Coloring your hair can be damaging, especially if you are also planning on bleaching you hair. Damage from too much hair color and bleach can result in hair that is brittle when dry and mushy when wet. In order to prevent bleach from damaging hair too much, you must prepare hair before the bleaching. Ideally, you should prepare hair for bleaching six months or more before you actually do it. This will give hair time to become healthier and stronger. This is especially important if you hair is already damaged.
Use a deep conditioner weekly. Also consider using a hot oil or heat-activating deep conditioner to further restore and strengthen hair before bleaching. Protein treatments are also a good option if your hair is especially damaged.
Use heat styling tools sparingly. Using your blow dryer, flat iron and curling iron regularly is damaging to hair. Limit your use of heat styling tools to once or twice weekly.
Trim split ends regularly. Trimming your split ends regularly stops split ends from moving up the hair.
One Week to One Day Before
Use a clarifying shampoo every other day to remove as much residue from your hair as possible. Using a clarifying shampoo is especially important if you have been swimming in a chlorine pool.
Using a clarifying shampoo before you color and bleach your hair ensures that you get a more accurate coloring.
Use a light conditioner after the clarifying shampoo. Using a heavy conditioner can leave residue behind. This residue can affect your color.
Stop using heat styling tools (curling iron, blow dryer, flat iron). This will help your hair stay as healthy as possible.
Wash and shampoo your hair the day before bleaching. Do not shampoo your hair the day of the bleaching.
References and ResourcesFree Beauty Tips: Home Remedies and Treatments to Repair Damaged Hair
"Marie Clare": Healthy Hair 101
"Allure": The 10 Commandments of Gorgeous Hair Color