Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Put a Rinse in Bleached Hair

Q: I am an African-American female that recently (two days ago to be exact) had her hair bleached by her stylist. I hate the outcome and would like to put a rinse in it. I understand that "bleaching" is a strenuous process - how soon can I rinse my hair.
A: Well, a rinse is a purely temporary color that will wash away (normally) with each shampoo, and would be perfectly safe to apply to the hair in the sense that it will not cause any further damage. However, if the bleaching process has left the hair damaged and porous, the temporary rinse may penetrate much deeper than intended and the color may not wash away with one shampoo. You may also experience some color bleed onto fabrics that come in contact with your hair.
It is best to make sure the hair is in good condition before doing any color application, even a temporary one.
If you're not thinking of a temporary hair color, but one that will simply add a light shade to subdue the bleached look, you may be thinking of a "Toner". Toner is a permanent color application, but is generally very subtle and is used to even out color and tone down bleached hair results. It is a deposit-only color process, but does involve a chemical reaction. For this reason, you have to be double assured that the hair is in good condition before having the additional color service.
If you plan to use a temporary rinse, give yourself a week, and in the interim, give your hair a deep-conditioning treatment every few days. Apply a moisturizing conditioner to the hair, cover the hair in a plastic cap, and leave the conditioner on for 20 minutes. If you want you can sit under a warm dryer or place heated towels around your head for the 20 minutes to facilitate the penetration of the conditioner. Rinse the conditioner from your head using lukewarm water, followed by cool water. This helps to close and tighten the cuticle layer of the hair.
Once you feel your hair is in good condition, proceed with the rinse.
If you opt for the Toner service, you should consult your stylist.
Related posts:
Hair coloring
What is a rinse?
Temporary hair color