How To Treat Damaged Bleached Hair Without Having To Chop It All Off

Summer and bleached hair go together like PB & J, Kim and Kanye, coffee and coconut creamer... You get the idea. But if you bleach your hair and don't know how to take care of it (and by you, I totally mean me because this definitely just happened), I'm breaking down how to treat damaged bleached hair. You won't be stuck with brassy hair and the texture of straw forever. I promise!

For professional advice, I reached out to Mirza Batanovic, Eufora Style Director and stylist at Ammon Carver Salon in NYC. He tells me how, first and foremost, "The best thing to do is go see a professional to assess the extent of the damage and get the right products." Once you know what you're dealing with, you can craft a specific strategy.

And don't get discouraged if the care recommendation list is long! "Chances are it's going to be a regimen," says Batanovic. "You need to restore protein AND moisture into the hair. A keratin spray like "Fortify" is ideal; weightless and detangling, [and] ElixirOne can go right on top of that to add moisture. Then, protect it from heat, creating a 'thermal defense prep."

Once you've got the basics down, check out these additional treatment tips!

1. Invest In A Wide-Tooth Comb

Rbenxia Handmade Sandalwood Comb, $9, Amazon

"[You want] as little tugging on the hair as possible when [hair is] wet," says Batanovic. "Your hair is most fragile in it's wet state so a wide tooth comb is best [and] soft bristle brushes are key."

2. Kill Heat

"As little heat as possible is key ... Blow drying will take longer; be gentle and just keep it from tangling." And for straight hair lovers, "Ironing should be avoided whenever possible." #Sad

3. Don't Skip Care At Night

Never had to think about haircare at night? Now you do! "At night it's best to wrap it nicely in a silk scarf to avoid as much friction with the pillow case as possible. Or use a silk pillow case," advises Batanovic.

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4. Fake Shine

100% Natural Australian Jojoba, $15, The Jojoba Company

"At the end of the day, shiny hair at least looks like healthy hair, so something like Illuminate can help you fake it until you make it!" Batanovic shares. I personally love spritzing a little jojoba oil on my hair for instant, hydrating shine.

5. Don't Do It

While it's too late for me now, but Batanovic half-jokingly tells me, "Consider not doing the bleach at all and having nice shiny hair."

I say go for it whatever style you want to try, but definitely be aware that bleach is anything but low maintenance!

Images: Author's Own, Courtesy of Brands; Sergey Zolkin, Benajmin Combs, Abigail Keenan/Unsplash