Safety First: How to Apply Coconut Oil Before Bleaching Hair
I love changing the color of my hair. However, since it is naturally dark, I often have to lighten it before I can play around with the different hues.
The problem, of course, is that this bleaching process can wreak havoc on my strands. At the end of it, I’m left with dry and lifeless hair.
So, when I heard about applying coconut oil before bleaching my hair, I knew I had to give it a try.
It took a couple of tries to get it right. I've outlined the exact process I used below.
Can You Try Bleaching Hair with Coconut Oil?
Before moving on, I want to address an important issue: can you bleach your hair with coconut oil?
You may have seen people making certain claims on forums and personal accounts. They may say that coconut oil can be used to bleach hair.
They state various reasons but at the end of the day, you need to know that this isn’t true at all.
Coconut oil doesn’t have lightening or bleaching capabilities. Thus, using this oil alone isn’t going to impact your hair color in any way.
You will still have to lighten your hair the old-fashioned way.
The Purpose of Coconut Oil Before the Bleaching Process
So, what role does coconut oil play when bleaching your hair? Coconut oil comes into the equation well before the bleaching process.
When you bleach your hair, you end up stripping some of the proteins that help to protect and nourish the strands.
In doing so, you leave your hair lifeless, dull, and brittle. Many people will describe their hair as “fried” in such instances.
Coconut oil, however, can help to limit the protein loss during the bleaching process. So, when you’re done lightening your hair, you will be left with softer, smoother, and healthier strands.
This is why you should apply coconut oil to your strands before you plan on bleaching your hair. Let your strands absorb the oils and minimize the damage to your strands.
If you are getting your hair professionally bleached, always speak to your colorist before treating your hair with coconut oil.
They may advise you to try this treatment several days before your appointment so that it doesn’t interfere with the bleaching process.
Should I Put Coconut Oil on My Bleached Hair?
Using coconut oil is helpful before you get your hair bleached. Well, what about after your hair has been lightened?
The evidence shows that coconut oil is an excellent remedy for hair that has been treated. This is because it works just as well as a post-wash as it does as a prewash.
Therefore, you can massage it into your strands once it has been bleached, allowing you to continue protecting your hair from future protein loss.
You may want to continue this until you are certain that your hair has completely recovered from the lightening process.
Using Coconut Oil Before Bleaching
Now, let's get down to the specifics of applying coconut oil to your hair before you bleach it.
Best Coconut Oil for Damaged Hair
Best Coconut Oil for Dry Hair
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What You Will Need
How to Apply Coconut Oil to Your Hair
The first stage of this process involves applying the coconut oil to your hair. To do this, follow these steps:
Step 1: Liquefy the Coconut Oil
As coconut oil is typically available in solid form, your first objective is to liquefy it.
One way to do this is to scoop some coconut oil into your hands and rub it in between your palms until it melts.
Or, you can place a specific quantity in a heatproof bowl and heat it in the microwave. Do this in small intervals so that the oil can’t heat up too much.
Step 2: Section Your Hair
The number of sections will depend on the thickness and volume of your hair.
If you have finer strands with less volume, then you can opt for a fewer number of sections. People with thicker hair may want to have more sections so that all the strands are coated evenly.
Step 3: Apply the Coconut Oil
Your hair will need to be coated from the root to the tip. Pay special attention to the tips of your hair as these are more likely to get damaged during the bleaching process.
Don’t use an excessive amount of coconut oil. Instead, only use as much as you need to coat that particular section.
Step 4: Allow the Coconut Oil to Absorb
If you have fine hair, then you will only need to leave the coconut oil in your hair for a couple of hours.
On the other hand, if you have thick hair or if your strands are especially damaged, you may want to leave it in for longer.
In some cases, you may want to keep the coconut oil all night. If you do this, make sure to place a shower cap over your hair before you sleep.
This will help the coconut oil to set and prevent the oil from getting smeared over your pillowcases.
How to Remove Coconut Oil from Hair
Some people will recommend bleaching over coconut oil. However, this will not work in many instances.
If you want the bleach to set in properly and for your hair to be appropriately lightened, then you need to wash the coconut oil out of your hair.
Step 1: Wet Your Hair
Make sure that your hair is sufficiently wet.
Try to rinse out as much of the coconut oil as you can.
Step 2: Use Clarifying Shampoo
Work the clarifying shampoo into your hair where you have applied the coconut oil.
Don’t use too much shampoo on the ends as this can dry them out.
Wash the shampoo out of your hair.
Step 3: Repeat Process If Necessary
Examine your strands to determine if they feel greasy. If there is still a significant amount of coconut oil left, repeat the process.
Don’t over-shampoo your hair as this will undo all the protective elements of the coconut oil.
How to Use Coconut Oil on Bleached Hair
As mentioned, coconut oil can do wonders for your hair once it has been bleached as well.
Step 1: Apply Liquefied Coconut Oil to Hair
You can apply less coconut oil to your hair after it has been bleached.
If you have oily hair, don’t apply the coconut oil too close to your scalp. Instead, start further down the hair shaft.
Step 2: Leave for Required Period
If your hair has been dried out or damaged by the bleaching, then you should leave the mask on for the whole night.
At the very least, leave the coconut oil in your hair for three to four hours for the best result.
If your hair isn’t all that dry, then you can leave the oil in your hair for an hour or so.
Step 3: Gently Remove the Coconut Oil
Since your hair may be rather fragile at this point, you need to be careful about how you remove the coconut oil.
If you feel that the clarifying shampoo may be too harsh, try using conditioner instead.
Work the conditioner into your strands and wash it out. The coconut oil should wash out with the conditioner.
Step 4: Repeat as Necessary
In case your hair is quite damaged, you may want to repeat this treatment once every week until it is completely healthy again.
Otherwise, you can apply the coconut oil to your hair once every 10 or so days.
So, there you go – this is how you can use coconut oil before bleaching your hair. What do you think? Is this a tactic you might consider before you lighten your hair in the future?
As you can see, coconut oil can help to mitigate the negative outcomes of bleached hair. This means that you will be able to enjoy lightened hair that is also healthy, shiny, and silky.
If you have a friend that’s looking for a safer way to bleach their hair, share this post with them.
Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.