Does Bleach Powder Damage Hair?

92% of Hairdressers don’t know why bleach damages hair!

During a recent survey, we asked 2000 hairdressers – which of the below causes more damage to the hair when using powder bleach?

1. Choice of Peroxide
2. Mixing Ratio
3. Timing

Before we get into the answers, bleach is one of the most aggressive chemicals we put on the hair. What causes the most damage to the hair is the aggressor, let’s break this down.


Peroxide – The function of peroxide is to provide an extraordinary quantity of oxygen. In this case extraordinary means out of the ordinary. The peroxide is the fuel to allow the bleach to do its job. This is why when using a higher peroxide you may see more raw undercoat, this is because the peroxide (fuel) allowed the bleach to lighten too quickly and didn’t have time to neutralise. This is where the term low and slow comes from. Taking this into consideration this is not the aggressor.


Mixing Ratio – Bleach is one of the most complex hair products to produce, when in production the different granules are together in a particular order and the moisture content is measured per batch. They are also made in such small quantities due to the complexity of production.

This is such a complex product to produce it is made by specialists who only make bleach, these specialists tend to be in South America. Taking this into consideration the thought of eyeballing your mixing ratio should make you break into a sweat!

Not following the mixing ratio guidelines or will cause unnecessary damage to the hair, as the bleach powder is the aggressor that causes the most damage to the hair. For instance, 1:1 mixing ratio will be far more aggressive and cause more damage than using 1:1.5 as there is more concentration of powder bleach.


Timings – Manufacturer’s guidelines for bleach is just a guideline, consideration needs to be taken when analysing the hair texture and natural base. Knowing that bleach is a strong aggressor on the hair, consideration also needs to be taken with the salon environment, if the salon is warm it will develop more quickly. If the client’s body temperature is raised due to menstruation or menopause will also affect the development.

Yes, the timings will affect the condition of the hair but this is not the main aggressor. Damage caused by timing is from user error.


In summary – The mixing ratio is the main reason for causing more damage to the hair as you are altering the strength of the bleach powder and making it stronger and more aggressive to the hair.

Both Peroxide and timings need to be considered when using bleach powder and will affect the outcome and condition of the hair.

All 3 scenarios are subjective to user error and bleach powder should always be measured and never eyeballed, you should never leave bleach powder to develop and not check throughout and peroxide is not the devil, it’s the fuel the hair needs to lighten.

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