Does bleached hair get lighter over time? A hairdresser tells you here…

woman inspects the color of a lock of her hair

  • Bleached hair gets lighter over time after chemical processes because it’s vulnerable to external factors such as sun rays, chlorinated water, sulfate products, and heat tools.
  • These factors will make your bleached hair get lighter by half a tone at most.
  • So, if you want to reduce the risk of your bleached hair fading, you need to protect it from those external factors. Below, I’ll tell you how to do it.


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Sometimes, the questions I receive via email leave me a little bit off, and this one in particular did.

Somebody asked me by email, “Alejandra,   does bleached hair get lighter over time?”  


My first reaction is to answer yes. Bleached hair does get lighter over time. Hair that undergoes a chemical process   is more vulnerable to any external factor.  


Therefore,   if you expose your bleached hair to the sun for a long time without protection, or use daily hair products with sulfates, your hair will get lighter over time.  


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Of course, you won’t go from dark blonde 6 to extra light blonde 10. Your hair will get about half a shade lighter. Therefore,   the color difference will be quite subtle.  


However, the question is still swirling around in my head and adds up to another one.

Maybe, this person wants to ask me   if bleached hair gets lighter over time because they applied bleach, their hair hasn’t lightened enough, and you want it lighter?  


If this is your case (you bleached your hair, it got darker than you wanted, and you want to know if it’ll keep on lightening) the answer changes completely.


Because if you bleached your hair, and you aren’t happy with the blonde level it reached, you should bleach it again.


 If you bleached your hair to blonde 8, neither the sun nor products with sulfates or chlorinated water, will continue to lighten it over time to an extra light blonde 10. 

If this is your case, I recommend two things:

  • Ask a professional. If your bleached hair is weak and brittle, bleaching it again could burn it. It’s as simple as that.
  • However, if you think you have the knowledge and experience to bleach your hair again without damaging it, wait for at least three weeks In the meantime, apply intensive repair treatments to your hair.


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I think I’ve been pretty clear. But let’s dig deeper into why bleached hair gets a little, just a little, lighter over time.


Bleached hair can get up to half a tone lighter after a while

blonde woman with hat under the sun
When you bleach your hair, the cuticles open and the bleach penetrates into your hair fiber removing all the natural and artificial color.

Of course,   your hair changes completely after bleaching because you modify its structure.  

Therefore, it’s usually more sensitive to any chemical or aggressive external factor.

What are these factors?


  •   Hair products with sulfates   because they remove hair color. Therefore, they can still lighten your bleached hair.
  •   Frequent use of heat tools.   The hair dryer, flat iron, and blow dryer all take away moisture from your mane. But they also break the chemical bonds of the color. Every time you expose your hair to the high temperatures of these tools, your hair loses color.
  •   Extended sun exposure.  The sun is one of the enemies of bleached hair because ultraviolet rays lighten bleached hair.
  •   Chlorinated water.   Chlorine in the swimming pool and in drinking water also lightens bleached hair.


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Now, what can you do to minimize the effects of these external factors on your bleached hair? Here’s what I’ll talk about next.


How to prevent bleached hair from lightening

woman using natural shampoo without chemicals
The first thing you should do is   check your hair products because you should make sure they don’t contain sulfates and/or salts.  

Solid shampoos and conditioners are a good option because they are 100% vegetable and don’t contain color-corrosive chemicals.


Also, remember that   before using a flat iron, blow dryer, or curling iron, you should apply a thermal protectant.   These products contain silicones that encapsulate moisture and prevent your hair from drying out due to loss of nutrients.

Nevertheless, they’ll also protect the color of your bleached hair.


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Lastly, if you’re going to enjoy a few days of vacation at the beach, or expose your hair to many hours in the sun, apply a leave-in conditioner or sunscreen to your hair.


Finally, if you swim in the sea or pool, you should rinse your hair after swimming to remove chlorine and salt.



Bleached hair is always more vulnerable than hair that hasn’t been bleached. Therefore, external agents such as the sun, chlorinated water, and heat from heat tools can lighten it over time by up to half a tone.

Now you know how to minimize these effects!

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