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Can You Bleach Wet Hair? Here’s What Experts Say

September 4, 2022 by Edna K. Martin – Hairstylist, Certified Skin Care Coach

For most ladies, the bleaching technique they know is bleaching dry hair. However, many ladies are now changing the hair styling game; this is why they wonder about bleaching wet hair. But, can you bleach wet hair? Read this piece to find answers to this question and more.

Can you bleach wet hair?

Yes, you can. But, you should know the hair is in its vulnerable state when it is wet. So it is prone to damage; for this reason, you have to be careful. One thing you should have in mind is that bleaching wet hair does not give the same result as bleaching dry hair. If you bleach wet hair, there will still be some of your natural color pigment in your mane. The reason for this is that the moisture in your mane has diluted the bleach, thus, it does not work as strongly as it would have on dry hair. So, the outcome you want determines whether you will choose to bleach wet hair or dry hair.

Reasons why people bleach wet hair

Reasons why people bleach wet hair

As mentioned in the section above, the result you will get when you bleach wet hair differs from when you bleach dry hair. Thus, many people have various explanations for choosing to bleach wet hair. Here are some of the reasons;

For subtle lift

As we said earlier, the moisture in wet hair dilutes the bleach, so the result is not as strong as that of dry hair. So, if you are trying to experiment with bleaching your hair to a shade or two shades lighter, you can opt for bleaching wet hair.

For faster application

If you want a fast bleaching process, you can dampen your mane before you bleach it. This means that those that want faster applications opt for this method. It is fast because the cuticle and cortex are opened when the hair is wet, so the bleach penetrates faster. Therefore, it doesn’t take as much time as bleaching dry hair.

For lighter hair ends

Different hairstyles come into trend each day. One of those is the wet balayage. This coloring technique slightly lifts the color of your hair and brightens the hair ends. To get this hairstyle, you will have to bleach wet hair.

To remove color buildup

Another reason why people opt for bleaching wet hair is to remove color buildup. This is especially for those that always dye their hair. If you have a color residue in your mane that you want to get rid of without much damage to your lock, try bleaching wet hair.

Should you bleach wet hair at home?

Should you bleach wet hair at home

You now know that you can bleach wet hair. The question on many people’s minds now is whether they can bleach wet hair at home. If you are used to bleaching your hair at home, you can go ahead. However, we recommend you visit a professional to help you with this. This is because a professional colorist will understand the bleaching procedure better. Thus, they will be able to take precautions to avoid hair damage. Besides, you will be able to get some pro tips from your colorist on how to take care of your bleached mane.

Precautions to take before you bleach wet hair

If you want to bleach your wet hair at home, here are some precautions.

Mask or deep condition

Bleaching strips your hair of its natural oil and moisture. So, to reduce that effect, you should ensure you mask or deep condition your mane for a week or a few days before you bleach it. This will help keep the hair hydrated and reduce damage during the bleaching procedure.

Avoid washing your mane before bleaching

We know that we said you could bleach wet hair. But you should not mistake wet hair for washed hair. Ensure you avoid washing your hair for at least a week before applying bleach. This is because the product buildup and dirt in the hair will protect it so it won’t lose too much moisture. That being said, you can only pour some water on your hair to dampen it if you want to bleach wet hair; watch the video.

How long can you let the bleach sit on wet hair?

Many ladies often wonder how long you can let the bleach sit on wet hair. The result (outcome) you are aiming for will determine how long bleach will last on your wet hair. If you are going for a brighter shade, you can let it sit on your wet hair for at least 30 minutes. But, if you want to lighten your hair to one or two shades lighter, 15 minutes is okay. However, no matter the shade you are going for, ensure the bleach does not touch your scalp to avoid irritation.

After-care tips for bleached wet hair

Whether you bleach wet hair or dry hair, bleaching exposes your mane to the risk of damage. Therefore, you should ensure you care for your hair. Besides, to ensure the color you get lasts longer, you need to give your bleach mane all the attention it needs. Here are some aftercare tips for bleached wet hair.

Use hair toner

Sometimes, your bleached hair will want to look brassy. And the color will seem as if it is fading away. So, to keep the color brighter, you should use hair toner on your bleached hair often.

Protect your mane

Exposing your bleached hair to the sun or any form of heat tends to look dull. So to retain the color of your mane, you must protect it from the sun and any heat source. So always cover your hair with a scarf or cap while under the sun. Besides, you should reduce the use of hot styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, etc.

Invest in a deep conditioner 

After bleaching wet hair, your lock needs all the moisture it can get. Therefore, you should ensure you deep condition your mane at least once a week. Besides, you can also mask your hair once every two weeks.

Invest in moisturizing shampoos

You should always use sulfate-free shampoo. This is because shampoos with sulfate dehydrate the hair. So, to keep the hair hydrated, invest in moisturizing shampoos.

Final thoughts

So, can you bleach wet hair? Yes, you can; it is a great way to lighten your hair color subtly. Many people bleach wet mane for different reasons such as fast application, a new look, and others. We recommend you visit a professional to bleach your wet hair. However, if you want to bleach it at home, take the necessary precautions.

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