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Whether you want to change to sun kissed winter babylights, a bold platinum blonde, a natural balayage or even a bold, striking colour such as fiery red or a pastel purple, hair bleaching is the foundation of any dramatic colour change that involved pigment removal. Requiring both expert knowledge and precision, it is an art that is much better-handled in the hands of a professional; a trip to a good salon can save you from damaging your hair and ending up with an unplanned result. Who better to ask about seeking professional when bleaching than Ashleigh Hodges, Matrix Artistic Director and hair colour extraordinaire!
“Bleaching is a strong chemical process that opens up the cuticles fully, then works its way into the cortex where it decolourises the hairs melanin. This is what makes the hair lighter, and the hair can feel thicker and slightly more textured due to all the cuticles having been opened.”
Hair bleaching is the process of removing the hair’s natural colour pigment from the hair shaft through what is called ‘oxidization’, so that new colour can be placed over it. Many people are under the misconception that hair can be lightened without the help of a hair bleaching agent, though this is impossible. Simply put, if you want lighter hair - or even any other colour, unless your hair is naturally light - hair bleaching is a necessary and unavoidable part of the colouring process.
If done incorrectly, the process of hair bleaching can have unfavourable effects on the hair, so it’s best to leave it to the pros. Many people are unsure of the precise technique to use to get the result they are seeking, but going to a hair salon eliminates the risk for mistakes.
“Hair bleaching is one of, if not the most, damaging colour method available, so it should be done by a professional to keep damage risk to a minimum. We know how to maintain the structure and ph balance of your hair to keep it strong.”
Apart from guaranteeing a more even and accurate finish, a professional colourist will ensure there is no unnecessary damage done to your strands by only leaving the hair bleaching agent on your hair long enough to achieve the desired result, and not a minute more. Plus, your colourist can advise you as to the maximum amount of lightness you can achieve in one session without frying your hair. Best of all, they can add bonding agents like Redken’s pH-Bonder to protect and strengthen the hair during the de-colourisation process.
Bond protection is an expert approved, salon-exclusive service that is specially designed to reinforce and help strengthen your strands when you are lightening your hair.
“Whenever we colour our hair we break down some of the natural bonds, the colour does its thing and the bonds get put back together. If anything ever breaks and is mended it’s always a little weaker than before. What bonding does is a little like adding a little extra cotton wool to that break so to speak, so as it breaks it is cushioned so when it is put back together it still has its strength intact.”
Her recommendation: Matrix Bond Ultim8 The treatment will transform brittle, dry, or damaged hair, making it feel softer and shinier so you no longer have to compromise colour to maintain the health of your hair.
“Bleached hair can be fragile and should always been looked after with lots of care, even if it feels strong. Having a good balance of protein and moisture is important. Bleaching breaks down the protein in the hair, and also opening up the cuticles can lead to more hydration being needed. Make sure you always use a Bonding system like Bond Ultim8 and do the weekly take home treatment. Use a good shampoo and conditioner like Total Results The ReBond or Biolage Raw Nourish.”
As well as using a good bond protection, an effective aftercare regimen is also key. This means using products specifically designed to restore colour-treated hair, such as the Blondifier Range by L'Oréal Professionnel specially designed to prolong the lifespan of your colour, it also deeply hydrates and moisturises to your strands.
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