Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Highlighted Hair and Home Straightening

Q: I was wondering if it is safe to use a home straightening kit on my lightened hair. I use the Nice & Easy hair colors. Most kits say not to use on bleached or highlighted hair, does this mean that these kits are not suitable for my hair?
A: Generally speaking these warnings are for those women (and men) who lighten their hair significantly. Bleaching/lightening the hair makes the hair more porous and more susceptible to damage, as well as easier to process by other chemical processes. The answer to your question depends largely on what kind of process you use with your hair color.
Do you use the hair color to lighten your natural color significantly or do you add a color of the same level or darker? If you use the hair color to lighten your hair more than three levels, you may want to avoid those products that warn against use on bleached or highlighted hair.
That being said there are straightening kits on the market (such as Ogilvie Home Straightening Kit, or EasyStraight Hair Straightening System) that are formulated using ammonium thioglycolate. These straighteners are essentially the same formulas as are used in permanent wave kits, and can be used the same as a perm can be used - even on highlighted or bleached hair.
Just be sure that your bleached/highlighted hair is in sufficiently good condition to withstand the chemical process. Follow the package directions for performing a strand test before using any chemical product on your hair.
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Hair coloring
Hair straightening
How bleaching hair works