Kitty: I hope it's okay for me to post in your thread, but I didn't want to make a new one and thought it might fit in here quite well!
Okay, so you all know we have a "horror stories" thread about the things that can happen if you overbleach your hair - we talked about chemical burns and I thought it might be wise to compile the information from that thread and post it here, so people won't have to go through several pages on the other thread What are chemical burns, and what is the cause for them?
A chemical burn is a burn caused by a strong chemical - in this case, it would be bleach. 40 vol bleach can definitely cause them, but if your scalp is sensitive, it could be caused by a lower volume as well - it can also happen if you leave the bleach on for a long time!
The signs for a chemical burn are itching, discoloration of the skin, a burning sensation or a cracked/bleeding scalp.What will happen to my skin and hair if I get a chemical burn?
The skin on your scalp, as I said before, might be itchy or lighter in colour, it might also burn or sting a lot. If you have a more extreme case, your scalp could split, bleed or get infected, so you might have scabs or pus or blisters.
If you don't treat it correctly, you might get an infection or experience permanent damage. The chemicals could also enter your bloodstream.
You might also get scar tissue on your scalp, in this case, you will most likely end up with a bald patch because the hair can't grow on scar tissue. If your hair does grow out, it could grow out in a different colour or still be very damaged. How can I cure it?
You should seek medical help immediately. Your doctor will most likely give you a burn ointment, and it's important to use it as much as your doctor says to do, because chemical burns can be worse and possibly more dangerous than actual burns!
You should obviously stay away from any form of bleach (straight bleaching, bleach bathing, permanent and most semi-permanent box dyes) for a long time, and don't use any other dyes or irritating products (e.g. hairspray) until it's healed.How do I prevent it?
You should never bleach hair that is freshly washed - at least 2 days unwashed should be a minimum! Also, using coconut oil before a bleach will help protect your scalp.
Don't use a bleach that is too strong, don't overprocess your hair and never leave it on for more than the time stated on the package!
Also, you should make sure that your hairdresser (if you don't bleach your own hair) uses the correct volume and doesn't leave it on for too long - a hairdresser gave me a chemical burn once, and the same thing happened to other members on here!
But I don't want to scare anyone on here into never bleaching again - if you follow the correct method, you will be fine!