When our hair is relaxed or bleached, the chemicals break the bonds holding our hair in its curl pattern. This results to straight hair. Usually, when our hair bonds are broken, there is an increase in hair porosity and a decrease in elasticity - two significant changes that weaken the strength of our hair. This is why chemically processed hair has a higher risk of damage, especially natural kinky hair.
So imagine weakening your hair bonds twice by relaxing and bleaching - double homicide.
Can you bleach relaxed hair?
Bleaching relaxed hair can be achieved but it is not advised because of how damaging it is. Instead of weakening the strength of your hair, you can replace hair dye with temporary hair makeup to add color to your relaxed hair.
For a deeper understanding of the relationship between bleach, relaxers and your hair and why temporary hair makeup is a perfect replacement for bleach, keep reading below!
What will happen if you dye relaxed hair?
Before we dive into the science behind relaxers, know that the reaction in putting relaxers on already colored hair is similar to hair removal cream. So the process is always relaxing before bleaching.
In our previous blog posts, we always mention (either briefly or extensively) the bond restructures that comes with chemical processing. There are three different types of chemical relaxers; Thio, Lye, and non- lye relaxers. They all have their different properties but function by weakening or breaking the disulfide bonds in the hair's cortex to straighten your curl pattern. So just like bleach, relaxers restructure your hair strand to a new porosity because they lift your hair cuticle to work in the deeper layers of your hair (i.e hair cortex). After relaxing your hair, both your inner and outer hair bonds are compromised permanently and therefore puts it at a very high risk of damage.
So imagine adding an equally harsh process (bleaching) on top of those compromised bonds (relaxed hair), what bonds will be left to hold your hair together?
Can you bleach relaxed hair?
Modernity made it possible for relaxed hair to be dyed, but that is only for experienced and skilled professionals to handle. Usually, they stick to colors darker than your hair shade or a little higher than your natural hair color, to avoid using high volumes of bleach on your hair. They would also schedule the two processes far away from each other, so you would have to wait a month or more before dyeing your relaxed hair to prevent your hair from burning off (that wont be the case if you use temporary hair makeup).
Despite all of these, your relaxed hair will still be at a very high risk of damage after bleaching.
- The integrity of your hair cuticle is weakened, hair porosity increases, elasticity decreases, and therefore your moisture and water holding capacities are thrown off balance.
- Relaxed hair is naturally dry so bleaching it would make it even drier
- The constant lack of moisture will make your hair appear dull and frizzy.
- Your hair will experience matting, breakage, and split ends because of its dryness.
- When your new growth appears, you would have to relax it again, that's compromise no.3 - a big no for the health of your hair.
How to relax and color your hair on the same day
From what you read above, relaxing and dyeing your hair successfully, may seem almost impossible, but there is a trick up our sleeves.
Temporary hair makeup!
Curlfit hair makeup adds color to all hair textures (including relaxed and permed hair) by coating the surface of your hair strands. This means they don't need harmful ingredients like ammonia and peroxide, to penetrate your strands. Curlfit hair makeup contains nourishing ingredients like argan oil and silk protein, that will hydrate your relaxed hair whilst coloring it. It will also add shine, lustre and give your crown a silky finish.
How to color relaxed hair with hair makeup
Using hair makeup is a one-process application. No need for bleach and no need to fear damage. Plus, it's super DIY-friendly.
Step 1: Prepare the things you need
You don't need anything special to use hair makeup - even gloves! But when you have purchased your desired hair color(s), always check if your normal hair products are compatible with the hair makeup. Mix a small portion of the color with your hair products and observe the results. If it forms clumps, then you can leave out applying your creams before and just go straight in with the hair makeup.
Step 2: Wash your hair and detangle
It's best to use hair makeup on clean detangled hair. This will make the process seamless and easier to apply. Plus, it will last longer. For relaxed hair, we advise switching your clarifying and lathering shampoos with a cowash or moisturizing shampoo. Every product you use with relaxed hair needs to add moisture and not strip it off. It is best to color your relaxed hair when it is dry. Your hair is most vulnerable when it's wet because the hydrogen bonds weaken. So, manipulating your relaxed hair at this state will cause hair breakage.
Step 4: Style your hair
If you're doing a low bun or ponytail, you can do the style before applying hair makeup so you don't have to color your entire head.
Optional Step: Mix your colors (if it implies)
What makes hair makeup super flexible is how customizable the formula is. They follow the basic color wheel. Mixing two hair makeup colors is almost like mixing colors before painting. For instance, if you don't find Aquamarine in the array of hair makeup colors, you can simply mix dark green and blue hair makeup to get that shade. To get rose gold, mix gold hair makeup with pink hair makeup in equal portions. There are so many other shades you can get. For more hair makeup mixes, you can check out the Curlfit community across all social media.
Step 5: Apply hair makeup
You can do absolutely anything with hair makeup - a subtle tint of your favorite colors, contrasting highlights, a colored twist out, a glorious colored bun - anything you can think of! Unleash your creativity with hair makeup and express yourself through your mane.
Every drop of Curlfit hair makeup is super-pigmented. So a little goes a long way. Start applying the hair color, section by section and in small amounts. If you want to increase the vibrancy, you can just apply more color. Be careful not to apply too much so your relaxed hair is not weighed down.
Step 6: Air dry/ blow dry
To avoid color transfer, air or blow dry your hair so the color sets. With relaxed hair, it may take between 30 minutes to 1 hour for it to dry.
If you feel your relaxed hair is in good shape and are ready to take on the risks involved with extensive care and specialized products, the floor is yours! Here are some tips to know before bleaching your relaxed hair
- See a professional and experienced hair dresser
Bleaching relaxed hair is not a DIY activity. The chemicals of these two processes mix dangerously to do serious damage to your hair, especially kinky and curly hair. An experienced coloring-relaxing professional will know the right proportions that will favor your current hair and scalp condition.
- Don't bleach and relax on the same day unless you are using hair makeup
If you have newly relaxed hair, it's best to wait a month or more before dyeing it. This will help your hair recover from the shock of relaxers before processing it further.
- Moisturize & after coloring care
Aftercare is everyone's priority after coloring or relaxing their hair. So if you're relaxing and coloring your hair, aftercare should be your only priority (over exaggeration intended). On a normal day, relaxed hair is dry, so bleaching it is going to make your hair water-holding capacity even lower. You will have to introduce moisture into your hair in every product you use. Use a co-wash instead of a clarifying or lathering shampoo, condition viciously, deep condition more often than you used to, and use a protein bond builder to help re-build your hair elasticity, and improve shine and moisture balance.
Note that each person is different, so you will have to evaluate your hair condition and customize how frequently you use products to favor your hair. If conditioning twice a week still gives you dryness, try three times a week.