Mum loses hair in clumps after bleaching and using relaxer meant for black hair

A mum-of-three has revealed how she cried for three days after a home bleaching disaster ‘melted’ her hair and made it fall out in clumps.

Eden Gilliam, 26, decided to dye her hair blonde after years of having dark hair.

After visiting a haircare shop in Tennessee, Eden says she was advised to buy bleach and a hair relaxant – a cream generally used for ‘relaxing’ tight, natural curls.

When she got home, Eden bleached her hair before putting on the treatment – but claims the combination left her locks ‘melting to her head’.

The stay-at-home mum then decided to wash it all off but as she ran her hands through her hair, it fell out in clumps.

She expressed the horror at watching her once luscious locks go from being healthy and long to disintegrating in her hands within minutes.

Eden later learned that the products may be suitable to ‘more resistant’ African-American hair.

Now her hair is short and coarse, so Eden has had to resort to wearing wigs sometimes.

She is now urging other women to visit salons to get their hair dyed and hopes to prove home bleaching is not worth the risk.

‘I was running my hands through my hair and the one thing I can compare it to is in movies when chemo patients are in the shower and their hair keeps coming out,’ she explained.

‘The more I brushed my hand through it, the more it was hitting the shower floor.

‘It’s the hardest thing. I went through a phase where I cried for three days solid. It’s so depressing.’

The mum is a natural blonde but dyed it black some years ago. In that time she regularly oiled it and grew it out, keeping it healthy.

When the hair disaster happened, Eden decided to call her hairdresser friend Kristen who helped take it all off.

‘Kristen helped me wash all the stuff out, but my hair was so melted it was almost to my scalp. It just curled up and frizzed to my scalp.

‘I wasn’t supposed to mix [the bleach and relaxant]. She called the lady from the haircare shop, who denied ever selling them to me.’

But kindly enough, Eden has now been inundated with offers of help, with her old school even offering to donate money for a wig.

Eden’s children also miss their mum’s old locks.

‘My kids can’t get used to it. They loved my long hair and always want to run their hands through it but they can’t now.

‘I don’t even want it touched, it’s awfully frizzy and hard to deal with right now. You really can’t style it – especially being as short as it is.’

Kristen added: ‘It was the mixing of chemicals. The relaxer after bleach is what melted it but the bleach over box colour had already damaged it.

‘Box colour is rough on your hair if you try to remove it because it contains metallic salts which doesn’t mix well with bleach.

‘Relaxers are mainly for African American hair which is much more resistant than Caucasian hair. It was just too much for her hair to handle.

‘Anyone with training would have known not to sell someone with bleached hair a relaxer.’

Now Eden wants to pass on a message to women considering DIY hair treatment.

‘I’d urge people not to bleach their hair at home. Wait until you can get help.

‘At least take a step back and know what you’re getting into – or go to a salon. It’ll be worth it in the end.’

Please speak to a professional before attempting any risky hair treatments.

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