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Author Topic: Bottle vs. Brush for Root Touch-Up?  (Read 1263 times)  Share 

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Bottle vs. Brush for Root Touch-Up?
« on: 11 Feb 19 / 08:43 PM »
Is it better to use a bottle or a brush for root touch-ups?

My hair is naturally medium brown and Iíve had it bleached platinum blonde for years. My former colorist always used a bottle to touch up my roots. I have them done about every 4 weeks. She always did a great job; she knew what she was doing.

I recently moved to a new area and felt lucky to find a colorist here who did a good job. Well, that colorist moved away and referred me to someone else.

I fear that my new colorist doesnít really know what sheís doing. She started doing my hair a few months ago, and now Iím noticing a lot of breakage around my face.

I talked with my former colorist and asked her opinion. My former colorist told me that using a brush for touch-ups can cause breakage, and thatís why she always used a bottle. She said that people tend to overlap when using a brush. The new colorist told me that the bleach powder she uses is too thick to put in a bottle. When I told my former colorist this, she said that any bleach can be put in a bottle; it just depends on how much peroxide you mix with the bleach.

Is my former colorist correct that using a brush for root touch-ups can cause breakage? Are people more prone to overlap when using a brush? Thanks.

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Re: Bottle vs. Brush for Root Touch-Up?
« Reply #1 on: 21 Feb 19 / 01:32 PM »
i wouldnt really say it is what causes the breakage but with a brush you probably would overlap more if you arent careful. However, i personally would not use a bottle as you are more likely to get the bleach on your scalp and cause an issue with your skin. If you are only getting your hair bleached with 20 vol, there really shouldnt be an issue of breakage unless you have an underlying problem or weak hair.

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Re: Bottle vs. Brush for Root Touch-Up?
« Reply #2 on: 22 Feb 19 / 01:52 PM »
Thanks. Iíve never had any sort of problems or sensitivity issue when the bleach sits on my roots. I presume some bleach is directly on my scalp during root touch-ups. I have fine hair, but I donít think itís excessively weak, since the breakage problem never really happened before, and Iíve been getting my hair bleached for decades.

Iíve been getting my hair bleached with 20 vol for 30 years. I never before had an issue with breakage when my long-time colorist bleached my hair. I also never had a breakage problem when recent former colorist did my roots, either.

Both of them really knew how to apply bleach without overlapping. (My most recent colorist used a brush, but was very skilled and experienced in her application technique.)

Iíve actually spoken with both of my former colorists and asked for their advice with this problem. Both have guessed that my current colorist is likely overlapping, because thatís really the only reason for my hair to be suddenly breaking off.

They both have advised me to let the new stylist know exactly the problems with breakage that Iím having. (New colorist has only done my hair 3 times, at intervals of 4 weeks.) At my last hair appointment 2 weeks ago, I did point out the breakage to the new colorist and asked her to please make sure she isnít overlapping. Well, after my last appointment I really noticed a LOT of breakage, both at the hairline and throughout my hair. (Scary!) In my experience, there are a lot of stylists who really donít know how to apply bleach properly.

Iím going to speak with the new colorist about this again, at my next appointment. (When hair is suddenly breaking off, AND itís a new stylist applying the bleach, I figure it has to be due to the new coloristís application technique.)

I have had a few other knowledgeable colorists advise me that a bottle should be used to apply the bleach to prevent overlapping, especially when there is only 3-4 weeks of new growth. They say when using a brush it can be very easy to overlap.

So, I think I will ask my new colorist to apply the bleach with a bottle. (I just hope she knows how to use a bottle!) in retrospect, I should have interviewed her BEFORE she started doing my hair and asked her how much experience with bleaching hair she had. But when my last colorist was leaving to move away, I just took her
word for it that this new colorist was good and knew what she was doing.

The scary thing is, how would I even know that my new colorist is overlapping? Unless she was totally careless, it would be hard for me to see it on my own head. Seems the only way Iíd know if she overlapped is by having more breakage after a hair appointment...scary!

I wish that my former colorists were around here, because then they could take a look at how my current stylist is applying the bleach. Then they could also show her the correct way to apply bleach, without overlapping. Iíve even searched YouTube for videos I could send to my current colorist, but itís hard for me to know which videos give good advice for root touch-ups, and which ones give bad advice.

I figure weíve got to change something, to ensure that no more breakage occurs. Maybe applying with a bottle is the answer? This is so tough, trying to teach the new colorist the proper way to apply bleach to roots. Iím not an expert at this; my former colorists were.

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Re: Bottle vs. Brush for Root Touch-Up?
« Reply #3 on: 27 Feb 19 / 04:13 PM »
I've never heard of using a bottle being more accurate than a brush, it's absolutely not the answer and I think it's a red herring. To apply bleach with a bottle, you squeeze a line along the hair and "brush" it down with the nozzle. You could easily overlap just as much if not more than if you painted well with a brush. Whatever tool you are using, it's the technique that counts. 3-4 weeks of new growth should be no trouble given the right technique and products, it's possible to bleach 1-2 weeks of regrowth using a cotton bud if clients are insistent.

Many scalp bleaches are cream or paste instead of powder. They contain more buffers and conditioners to maintain the hair integrity and hurt the scalp less, so this is a good thing if it's too thick to put in a bottle. Bleach should not be mixed to consistency. It should be weighed for accuracy and the manufacturer's directions should be followed for bleach to peroxide ratio. So adding more peroxide is not advised.

If you are getting breakage even after preventing overlap then the bleach is too strong. The peroxide strength should be dropped. Certain bleaches such as Schwarzkopf BlondMe are known for getting clean results, but also being very strong. Other methods to reduce breakage would be the addition of Olaplex, or bleaching on damp or oiled hair.

I'm not sure how much your new colourist would appreciate being told how to do her job when she is the one who is educated, trained and does this for a living. She may find it intrusive or condescending if you are sending her Youtube tutorials, especially since you already said you don't even know which ones are showing good techniques.

You definitely need to tell your new colourist about the breakage problems and the extent of them and if it were me, I would insist that something different is done rather than wait for another round of breakage. Most likely that would be dropping the peroxide strength, using a gentler bleach, or protecting the hair. There will always be some overlap, it's not possible to prevent it entirely and if she has already been told to be more careful and nothing has changed you might be best going to someone else.

Other things that can cause hair to weaken are medications, weight loss and diet changes, pregnancy so make sure you can rule those out.

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Re: Bottle vs. Brush for Root Touch-Up?
« Reply #4 on: 03 Mar 19 / 01:17 PM »
Personally I always prefer to use a brush. I do my own hair and I find it much easier to control the bleach and application when using a brush. If I use bottle, it will make the application uneven and I feel like I have no control of where it goes. In my experience (I am not an expert or a professional) using a bottle only causes more mess and uneven results.

The risk of overlapping is there, wether you use a brush or a bottle. I have overlapped on a rare occasion - especially when I did my own hair the first couple of times. After years of doing it myself I have learned not to overlap with a brush.

The very first time I did my roots in a salon, they used a brush and there was no overlap at all. I have not read everything you wrote, so I do not know the entire situation, but maybe you could change colorist?


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