Style Icon Denisio

By Jc of The Natural Haven

Click here for part 1.

*Editor’s Note: The British spelling of the world color is used throughout this article.

In the first part, I discussed what is actually in bleach and permanent hair dye that allows hair to change colour. The next step is to understand theprocess and why certain tests are necessary before your hair is coloured. Here is what you should expect from a professional salon.

What to do before colouring your hair

Before dyeing your hair, you will need to do a sensitivity test/patch test and a strand test. A sensitivity test involves applying a small amount of the hair dye to be used usually behind your ear. After 24-48 hours (yes that means you go home), you can proceed with the colour application provided you have not experienced any adverse reactions to the hair dye ingredients (swelling/ itching/ redness). Some people are sensitive to hair dyes and reactions can be very severe (hospitalisation and even death). Never skip the patch test.

A strand test is compulsory for any colourist worth their salt. This is a test on your hair – usually snipping a few strands and testing them in thedye/bleach. This hair is tested to see the colour result that can be achieved and more importantly if the hair is susceptible to serious damage. Normallythe colourist will try to see how much force is needed to snap the hair or if the hair disintegrates due to bleach or high pH (which is not uncommon if thehair is damaged or has been previously coloured).

Some hair cannot withstand bleaching or permanent hair dye. This is not a flaw or a mark of damage, it is just the case that some hair simply is not suited to the commercial dye process. A good colourist will refuse to dye your hair if they can predict that your will be damaged seriously as a result.

Going from dark to light

It is generally not recommended to attempt to bleach from a very dark colour (e.g black) to a very light colour (e.g light brown or blonde) in one sitting. Often a good colourist will try to lift the colour gradually over a course of a few weeks. Hair bleach is generally  not kept on hair for more than 10-20 minutes in the interest of reducing damage to hair and your scalp. Keeping bleach for longer can induce a strong burning sensation. However, this time period (20 minutes) is not usually enough to dye hair from black to blonde. Further processing can be done on hair in a few weeks provided the hair is strong enough to withstand further bleaching (i.e a new strand test will be performed).

Post colour/bleach care

Permanently dyed hair or bleached hair will tend to have a compromised cuticle as the process requires the cuticle to be lifted. As a result it may be more difficult to maintain moisture and sometimes humectants such as glycerin can actually lift the hair dye. Semi permanent dye will tend to fade with every wash which may make some people want to reduce frequency of washing which may further impact moisture levels.

It is important to do regular conditioning with a product intended for coloured hair (which will normally contain ingredients that do not interfere with thecolour/preserve hair colour). Protein treatments may also help both in filling gaps in the cuticle and also with moisture retention.

Bleached hair is mechanically weaker and it is therefore important to be more careful than usual when handling hair (during washing, detangling and styling).

Ladies, how do you manage your colour treated hair?

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40 Comments on "How to Care for Bleached/Permanently Dyed Natural Hair"

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Elaine Marshall

I just got my hair bleach can I use as I am moisture milk for my hair

Jekela Smith

I am going to bleach my hair do I have to use a neutralizing shampoo to rinse out bleach or will regular shampoo be ok

Jekela Smith

I want to bleach my hair…do I have to use a neutralizing shampoo to wash out bleach or will a regular shampoo be ok?


Does anyone know some good shampoos and conditioners to use on bleached hair? Also, how do you ladies add moisture to your hair daily?

I use Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo and leave in conditioner, but I also use Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Shampool and Conditioner (yes both at the same time!) I’ve recently bleached my hair again (yes, I am crazy but my beautician said it is very healthy however to keep it that way is some work) I got it redyed last week a sea green/ turquoise but the first thing I did when got home was put the leave in it, braided it with coconut and hibiscus curling smoothie, then took natrual black castor oil, vitamin e, and… Read more »

Yay! a British spelling article! 🙂 Oh… very informative too of course.

I bleached and dyed my natural hair but it won’t stop falling out. It happened gradually over time. I noticed a month after there was a big spot on one side of my head. Now there’s little spots popping up all over. It took out my hair around the perimeter one inch, with the top still being long in length. I don’t know what to do. I really didn’t like my natural hair black because I couldn’t see the coils or texture. I was happy when it was colored and now my hair is falling out. I didn’t feel comfortable… Read more »
Have you tried Aphogee protein treatment or Aubrey Organics GBP? This may be helpful to bring some moisture back to your hair. I recently used Aphogee on my color treated hair and I got some moisture back 🙂 This can be done safely every six weeks. If you haven’t done so already, try sulfate free shampoo and deep condition weekly. Art an oil and jojoba oil can work well, especially for the scalp. Hopefully I didn’t seem overbearing, just hope these strategies work for you if you are interested. Have faith and good luck with your journey!
Venice Florentina

I bleached my hair with L’oreal Wild ombre color 060 and my hair has never been the same I get knots in my curls after washing my hair is falling out from the root in numbers and I can’t get it to grow like in the past should I dye it brown and try my natural growth from then on ? I don’t want this color anymore it was a big mistake (Befor and after pics) ??


Hi Venice, try doing a deep conditioning once a week and ensure your hair is always moisturised and sealed. Also do protective hairstyles and braid at night.


