The Disadvantages of Bleaching Your Hair

Damaged bleached hair
Bleached hair - Photo: Bigstock
The prospect of having icy blonde hair is one that is both intriguing and daring to many women looking for a change. There is also the mantra that “blondes have more fun” and, in the warmer seasons, nothing looks better with a tan than platinum blonde locks. Kim and Khloé Kardashian both went blonde with Khloé rocking it the most natural while half-sister, Kylie Jenner, took the bleached blonde leap and social media went crazy with how awesome she looked. Lady Gaga makes the perfect Ice Queen while Oscar nominee, Michelle Williams sported a platinum pixie and made you crave her color, or lack thereof.
Jennifer Lawrence, Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are trendsetters and when they made the bleach leap, it was bold, fiery, daring, and proved that anyone can go as light as they want to. And Gwen Stefani has made bleached blonde hair her trademark for over two decades and she looks like old Marilyn Monroe Hollywood. Even men like Jared Leto and Justin Bieber went platinum, so it is not aimed for one gender.
There is a theory that women prefer to be blonde as it is a more desirable and attractive color (that is up for debate, clearly). This has led to another theory that women who go blonde get higher salaries at their jobs, though the gender wage gap is a totally different story. Some women seemingly take going platinum as a challenge to debunk the stigma that blondes are not that smart. Going super blonde also seems like a fun and easy option when you start to go gray as the colors can tend to blend. It is a really fun option and something you might want to try once in your life.
While it may look killer and extremely desirable, a gamble of hair color, there is so much that can happen when you opt to bleach yourself out and it may leave you wondering if it is even worth it. Bleach basically removes the pigment from your hair as it opens the cuticles and really strips it bare so you really need to know how sensitive your skin and scalp are. That depends on the volume level your stylist uses and trust this: going to a professional when taking the leap is absolutely key.
Professional hairdressers will be able to determine the proper volume based on your sensitivity and when we say volume, that refers to the level of peroxide. Level 40 is pretty typical but with a scalp sensitivity, a level 20 is ideal but that does not mean that you will be immune to the bleaching backlash.
Katy Perry with blonde bleached hair
Katy Perry - Photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstock
Gwen Stefani with bleached blonde hair
Gwen Stefani - Photo: Tinseltown/Shutterstock
Bleach can do a number of things on your scalp, if and when applied to the roots and it will start with an intense burning. It can make you feel fidgety and wanting to reach for your stylist’s teasing comb for relief, reminiscent of having the chicken pox or a mosquito bite and being told not to scratch it at all, leaving it more tempting. Because of the intense burning sensation, it could cause possible scabbing and like with any other scab, you cannot pick at them. That will only prolong the pain and will make your scalp even more sensitive and possibly lead to an unwanted infection.
Your scalp can turn red from the chemicals that have been applied, and that is totally normal, though it may feel extremely wrong and off. As a result of all of this, you can end up with a severely itchy scalp. So you may be forced to use aloe vera all along the roots to soothe and ease how you feel. Aesthetically, you can expect rough, dry, and poofy hair post-bleaching because as mentioned previously, the cuticles of your hair will open and that is what causes the dryness. This “side effect” should subside within a few weeks but by that time, you could be ready for a root touch-up so you have lost the battle of the bulge, so to speak.