"Is there any way to avoid breakage when bleaching your hair?"

Lais Koelle.

Yep, it’s someone’s actual job to make your hair the very best it can be… through science. Sounds cool, sounds complicated and sounds so wonderfully beauty-geeky that we knew you’d have questions. We sat down with Lais Koelle, Pantene Senior Scientist, and put a few questions (given to us by you, our readers).

1. How do you stop greasy roots? – Heather.

Sebum, AKA oil, is our body’s natural way of lubricating our scalp and hair. Our glands are constantly producing it – it’s normal to make between one and two grams of oil a day.

But, if you’ve got super straight hair, sebum will slide down your hair shafts faster, giving you the appearance of greasy roots.

The simple way to fix greasy roots is to choose the right shampoo for your scalp and hair type and condition, then wash with it regularly.

It’s also important that you thoroughly rinse your hair, since over conditioning can also make hair appear greasy. Rinsing properly, and not using too much conditioner will stop the build up of product in your hair, which can amplify the appearance of greasy roots.  Dry shampoos are also a great quick fix for overly oily roots.

2. Is there any way to avoid breakage when bleaching your hair? – Casey.

There are definite ways to give your bleached hair extra protection from breakage – the most important thing is to ensure you use good quality products and always exclusively use a shampoo, conditioner and treatment suitable for coloured hair. The New Pantene, for example, has an optimal blend in the Pro-V formula and keratin damage blockers that will nourish and protect your hair to deliver up to 100% damage protection with lightweight feel.

Other ways to protect your hair from breakages include avoiding overheating your hair with appliances, too much sun exposure, and overexposure to chlorine and salt water. This is certainly an issue in Australia, especially as we lead into summer. The climate and our love of outdoor activities means our hair is constantly put through damaging environments.


Another important thing specifically for darker hair: if you want to go for a lighter color, do it gradually. Going from black hair to blonde for example should not be done at once. To do this safely, it can take some time, a skilled professional that you can trust, very good quality products, and appropriate care for the colored hair.

3. Why do some hair colours last so much longer than others? Which chemicals should I avoid if I have colour treated hair? - Kate.

There are different types of hair colours. Dyes are known as permanent, semi-permanent or demi-permanent depending on how long they remain in the hair. It all depends on the amount of alkalizer (a chemical ingredient that opens the hair cuticles) and the amount of peroxide used. The higher the concentrations, the longer the colour will stay inside the hair.

It also depends on the quality of the hair colour. For example, even if a colour is called ‘permanent’, it might contain direct pigments. Direct pigments sit on the hair, rather than penetrating into it, so they do not last as long. When a pigment can penetrate the hair, it will remain there wash after wash.

More than chemicals to avoid, it is important to take care of the colour treated hair with the right shampoo and treatment. Look out for formulations specifically for coloured hair. It also comes back to avoiding too much sun exposure, over-heating with appliances, and over exposure to chlorine and salt water, etc.

Retaining beautiful colour isn’t always easy but if you protect your hair against damage, it is possible!

What else have you learnt about keeping hair healthy from the experts?