Does bleaching your hair make it thinner

By: | Last Updated: June 13, 2022

If you’re thinking of bleaching your hair for the first time, there’s one thing you should know. 

Bleach damages your hair. Full stop.

No matter what you do to try and protect it or minimize the damage, there’s no way you’ll fully prevent bleach from taking its toll.

So, it’s best to know what kind of damage bleach can do to your hair. 

Even veteran bottle blondes can sometimes be taken by surprise when it comes to how bleach affects hair. 

Does bleaching your hair damage it forever? Does bleaching make fine hair thicker? Why does my hair look thinner after bleaching? Let’s see what really happens to your hair’s thickness when you use bleach. 

Does your hair get thinner when you bleach it?

Does your hair get thinner when you bleach it

There isn’t a straightforward response to this question, but to make a long story short, the answer is yes. It can cause enough damage to make your hair thinner eventually. 

The answer to this question actually takes quite a few turns before we arrive at the answer. It’s a process to get there, and sometimes, luckily, you won’t have to get there. 

So, to fully answer, “does bleaching your hair make it thin?” The best way to look at it is to first understand how bleach works on our hair in the first place. 

You might find that it’s not the product itself that causes your hair to be thin, but rather the damage it creates can be harsh enough for you to start experiencing hair loss

You can think of bleaching as a two-step process. First, bleach, an alkaline or basic substance, reacts with the outermost layer of your hair, also known as the cuticle, and opens it up.

You might be wondering why the hair cuticle needs to be opened up. 

Well, this makes way for the next step, which is actually responsible for the lightening of your hair. The bleach then has a better chance of penetrating the hair and oxidizing the melanin. 

This means that a chemical reaction essentially causes the melanin to break down.

No melanin simply means no color. And that’s how bleach lightens up your hair. 

But as you can imagine, once the cuticle opens up, it makes your hair vulnerable to more damage. 

The way bleach works, it doesn’t just break down melanin; it also breaks down lots of helpful substances in your hair, such as fatty acids

These fatty acids help in keeping your hair strong. So when a chemical like bleach penetrates your hair and destroys these fatty acids, your hair is even more prone to breakage. 

Once your hair becomes dry and brittle, and the breakage starts setting in, this is when you notice your hair starts getting thinner. 

Even washing, tying it up, or brushing it out, any kind of physical stress can easily break damaged hair and cause it to appear thinner. 

So, if you find your hair thin after bleaching, this could be a sign of some extensive damage. 

Does bleaching make fine hair thicker?

Does bleaching make fine hair thicker

Strangely enough, bleaching can also cause a completely opposite effect. Some people may notice that their hair becomes thicker when they use bleach. This is most notable in people bleaching thin hair. 

While this might sound like good news to someone who might be wishing for thicker hair, the bottom line is that it’s not. 

Bleach still functions the same way on thin and thick hair. But there are two reasons why you might think that it looks thicker. 

The first could be because alkaline products like bleach cause the hair shaft to swell. This doesn’t exactly have any apparent harmful effects on your hair. In fact, it could even be more helpful for depositing color if you’re looking to dye your hair.

However, this added volume could be because of something less helpful. It could be happening because open shafts make hair more coarse and rough. The added texture in your hair causes your hair strands to lift each other up and give it a poofy, frizzy look. 

While the voluminous look might be something you’re okay with at first, just make sure to keep an extra close eye on your hair health to make sure it doesn’t go into damage and breakage territory.

How to get thick hair back after bleaching

How to get thick hair back after bleaching

So, what if the bleaching went a little overboard, and now you’re stuck with dry, coarse, damaged hair. What if it’s starting to break and look thin. 

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: damage caused by bleaching is permanent. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never have a chance to have thick healthy locks again. 

This just means that you might have to be a little patient when dealing with the damage that’s already been dealt with and be extra careful with any new hair that starts growing in. 

Here are a few tips to help you grow your hair back healthier and thicker than ever. 

1. Take a pause on bleaching 

This is probably the most straightforward tip out there. If you’ve noticed that your hair is starting to get damaged, put the bleach down and give your hair some time to rest and recover. 

You might not be able to go as blonde or light as you’d like, but it’s well worth keeping your hair healthy and away from the point of no return.

2. Nourish your hair 

At this point, what your hair needs most is a lot of extra TLC, specifically hydration, moisture, and keratin. Specialized conditioners, oils, and hair masks will be your best friend. 

It might take a few tries for you to assemble your dream team of products, but consistent care will definitely protect your hair from further damage. This lets you keep it as thick as possible. 

3. Avoid heating tools 

You might need to sacrifice any heated styling tools while trying to grow your hair back. Heat is a big source of damage that causes hair to break. 

Plus, it sucks out all the moisture you’re trying to keep in your hair, making it more brittle and more coarse. 

4. Treat your hair gently 

If all else fails, just remember this one tip. Treating your hair gently means preventing just about any type of damage that could hurt it even more–be it physical, chemical, heat, etc. 

Try brushing your hair gently. You can keep your ponytails a little looser to minimize tension. You can even seek out products that work best on damaged hair in order to keep the toll on your hair as light as possible. 


Does bleaching your hair kill hair follicles?

No, bleaching does not kill your hair follicles. 

It simply opens up the hair shafts and dissolves the color that is naturally present in your hair. 

So while damage to the shaft is permanent, you’ll still be able to grow new healthy hair strands. 

Can bleaching hair cause receding hairline?

Bleaching itself cannot cause hair loss that may result in a receding hairline. However, constant and repeated damage due to bleaching can cause hair to appear thinner because of breakage. 


So, now you know that bleaching may have more effects than just lightening your hair. It can cause some people to have thicker-looking hair, while it can make the hair appear thinner on others. 

Whatever your results might be, always remember to keep an eye out and pay attention to what your hair is telling you throughout the bleaching process. And always remember to be gentle with your hair. 

With that, you’re all good and ready to start going light safely. 

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