Bleach Burn on Scalp – Treatment for Irritation, Blisters, & Scabs

The problem with wanting to look your best is that you sometimes put yourself in embarrassing and painful situations. Being beautiful takes work, and it’s not as easy as some folks may think. Unfortunately, some pay the price for a new look, such as a bleach burn on the scalp.

How much so, depends on the original hair color and how much peroxide the hair stylist uses. Not only that but how close the dye comes in contact with the scalp is equally as important. Getting too close to the scalp means it will burn like crazy.

The good news is there are methods for controlling the level of pain. Refrain from washing the hair a couple of days before changing colors. Let the hair’s natural oils help protect the scalp and form barriers. Bleach will open the hair follicles, plus it will dry out the hair as well.

Scalp burn is a possibility when bleaching the hair. It will take a couple of weeks for the hair cuticles to close. Once this happens, the hair will become more manageable. Bleaching will make strands frizzy, probably more so than was previously the case. There are ways to add color to your hair without bleaching.

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Bleach Burns on Scalp


People sometimes want a change, and this could mean changing the hair color, but it shouldn’t burn like fire. If a woman is on her menstrual cycle, she should avoid getting her hair bleached.  The scalp is sensitive during menstruation and can become overly dry.

If the scalp burns while bleaching it, say something to the stylist. It’s not supposed to make anyone feel uncomfortable to the point they feel like screaming. The stylist should stop at this time and rinse the bleach out of the hair. Treat the scalp burns with aloe.

Use alternatives to heated styling tools. This will only increase the intensity of the allergic reaction. Don’t use flat irons or blow dryers as this will irritate the scalp.  Please, do not scratch or pick at the scalp. This will make conditions worse.

The red patches can turn into sores, and they can get infected. Not only on the scalp but the face as well. Stubborn patches or blisters may require the assistance of a doctor or dermatologist.  If medicated shampoos don’t work, see your physician soon.


Bleaching the hair can have several adverse effects on the scalp. It’s possible that a person gets burned after using coloring the hair. Most people are careful. However, there aren’t any guarantees because of the harsh nature of the chemicals used in the bleach.

Sometimes, scabs will form after the application.  In this case, don’t shampoo the hair for at least a few days and refrain from putting more chemicals on the hair.  Allow the natural oils to moisturize the scalp, and in turn, the scabs will fall out while brushing the hair.

Scabs are itchy and annoying. The itching and scratching make things worse, and the chances of developing an infection are higher the more a person scratches. Often, scabs go away by themselves or with the help of OTC medications.

However, if the infection is spreading to other areas of the body, contact a dermatologist or the primary physician. The medical examiner should be able to pinpoint the cause of the scabs on scalp. People who have psoriasis and eczema run the risk of itching so bad they scratch until they bleed. A person could have psoriasis and have red patches. The odds are high that when the healing begins, scabs form on the scalp.

Weeping Scalp

Take medication like ibuprofen if the scalp is weeping or leaking out fluid. Also, the scalp should be kept clean to help keep the scalp from scabbing.

  • Take a bowl of milk mixed with ice and pour the mixture over the entire head of hair.
  • Leave it on the scalp for approximately three minutes or so and then repeat the process a few times. When the time comes, rinse the (milk) mask out using cool water and follow up with a conditioner containing zinc pyrithione.
  • Now, comb through and pull hair back to make a ponytail. Leave the conditioner in for the day and then wash it out. Because of the milk protein and the cooling effects of the mixture, it should help heal the scalp.
  • Try not to scratch as it will do more harm than it will good. It will undoubtedly delay the healing process. Picking at the scalp will put you at risk to lose more strands than necessary.

If the pus is yellow or gray, this is a sure sign of an infection. When the white blood cells attempt to destroy bacteria from the infection, it forms a pus-like fluid that comes with a foul smell. Unfortunately, green seepage means a bad infection.

Chemical Burns and Peroxide

It’s likely that you’ve experienced hair loss and deep burns to the skin if they bleach their hair and have an allergic reaction to it. Chemical burns on a sensitive scalp feel like having a significant skin burn. They may itch and develop dry patches.

