Most of us only know of a single way to lift hair color that’s bleaching. And without any doubt, there’s no better way in terms of results to lighten your hair shade than using bleach.
However, as you may already know, bleaching your hair involves harsh chemicals that are likely to cause varying degrees of hair damage. Therefore, people try different products like oils and vaseline to protect their hair from bleach.
But will vaseline protect hair from bleach damage? Or is it going to do the contrary?
Vaseline comprises petroleum jelly and mineral oils that cover your hair strands and seal the cuticle to help your hair retain moisture. While putting it in your hair before bleach can protect against the chemicals, you are less likely to get the expected color lift.
Why is so? Let’s dive into the detail to understand why you may not want to use vaseline before bleaching to protect your hair.
Will Vaseline Protect Your Hair From Bleach Damage?
The petroleum jelly and waxes in the vaseline encase your hair. Therefore, they can protect the hair strands against bleach chemicals by preventing protein and moisture loss. But you should not use vaseline just before bleaching your hair.
Vaseline will stop the ammonia in the bleach from opening the hair cuticles, preventing the developer from entering the cortex and oxidizing your original hair color.
As a result, you may not be able to lift your hair color and end up with a tint you never wanted. So, you might have to bleach your hair again, which is more damaging because the developer will cause more protein loss, leaving your mane overly dry, weak, and frizzy.
The same is likely to happen when you use a leave-in conditioner before bleaching. But there’s one way you can use vaseline to protect your hair from the bleach. Let’s see what that is!
How To Use Vaseline To Protect Your Hair From Bleach?
Typically, people use vaseline all around their hairline to protect their skin from bleach. So, you can get a good idea why putting it in your hair before bleaching will not allow the bleach chemicals to work, and you are likely to get no to very slight hair lightening.
But you may still use the vaseline to protect your hair from the bleach by first considering the following few points.
1. Determine How Many Levels You Want To Lift Hair Color
When you think of lifting your hair color to a lighter shade, the foremost thing is to decide how many levels of lift you would need. The more dramatic hair lightening you want, the higher the chances are of hair damage from the bleaching.
From my personal experience as a beautician, you don’t need to use vaseline or other shielding products against bleach when you want minimal hair color lifting.
Let’s say you need to lighten your manes up to one or two levels. Why would you like to limit the action of bleach with vaseline already formulated to change your hair tint minimally?
Therefore, it is not recommended to use vaseline to protect your hair from a bleach destined to lift your hair color to two levels unless you want to waste your money.
However, if you use strong bleach for minimal hair lightening, you may use vaseline. Read on to find out how!
2. Which Volume Developer You Will Use
The main ingredient in bleach that lifts or oxidizes your hair color is the developer. It comes in 4-5 different volumes containing varying hydrogen peroxide concentrations. The higher the volume, the more dryness and breakage your hair suffers.
You would need to be careful when choosing the developer. It is not like you pick one volume 40 and use it for lifting your hair color to one or two levels.
The volume 20 will always suit you when you want to lighten your hair color minimally. This developer is less likely to damage hair. So, you won’t need the vaseline for protection.
But if you have the volume 30 developer and want to lift your hair tint 1-2 levels, you can use a small amount of vaseline to prevent extra lightening and damage. However, it is better to do a patch test on your locks to see if this method works for you.
3. What Is Your Hair Texture and Type
The main factor that determines how much your locks get dry, frizzy, and weak from bleaching is the hair texture and thickness. If you have thick and healthy manes, they have enough proteins and moisture to withstand the bleach chemicals.
Typically, the volume 20 developer in the bleach will not lift the color of thick and sturdy hair. Therefore, you might need to use a higher volume.
Be mindful that when you think of shielding already healthy hair with vaseline, you are limiting the action of bleach chemicals. So, you may not be able to lift your hair color above two or three levels.
You can protect your fine and weak hair from bleach damage by covering it with vaseline. But again, keep in mind that you can only use vaseline when using the volume 30 or 40 developer to lighten your hair up to 2-3 levels.
Another thing you can do is to dilute the developer with coconut oil. But why not use volume 20 instead and avoid all of this mess of using vaseline or dilution?
4. Do a Patch Test Before Using Vaseline To Protect Your Hair From Bleach
I won’t recommend using vaseline before bleaching unless you want to limit the action of bleach. When doing so, you would not be sure about the results. Therefore, it is best to do a patch test beforehand.
You can apply a small amount, make sure not too much, to a patch of your hair and bleach it after half an hour to see how much color lift you get. If the results are what you wanted, proceed further and repeat the process on all of your hair.
It is not recommended to use vaseline to protect your hair from bleach damage because petroleum jelly will contain the chemicals from opening the hair cuticle and oxidize your original hair color.
However, if you have a more robust developer (9 or 12%) and want to lighten your hair with it minimally, you can use the vaseline. But, do a patch test before using this method on all of your manes.