I recently colored my hair blonde and I was wondering if there were any products you would suggest to use for color treated hair. I kept my hair in sew – ins and my hair grew a lott I want to make sure I keep it healthh.

How to bleach your hair

You’ll need to nourish your hair and condition it to keep it from
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While in cosmetology school, about a week before my birthday in November, I made a quick decision to add some highlights to my hair. … TERRIBLE! I have chunk slices added towards the front. .. bleached it & added a copper-ish color to it. After about a week, my hair felt brittle & downright disgusting. .. and add if nothing I tried to keep it moisturized was working 🙁 Long story short, I did a deep condition with coconut oil, conditioner, Pink lotion, & hot 6 oil this morning. .. all in all after a quick trim, my hair has… Read more »

So I really want to get my dyed but here’s the thing my hair is not permed or relaxed it’s just straightened but looks like it’s been permed/relaxed is what I can guess since so many people ask if my hair is permed, my hair can be very fragile when I don’t greases it regularly and my hair is shoulder length should I dye it or shouldn’t i?


It’s difficult to find well-informed people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


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Betty Achom

I just dyed my hair burgundy and what i actually use as a moisturizer is simply coconut oil and shea moisture curl enchancing smoothie. Honestly my hair has been doing fine and i think i would stick to it i seriously suggest someone out there should try it.


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Yay it looks fantastic! I’m in the oistppoe situation right now and desperately trying to grow my hair long before I loose patience and chop it all off again.

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Hello ! You are beautiful. As you can see i did the big chop and bleached my hair. It is growing and i want to bleach the new growth and my whole head because i have hair in the back (which is dark because i missed it when i was bleaching my own hair.) is it okay for me to put bleach back into my previously colored hair?
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I used argan oil on my hair after I bleached it because my stylist said that oil is the best for preserving hair color and for making it strong and healthy. She was right! 🙂 I use argan oil shampoo (no sulfates!) and the oil after a shower. All from a brand called Pro Naturals since they’re chemical free and my stylist uses them too. Really recommend them to any bleached ladies!!


Good article. I use a neutralizing shampoo after coloring to restore PH level and to neutralize the product. I only wash once but I leave it on for 10 minutes then follow with the products conditioner. My hair comes out less dry after this step. Then I follow my normal regiment for moisturizing and styling.


Shampoo & condition as normal

About how long would you recommend someone wait to bleach their hair if using cassia? Is it okay to bleach a few days after or should I wait til before I’m in need of another cassia treatment? BTW: I have dark hair, just this side of black (about a 2 if you know anything about extensions). I’m naturally low/normal porosity but like the cassia to kind of “bulk up” my fine strands. I want to frost my tips honey blonde in the center front of my hair, and plan on doing it gradually (maybe over the course of three sessions?).… Read more »
The Natural Haven

Your plan sounds good – it would take 3-4 sessions to bleach dark hair to blonde. Cassia and henna (for anyone else) do not block the action of bleach. Bleach is quite powerful and when the pH is alkaline, the cuticle will lift to allow its penetration into the shaft. The interference is usually with getting a new hair colour because bleach does not remove henna (probably the same for cassia but I have only seen research on henna). Cassia does not really stain like henna so you should not have any problem going to blonde.


Oh, yay! I feel so much better now. Lol. Thanks Jc, your research and advice is always so helpful!


I got a part of my hair bleached in December and I try to keep my hair moisturized as much as I can. I deep condition monthly and use a leave-in when I wash my hair. I use Shea Moisture to style my hair every two to three days.


When I had locs, I would use permanent hair color to dye my hair from black to brown or brownish-red once or twice a year. I didn’t take any special care of my locs (such as deep conditioning or using a good moisturizer) and didn’t suffer any ill effects. That said, natural hair in locs behaves very differently from loose natural hair. Now that my hair is loose, I wouldn’t dare to dye my hair permanently because of the damage that it might do to my fine strands.


Dealing with color treated hair is not difficult yet you must be fully committed. It is not a time where you can be lazy with your hair. A deep condition is a must not an option, finding a good moisturizer is also a must. Take it from some one who had to learn the hard way. I have been natural for 4 years with color treated hair.


Very helpful. I learned the hard way happens when you dont take care of color treated hair and had to cut my hair all the way up to my shoulders. After that, deep conditioning and using leave in conditioners became my best friend. Thanks for the insight.


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Why dont you just send your products to bloggers and youtube naturalistas with a good subscriber count instead of spamming this board? People are not showing interest but rather apprehension because of your spamming.

The Natural Haven

I agree with Gia. This is spam and I would not purchase or try those products for that reason.

Annie L.

I’ve had a few lifts on perm straightened and natural hair, some successful, some not. I LOVED the look but I’m so…er..ah…’low maintenance’ that I never committed to long-term proper care. A disaster 2 years ago was helped with protein-infused shampoos/condish. If I had to do it again (I wouldn’t btw) I’d have gauged my commitment level, stayed with only VERY experienced colorists and kept on top of those salon appointments! Denisio looks so awesome, nice article!

Annie L.

Oops! Wrong area, Lol! But do agree, SPAM bad :/