The areas may are crusty patches that may appear black, brown, yellowish or reddish.

However, minor irritation and redness are common among those who dye their hair, but a severe case is not so typical.

When this happens, the hair is almost certain to fall out from the roots. The likelihood of having scar tissue increases. A person can scratch their scalp until the patches start to bleed, making the infection even more painful and overall just dreadful to deal with.

Having said this, it’s important for anyone to seek medical attention if the burns persist over the next few days.

How to Stop Bleach Burning the Scalp

If you want to bleach their hair, use a brand which doesn’t contain Paraphenylenediamine it in. This is the stuff that initiates dry scalp. Another thing that will harm the scalp is adding heat to a sore or burning scalp.

Stylists don’t recommend using heated styling tools with a lightener at all, but especially when experiencing redness or soreness. Furthermore, they make it very clear that washing the hair before bleaching is definitely a no-no.

Washing the hair will strip away the natural scalp oil that protects the roots of the hair. However, keeping the scalp and hair completely moisturized will help after the bleach has been put in. There are ways to stop the scalp from burning.  Let’s look at them.

A scalp burn is like any other burn on the skin, so treating it will be similar to a regular burn. In other words, aloe vera will help soothe the scalp skin. If there’s a plant available, use it. The purest form of aloe is better. If there isn’t a plant available, try an organic aloe vera gel off the shelves.

Stop washing the hair for a few days and let the scalp restore its natural oils. Rinse the hair with cool water, and this will remove any buildup. Don’t shampoo the hair, though. Help to keep moisture in the scalp by wearing a shower cap while taking a bath.

Stress has a way of effecting every single body part a person has. Wear protective hairstyles at this point and refrain from using a rubber band to tie the hair. This may tug on the hair and even break a few strands.

How Long Does it Take for a Scalp Burn to Heal?

It’s difficult to pinpoint a set number of days that the scalp will heal. No two people are the same. Therefore, no two results are the same either. This goes for hair lightening, hairstyles, and even DIY home remedies.

The possibility of something more serious going on is slim. However, if conditions do not improve, see a dermatologist. With this in mind, if the scalp burning won’t go away, there could be another underlying issue why the burning sensations won’t go away.

Burns are typically associated with blisters, hair loss, and possibly permanent damage or scarring. The burning should only last a couple of days on a typical scalp.

Healing burns after bleaching the hair at home


Home Remedies for Bleach Burn on Scalp

Users know that the best medicine is sometimes made at home. If the condition is to be improved, getting rid of hair care products containing harmful chemicals will increase chances of success. Keep the hair hydrated so that it can be restored to its natural state.


If the scabs only pop up in the winter, there is a chance a humidifier will help add moisture to the hair. Remember, hydration is imperative to the total body and that includes the scalp, too.

Olive and Coconut Oils

Use coconut and olive oil when treating a crusty scab.  Massage coconut oil into the scalp, but be gentle. Also, try heating the olive oil and leaving it on the hair for about 10 minutes and rinse out. The oil can be left in overnight. However, wash it away first thing the next day.

Why does my scalp weep after bleaching?

Apple Cider Vinegar

The uses for apple cider vinegar are too numerous to name. Nonetheless, one of the great things about the vinegar is it will help reduce dry scalp and wipe out bacteria that has accumulated in the pores.

Vinegar makes the scabs softer and easier to get rid of. Take equal measures of vinegar and water and apply it directly on the scalp. Leave this on for roughly 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. It should restore the hair and the natural balance of oils in the hair so it shines.

Scalp burns or sores are painful and embarrassing conditions to have, however, no one is alone. Plenty of people suffer from scalp burns. However, the allergic reaction to a hair dye should not be severe.

The experts recommend getting help professionally if the patches don’t go away on their own. Scalp burn should not last for more than a couple of days. Anything longer would require the attention of a medical examiner.

Scalp burn or sores can be highly intense conditions to deal with. With the itching and scratching, the situation could get nasty. If it lasts for too long, there is a great chance the scabs will get infected. So remember to avoid harmful hair care products, do a strand test before applying cosmetics and hair dyes and keep the hair away from heated styling tools.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.