The Beauty Encyclopedia: Beat The Hair Bleach Blues

The Beauty Encyclopedia: Beat The Hair Bleach Blues

Shout out to the platinum princesses, the bleached babes, the lightened lads and everyone else out there who knows of that uniquely spicy hell known as getting your roots turned from blah brown to dazzling hot bitch white blonde.

Let me dish something here: I’ve discovered the magic secret to making getting my roots done into a comfortable, prickle free, heat free experience.

You know that feeling: ten minutes after you’ve been left with your magazine and a 55 minute wait for your hair to do its thing, you feel that first little tingly itch appear. Then comes the waves of hot prickly pain, and the sensation of heat… so much heat.  Did you wash your hair the night before? Then crank that bleach-o-meter all the way up to eleven. Do you have generally sensitive skin? Welcome to hell, my friend.

I don’t deal well with getting my roots done, and that’s putting it somewhat mildly. I could deal with the prickling pain easily enough, but the heat… oh lord, the heat. I turn cherry red and get what looks like hives across my chest and arms, get the shiver shakes like a frightened chihuahua, and everyone who passes by does a double take and asks if I’m ok. I habitually took a couple of antihistamines a few hours before my appointment, to varying degrees of effectiveness. In short, beauty is pain.

Well, not any more. Let me dish something here: I’ve discovered the magic secret to making getting my roots done into a comfortable, prickle free, heat free experience. Pay attention because this will 100% change your hairdressing experience for the better. Hand on heart.

How to beat the bleach blues in one simple step: add oil. Specifically, add a light application of lightweight oil to act as a barrier against your scalp.

How does this work? Easy! Hair bleach is lipid insoluble, which means that it isn’t affected by the addition of oil to your hair and scalp. It’s still just as effective at removing pigmentation from your hair, but not at the expense of gently eating away at your scalp. This is why hairdressers will often advise you to let your hair go without washing for a few days prior to lightening or colouring your locks, as your natural scalp sebum acts as a mild barrier – actively adding some lightweight oil is the logical extension of this.

On the morning of my hair appointments I pop a few pumps of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil into my palm and massage it into my scalp, then habitually apologise to my very kind and patient hair styling miracle worker for being slightly greasy. It works like a dream – I don’t feel any heat or prickly pain, I don’t get hives, I don’t feel anything but secondhand embarrassment for Miley Cyrus’s existence (I may or may not ready unbelievably shitty mags at the salon, ok?). I also don’t get anywhere near as much of that one week post-bleach dandruff, which is fantastic!

There are a couple of caveats though: it’s important to use a very lightweight oil without silicones, so a slick of something like Moroccanoil won’t work. If the oil is too viscous or has a lot of non-permeable filling agents in it, it may end up acting as a heavy barrier and impact the ability of the hair bleach to make full contact with your hair. It also doesn’t work if you have a contact allergy to the agents in hair bleach. Nothing in this post counts as medical advice, for the love of god!

I don’t feel any heat or prickly pain, I don’t get hives, I don’t feel anything but secondhand embarrassment for Miley Cyrus’s existence.

And now you know my secret from turning root banishment from a monthly torture session to a relaxing session at the salon: a dash of light oil made all the difference for me, and I hope it makes a difference for you too!

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