What to do when your hair is over processed when lightening.

What causes over-processed hair?

What to do when your hair is overprocessed when lightening

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Lightening and bleaching is a process to colour hair lighter.  There are two forms of colour pigment within the hair. Eumelanin produces black and brown colour. This is the first to be affected by the lightening process. Pheomelanin gives red and yellow colouring but these tones are more difficult to alter.

Powder bleach contains ammonium/potassium and sulfate and sodium/magnesium silicate. These chemicals bleach the hair by oxidation: oxygen is added to the chemical pigments. The most common type of breach used is hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching agent causes the hair to swell and the cuticle lifts allowing the bleach to penetrate the hair cortex where it will act upon the pigments, lightening them.

This is where things can go wrong. If you are using a too strong peroxide or the product is left on the hair for too long or the bleach is being overlapped on previously bleach hair,  the bleach will continue acting and begin to destroy the structure of the hair itself. This over-processing can make the hair spongy, porous or patchy in colour. At worst it will cause the hair to become cotton will like and break very easily. When over-processed hair is wet it is extremely fragile and can stretch like chewing gum, making brushing and styling very problematic, as at this point the hair can snap.

Can you perform further chemical services on over-processed hair?

NO, absolutely not. The hair structure has been compromised and any further chemical services will destroy the hair further.

How can you repair over-processed hair? Conditioner, conditioner and more conditioner. Over processed hair need lots and lots of TLC. Perform some deep conditioning rituals: Apply generous amounts of conditioner to your hair, put on a plastic shower cap, wrap hair in a towel and leave on for 15-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water first and finish with a cold water rinse to help close down the cuticle to retain moisture.  Detangle hair with a wide-tooth comb, start at ends and work up, gently. Use a leave-in conditioner.   Allow to dry naturally if possible. If your are going to style your hair apply a heat defence and style on a low heat setting. Have regular trims, as a blunt edge will feel better than split ends.

In some extreme cases, the only solution is cut the hair off!!!

3 DIY home hair mask that can help rejuvenate over-processed hair.

Green Mush Mask, to restore amino acids, proteins and add moisture and sooth.

1 ripe avocado,

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of honey

Blend all ingredients together, apply to clean damp hair. Cover with a shower cap and wrap a towel around. Leave for 30 – 60 minutes. Shampoo out and apply conditioner. Allow hair to dry naturally.

Egg Mayo, not just a good sandwich. Helps hair absorb moisture and fatty acids preventing frizz.

1 egg

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

Blend all ingredients together, apply to clean damp hair. Cover with shower cap and wrap a towel around. Leave for 30 – 60 minutes. Shampoo out and apply conditioner. Allow hair to dry naturally.

Mashed banana with honey, good enough to eat. Prevents hair breakage.

1 ripe banana

2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Blend all ingredients together, apply to clean damp hair. Cover with shower cap and wrap a towel around. Leave for 30 – 60 minutes. Shampoo out and apply conditioner. Allow hair to dry naturally.

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