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Blog Home AMRBeautyCultureHairHealthSalonStyleTrends
29 Nov

When you consider a bold transition from dark hair to blond, it is normal to get stuck in the typical conundrum – creme lightener vs. bleach: which is better? Hair lightening is not a simple process, especially if you want to go more than a few shades lighter. Clients tend to avoid a drastic change because they worry that the applied product won’t produce the result they so much desire. Hair damage is another major worry. A previous poorly executed bleaching procedure or a yellow colour as the final outcome can prevent them from venturing into new, trendy looks. Most clients come to the hairdresser with a long list of questions before applying a new colour lifting product. When the highlight includes a radical colour makeover, the list only grows longer. For a platinum nuance such as this one, you need to carefully consider all options and apply the best:

But, with so many colouring alternatives today, it’s a pity to stay in the comfort zone for long. Colour is fun and can radically transform not only the look but also the client’s personality. There are ways to make highlights work for everyone.

How to Choose Between Creme Lightener vs Bleach

The choice between cream lightener and bleach complicates when you need to consider client wishes and their natural hair colour regarding all highlighting possibilities. There are toners, colours, decolouring agents, creme developers with various volumes and consistencies, cream lighteners, and powdered bleach. There’s also countless aftercare products to optimise the nuance and protect the fibres from root to end, not to mention the trends that come and go. The new colour must be versatile and adaptable to meet all these criteria. It is no wonder clients have so many concerns. Thinking of curling and highlighting the hair? 

In that case, balance the power of the highlighter with maximum care and nutrition. Running a salon worry-free is never without its fair share of issues, due to a variety of client preferences. But by taking a little time for a consultation which explains the basics of each lightening procedure, either with a cream lightener or hair bleach, you will manage expectations and leave your client more than happy with the final outcome.

Benefits of Hair Bleach

The oxidation that happens during highlighting plumps the shaft leaving hair looking fuller and thicker. Lighter nuances minimize the difference in colour between patches of hair and bare scalp. If you are working with thin hair, bleaches and cream lighteners will make it look more voluminous. However, with all these common benefits, bleaching has certain advantages over cream lightening: 

  • With bleach, you can achieve a great highlighting result with just one application. You won’t have to repeat the procedure more than once and thus additionally damage the hair. 
  • Bleach powders typically highlight up to 9 shades lighter. They are your maximum result guarantee. 
  • If your client has previously coloured hair, it will be better to reach out for the bleach. It is easier to turn a dark brunette into a blonde with a bleach. Sometimes, it is the only solution.

Disadvantages of Bleaching

As much as hair bleach is the most powerful highlighter, it has its downsides: 

  • If possible, it shouldn’t be applied to very dry, brittle, and inelastic hair. This includes hair that is prone to breakage or split ends
  • If you intend to do additional chemical or non-chemical procedures to the hair, bleach may be too aggressive. Irons and straighteners are not the only enemies of bleached hair. Bleached hair is more porous to adverse weather conditions, too. You will have to guard it against extreme sun and wind with greater care.
  • Most hairstylists advise against applying bleaching agents more than once. Therefore, if you want frequent colour changes, you should consider more gentle decolouring variants, including cream lighteners. 

Hair that is highlighted with a bleach needs regular care. To keep it in the best possible condition, apply pre-wash deep conditioning treatment, heat protectant for styling, and serum or a conditioning spray for daily use.  A bond sustainer will help the shade last longer.

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Advantages of Cream Lighteners

In contrast to bleach powders, creme lighteners tend to be more gentle to the hair thanks to their creamy, nourishing consistencies. 

  • Cream lighteners contain additional nutritive components, for example, coconut oil. Thus, they are more gentle to your scalp. Clients with itchy and sensitive scalps may like it more.
  • Hair conditioning with cream lighteners is better because the conditioning is done simultaneously with the highlighting. 
  • The general rule of thumb is that cream lighteners lift up to 6 shades lighter, which makes them powerful lightening agents than many other colour lifting products. You can that perfect sunkissed look without overtreating and overstressing the hair. 

You will probably apply cream lightener on natural or virgin hair because it won’t work as well on hair that has been treated with colour before. 

Why Cream Lighteners Won’t Always Work

One of the key disadvantages of using cream lighteners is that you won’t be able to beat those “warm” tones that cause issues with cold colour hues that are so popular at the moment. Overall, most clients like to avoid yellow-ish tones to full blond colours or highlighting styles because they look unnatural. They also make the air look stressed, devoid of life unless you apply a lightener specialised for removing yellow undertones.

Cream masks can help if you want to avoid bleach and the yellow at the same time:

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Factors that Affect Individual Client Choice 

The comparison of cream lightener vs. bleach becomes more complex as you meet with a variety of textures in clients’ hair. The conditions in which the hair is will also affect your recommendation, as well as the highlighting variation between the old and the new shade. Today’s bleaching powders contain anti-breakage ingredients which don’t wreak havoc on the air elasticity, protecting it from within and providing long-lasting protection. Alternatively, some cream lighteners have a stronger decolouring capacity depending on what ingredients they contain. Therefore, they must be used with care because they can also cause damage to the hair. 

Finally, many clients are eager to invest time to care properly for nicely done highlights, so don’t limit yourself to what is the most simple because only the perfect solution will do! Have you tried both products before? Creme lightener vs. bleach, which do you like better? Comment below. 

Rachael Waine

Rachael works here at AMR as our online digital marketer/content creator. She writes blogs about hair and beauty as well as assist with all social media platforms. In her spare time Rachael writes blogs, enjoys bushwalking and photography.

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