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Hairstyling/Bleach starting to burn badly


QUESTION: I've been getting my hair professionally lightened at a hairdresser to different shades of blonde for over a year now, but recently the bleach has started to burn more than usual and the bleaching process is quite painful. Is this a sign to give my hair a break? I have level 3-4 brown hair and have tried various blonde shades from level 7-10 (light blonde to white/platinum blonde).

What can I do to make the bleaching process less painful? My hairdresser usually uses 30 volume developer and bl5 or bl9 bleach. I really enjoy being blonde and think it suits my skin tone (pale, cool) and personality a lot more. If my hair needs a break I would probably just get my hair dyed a lighter shade of brown or dark blonde (hopefully no bleach just colour) with some blonde streaks on the ends instead. I want to stay blonde as long as possible but the bleaching process doesn't seem to get less painful. Thanks for your assistance.

ANSWER: Mason,
  Firstly, I hope your colorist is using 30 and not something higher to get the lift you want from your natural level, or worse yet, processing your lightener under a dryer or other heat source. Either could cause additional discomfort during and even after the process. It's actually better to avoid additional heat and let it process at room temp. Although it's slower, it's more comfortable and less damaging. Another factor is your scalp. Especially for more sensitive scalp, you want to avoid shampooing at least two days before your color service. Three would be better. The natural oils or sebum actually shield the scalp from the chemicals and make it less prone to irritation.I hope these tips give you the insight you need to keep the blonde you like so well.
Best of luck to you.
Stephe (Hairman)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: As far as I'm aware they always use 30 volume developer. They do make me sit under a steamer to process the bleach faster, I'm usually under the steamer for 10-30 minutes depending on the shade I desire. I find that the steamer helps because it gets rid of the painful burning sensation a bit faster. If I was to sit with the bleach on with no steamer it would be painful for longer. I have gone without shampooing my hair for a week or 2-3 days before and to me it makes no difference, the bleach still burns just as much. I have heard about using coconut oil on your hair before bleaching it will make the process less painful is this true? I've tried argan oil on some areas and it hasn't made a difference. How can I keep the blonde but give my hair a break? Maybe just add some streaks or try a darker shade?

 I am not an advocate of anything that speeds up the process, as it usually increases the irritation as well.
 I would definitely suggest getting away from full head bleach. A heavy foiling with whatever color you choose in between would give you a blonde effect while keeping the bleach off the scalp. I think that's the safest and smartest way to go for you.
Best of luck to you.


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I have been a Licensed cosmetologist in New York state for over 26 years, and am well versed in many areas of the cosmetology and appearance enhancement profession.Specialties however, are hair colour, corrective colour and permanent waving,including the chemical and technical aspects of these services and their effects on the hair.I`m glad to consult on any problems you are having concerning your hair.If I don`t have the answer, I`ll try to get it for you.


I've been licensed for cosmetology in New York State since 1974.I am a salon owner, and very active with the National Cosmetology Association and New York State Cosmetology Associaiton.I am one of only a few hundred people in the United States to be certi

For the field of cosmetology, to become acredited as a state educator for the New York State Education Committee or HairAmerica, you must submit to a full day exam, encompassing written exam, practical segments, lesson plans and presentations to prove our knowledge and teaching skills.The same applies for HAirAmerica.I also becam board certified as a coulourist in the same way, by submitting to a full day exam process.I am also antionally certified for cosmetology by the National Cosmetology Ass

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