What exactly happens in a bleach bath? - BaldTruthTalk.com
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default What exactly happens in a bleach bath?

    As some of you know, there is that method called bleach bath, helping worn and tangling wigs become "like new" again. Following precise instructions (there are many youtube tutorials around), it actually splits in three steps:
    1. dripping the hair in a cloth bleath water solution (and rinse clear thoroughly)
    2. dripping the hair in a ammonium water solution (and rinse clear thoroughly)
    3. shampoo (?) and deep condition the hair and let it sit (some ppl prefer a micro wave oven for drying process)

    After going through different of those tutorials, I took 3 totally felted, dull, and heavily tangling wigs on which I had tried everything else and nothing had worked (2 of them had been pruchased cheap, 1 of them was medium budget). I might have varied reaction times slightly among the 3 wigs, but in the end, the 2 cheap wigs were "somehow better, but not super-good... maybe they had been damaged too far", and wig no. 3 (mid-budget) was quite wearable again - for me it was like a miracle, an improvement on all 3 wigs, I had given up on them before.

    But can someone tell me what exactly happens to the hair when going through the chlorine and ammonium baths? I ask because I'm currently (like always short on money) ordering new wigs at lowest bugdet prices. They all have one initial problem in common: Although style and quality looks perfect when they arrive, even the very first contact with water immediately turns them into a messy ball! (On a brand new hair system!!!) That means, I would never ever be able to shower, or swim with those wigs. I'm even afraid of getting into the rain. (When shampoing it, it's always an annoying act how everything tangles at once, using loads of conditioner to get it smooth again).

    So, I ask myself (or better: I ask you people) should one try a bleach bath on a brand new system? Does that somehow remove the cuticle (if it hasn't been removed already) and avoid tangling from the very start? I mean, there must be something which makes the (new) hair tangle so heavily as soon as it gets wet.

    So what is the actual reason on the hair surface why that bleach bath works and makes the hair smooth again?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Planet Earth


    I never heard of the bleach bath thing. Bleach is basically chlorine, and I was under the impression that clorine is bad for real hair wigs because it bleaches the hair and dries it out.

    What if you cut the hair very short?

    Decades ago, I tried a human hairpiece. It looked great when it was brand new--I never looked so good in my entire adult life--but I destroyed my first hairpiece in two days of normal weekend activity (and I went easy on it).

    Keeping it on my head was the least of my worries--I even left the house for a short errand on windless days with no tape or glue--the hair from the piece clung to the hair on the sides of my head well enough to actually be fairly secure during calm weather.

    The only time I worried about it coming off was when I was fishing--and I dared not even think about buying the sailboat I always wanted.

    Back then, and maybe still, real hair hairpieces had to be washed in dry cleaning fluid, and then only rarely (maybe once every few weeks), because washing them helped to wear them out. The place that made my first two hairpieces said I could wash them in water and shampoo--but they lied.

    And washing them in water and shampoo resulted in a matted mess.

    If you wanted to wear it swimming, you had to get one made of artificial hair (basically like monofilament line used for fishing). The artificial hair back then presented its own set of problems: they couldn't make it fine enough to match thinner diameter hair, it was unnaturally shiny, and it held a set even after getting wet--which meant if your natural hair became wet from sweat or water, your natural hair would not match the hairpiece, so you had to work to get it to look right again.

    Basically, the artificial hair "behaved" differently from your natural hair--and why shouldn't it when they are two different things?

    My experience with hairpieces was really bad. I concluded that hairpieces might only work for a couch potato who doesn't venture outside of a climate controlled environment.

    But maybe if the hair were cut really short it might be easier to maintain.

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