Can you curl bleached hair with a flat iron or curler? What precautions should you take?

  • If, after bleaching your hair, it feels rough, tangles easily, and has a gummy texture, I don’t recommend curling your hair with any heat tool.
  • If your bleached hair is still shiny, frizz-free, and smooth, you can curl it with any heat tools, whether it’s a curling iron, flat iron, etc.
  • However, you must always apply a heat protector serum and use the flat iron or curling iron at the right temperature.


bleached hair

There you are.

You wanted a change of look, and you decided to go for bleaching.

But, after a few days, you start to feel a void. An emptiness that has to do with your image.


After spending hours in front of the mirror and many hours surfing the accounts of the most famous Instagrammers looking for inspiration, you decide that you need to give your bleached hair some movement. How do you get that movement?


With waves or curls, of course.

 Then, you remember that it’s been a while since you’ve used that curling iron your mother gave you so fondly for your birthday.  It’s time to take it out of the trunk of memories.

But wait, before you go in search of the perfect curls, have you taken a good look at your hair?


I don’t know if you remember but, not long ago, you decided to bleach it. And if you’ve made that decision, you know very well that your hair has been through a pretty aggressive chemical process.

Yes, I know that you haven’t lost your hair or are not falling out in clumps. Even so, before you curl your bleached hair, you need to assess whether it’s healthy to withstand the heat damage.


 Extreme heat can seriously damage your hair, even more if it’s bleached.  It can make it brittle and weak to the point of literally breaking it.


If you’re looking for the perfect wave for your hair, stick with me because I’ll tell you:

  • How to check if your bleached hair can withstand the heat of the curling iron
  • How to curl bleached hair correctly so as not to damage it

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How to check if your bleached hair can withstand the heat of the curling iron

with flat iron

There is one truth, and it is that bleaching will always modify the internal structure of your hair.

Bleaching chemicals penetrate the hair fiber’s core to extract the color pigments, whether natural or artificial.

During that process and taking the pigments, they carry over the hair’s natural moisture. So, bleached hair will have less moisture than non-bleached hair.


 What is more, each hair reacts differently to bleaching. 

The more care you have taken beforehand, the stronger and healthier your hair will be after bleaching. That way, it will withstand the heat of the iron or curling iron in a better way.


You know your hair best. So, if you don’t want to damage it when you curl it, it’s time to pay attention to it.

  • Is your hair soft to the touch?
  • Do you notice that it retains its natural movement?
  • Does it maintain its shine?


If you answered “yes,” plug in your curling iron or flat iron because your hair is healthy enough to tolerate the heat from these tools.

But, if you answered “no” to any of these questions, put the curling iron back in the keepsake drawer because you won’t be able to curl your bleached hair for the time being.


If you look at your hair and notice that it breaks easily, is rough, and gets too tangled after washing, it needs to be repaired intensively and kept out of the curler for at least a while.

How long does it take?


As long as it takes to get your hair healthy. I’ll tell you how to do it as quickly as possible.


How to restore your bleached hair´s health to start curling it

From this moment on, all your energies will be put into moisturizing your hair. After bleaching, your hair has lost nutrients and moisture and desperately needs them back to get stronger.

What will be the first step?


It will hurt, but it will be worth it if you want to curl your hair again.


  • Trim your ends.

with scissors

Don’t run off yet, because you’ll have to trim an inch per month for three months. When you remove the split ends, your hair retains the moisture necessary to withstand the heat of the curling iron.


  • Apply intensive nutrition and hydration treatments.

adds moisture

There are no excuses here, and it doesn’t matter if you have a lot or a little money. You can even use the olive oil you use to season your salad with a mask to nourish your hair deeply.


  • Place a few drops of olive oil on the palms of your hands and distribute them evenly over the entire hair surface.
  • Wrap your hair with a bathing cap and leave the olive oil mask in for 20 minutes.
  • Finally, wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, always with warm to cold water.


  If you use this mask up to three times a week, you will notice your hair much more hydrated and frizz-free. 

Also, use some hair care masks from leading brands or even coconut oil.


  • Use sulfate-free products.

sulfate free

Your bleached hair is damaged. So, you should avoid using products with corrosive detergents such as sulfates. These ingredients are in many of the shampoos and conditioners.

 Check the label of your regular shampoo. If it contains sulfates, change it, and invest in one that is made without them. 


YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: How often should you wash your bleached hair? What shampoo and conditioner should you use?


If you apply this care treatment to your bleached hair, you’ll see that after three or four weeks, you’ll be able to curl it using a heat tool. Still, there are a few things you should consider. Do you want to know them?


How to curl bleached hair properly to not ruining it

Nowadays, many brands offer different types and models of curling and ironing machines. In my opinion, try to choose a heat tool that allows you to curl your hair, selecting the temperature.


 Regulating the curler’s temperature or straightener will allow you to create curls according to your hair type. 

Even if your bleached hair is healthy, you should consider whether it is fine or thick.

  • If you have thinner hair, the best thing to do is to use the curling iron at medium or low temperature,
  • If your hair is thick, you will have to use a higher temperature to fix the curl’s shape better.


Please pay attention to the temperature at which you will use the curling iron to get curls in your bleached hair.

Using a flat iron at over 365° F or 185°C can melt the keratin on the outside of the cuticle. Once the keratin is compromised, it completely alters the natural texture of the hair.

That will make the split ends you have been trimming for months appear again. So, frizz will reappear too.


 On the other hand, if you use the curling iron at too low a temperature, the hairstyle will lose moisture and become frizzy. 

Also, if your hair is fine, I recommend ceramic curlers. If your hair is thick or frizzy, the best curlers are titanium ones because they offer more stable and higher temperatures.

Are these tips only for using the curler on bleached hair?


No, they apply to all hair types. Remember that on your bleached hair, they can make the difference between healthy and damaged hair.

Now, the most important thing: how to use your curling iron correctly on your bleached hair.


  • Use the curling iron on your dry hair.

If your hair is still wet when you curl it, the water will weaken the cuticles, causing a vertical crack in the strand, which leads to breakage and weakening. That’s why  you should always use the curling iron on your dry hair. 


  • Always apply a heat protectant.

iron the hair without damaging it

The thermal protector creates a barrier that softens the cuticle, protects the keratin from heat damage by distributing the heat more evenly, and keeps moisture inside the hair strand.

 You can spray each section as you curl it or spray it all over your hair before you start curling. 


  • Always keep the strand in the curling iron for about five to eight seconds.

This means that you should not suddenly let go of the strand after you rolled it up in the curling iron. Instead, hold the curl in your hand for another three to five seconds until it cools down.  This way, you will make the shape of the curl stick longer. 


This product will help seal the cuticles and give your bleached hair a better look and shine.



If you’ve bleached your hair and you have frizz, split ends, and feel it’s rough to the touch, you can’t use the flat iron or curling iron.

You will need to restore the moisture that was lost during the chemical process.

Once your hair is healthy, remember to use heat tools sparingly and apply a thermal protector before curling your hair.

Can you curl bleached hair with a flat iron or curler? What precautions should you take?

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