How many of you have taken the plunge to bleach your hair only to end up with an orange dried mess? I’ve gone the bleaching route but only twice. The first time was not a problem; the second time, not so much. My hair is dark brown; almost black so going light for me can be very tricky. On the plus side, my hair is very thick and course so it can usually handle a good bit of abuse.
The Dryness Issue:
Before I explain what happened with this last bleaching experience, I will say that I have an unusual distaste for tangly, dried hair. I like hair that looks and feels healthy. So, the adventure begins. I went to a new salon and stylist to get a mix of ombre and balayage. At first I liked the look, but that affinity faded quickly. The more I washed my hair the more orange, tangly and dry it got (and I never even blow dried or used heat). I began trying everything under the sun to soften the ends (where it was bleached). I tried special (hard core) conditioner you wash out, hot oil treatments, leave in conditioner, smoothing oils, etc. The list goes on and on. In utter frustration, I got 5 inches of my hair cut off because the ends were in such bad shape. Luckily, my hair was down to my hips so I had some length to spare. The cut did not help much. My ends were still dry straw, YUCK! I reached out to a friend to ask if she had any ideas and she brought me to the section in Wal-Mart typically for African women and showed me a product, B&B Tropical Roots, that her daughter uses who has thick, course hair similar to mine. I was willing to try anything and at $5 a bottle it was worth it!
Here is my process. I used the B&B Tropical Roots as a hot oil treatment by putting the entire bottle in a cup of nearly boiling water and heated it up for about 15 minutes. Once heated, I worked the oil into my dry hair soaking it completely (only on the bleached parts). I then clipped my hair on top of my head and put a shower cap on so that I didn’t drip any oil on my clothes and let it sit for 45 minutes. After that, I simply shampooed and conditioned. The before and after picture above shows the drastic difference. I couldn’t believe it. It worked!
*Only use Tropical Roots oil if you have very thick and course hair. This product will not work for fine and/or thin hair.
Orange Color Solution:
I finally found something to overcome the dryness. Now onto the issue with the orange color. I was faced with two options; one, bleach further to lift the orange color to a blonde or two, dye back to my natural color. Since I was not willing to bleach and damage my hair any further, I chose to dye my hair back to my natural color by using an oil based non-ammonia box color (Garnier Nutrisse or Garnier Olia). Once again, success! (first image above)
*If you color right after doing the oil treatment, your hair may be very greasy until you wash it. Pony tails are your friend!
After much fretting, the problem was solved. Never, never, never again will I bleach or lighten my hair. I like my healthy, silky, smooth and manageable hair way more than I like trying a different color.