemical treatments, or if you’ve had any problems with bleach or dye before. 

And trust them when they tell you it might take more than one appointment to reach the blonde tone you’re looking for. 

Sure, you might be able to reach platinum blonde in one lengthy sitting, but a good stylist will advise against this for your hair’s sake. When it comes to going bleached blonde, slow and steady wins the race!


Upgrade Your Hair Care Routine


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Once you’ve gone blonde, don’t be tempted to think that’s it. Bleached blonde hair needs looking after. If you’ve been using a regular shampoo and conditioner, you’ll need to switch these out for products that are created for bleached hair.

Purple toned shampoos and conditioners work best with bleached hair (as well as naturally blonde locks) as they’re formulated to neutralise any brassy yellow tones, keeping blonde hair looking salon-fresh.

We recommend Aveda’s Blonde Revival™ Purple Toning Shampoo and matching conditioner as they gently cleanse and condition hair without stripping it of colour, which is something you need to watch out for with some other products.


Ready to Go Bleached Blonde at Strand & Lock London?

At Strand & Lock we love helping our clients achieve their blonde ambitions!

Pop in and see us or give us a call: our stylists are always happy to tell you how best to prepare your hair for bleaching and we’ll be delighted to schedule you in for one of our bleaching and colouring services.

Ready to come over to the light side? Get in touch and book your appointment today.

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