Mother cried for three days after home bleaching disaster ‘melted’ her hair causing it to fall out

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A mum-of-three ‘cried for three days’ after a home bleaching disaster left her hair ‘melted to her scalp’ and falling out in her hands.

Eden Gilliam, 26, decided to dye her hair blonde two weeks ago after years of being brunette.

Upon visiting a hair care shop in Tennessee, she claims she was advised to buy bleach and a hair ‘relaxant’.

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

Eden Gilliam, 26, pictured before, decided to dye her hair blonde two weeks ago after years of being brunette

Eden Gilliam, 26, pictured before, decided to dye her hair blonde two weeks ago after years of being brunette

When she returned home from the hair shop, Eden bleached her hair before putting on the hair relaxant treatment - and claims the combination left her once beautiful locks 'melting to her head'

When she returned home from the hair shop, Eden bleached her hair before putting on the hair relaxant treatment – and claims the combination left her once beautiful locks ‘melting to her head’

Jumping in the shower, the stay-at-home mum frantically washed the treatment out, but as she ran her hands through her hair, it fell out in clumps around her feet.

Eden claims her once luscious locks changed from being ‘really long’ and healthy, to an irreparable mess within minutes, disintegrating in her hands.

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.

Eden, from Monteagle in Tennessee, said: ‘It looked like my hair had melted to my head. It was coming out in clumps.

Eden claims her once luscious locks changed from being 'really long' and healthy, to an irreparable mess within minutes

Eden claims her once luscious locks changed from being ‘really long’ and healthy, to an irreparable mess within minutes

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

Eden 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 immediately panicked and hopped in the shower. Handfuls of it were coming out.

‘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.

‘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.

‘My hair couldn’t handle it anymore. The bleach had already damaged it so much, then when I put the treatment on it made it worse.’

Eden told how handfuls of her hair came out in the shower and likened it to 'chemo patients in the movies'

Eden told how handfuls of her hair came out in the shower and likened it to ‘chemo patients in the movies’

Eden, who is naturally blonde, decided to give herself a makeover after years of looking after her kids.

She claims she was advised to use the relaxer by a hair care shop advisor but later learned the treatment is usually used on ‘more resistant’ African-American hair.

Eden said: ‘[After it went wrong] I called my friend Kristen asking, “What can I do?”

‘She said, “Eden, there’s nothing you can do. It’s gone. The best thing to do is cut it and hope it repairs”.

‘I’m naturally a blonde anyway and a few years ago I dyed my hair brown. After having a few kids, I decided to go back to blonde hair.

Eden, who is naturally blonde, decided to give herself a makeover after years of looking after her kids. Pictured before the dye incident with her partner Ian Woodlee, 27, and their sons Slayter, six, and Knoxton, three

Eden, who is naturally blonde, decided to give herself a makeover after years of looking after her kids. Pictured before the dye incident with her partner Ian Woodlee, 27, and their sons Slayter, six, and Knoxton, three

‘I went to a hair care shop and they’d given me bleach and a treatment for it. That’s the first time I’d dyed it in years.

‘I had really long hair too. It was past my ribs and I’d been growing it for years.

‘I treated my hair so well. I would oil it and take care of it every day. I never put hot irons on it.

‘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.

‘She got me some oils and said not to do anything else to it but condition it. If I could avoid washing it, don’t wash it at all.

Eden, pictured with Ian, claims she was advised to use the relaxer by a hair care shop advisor but later learned the treatment is usually used on 'more resistant' African-American hair

Eden, pictured with Ian, claims she was advised to use the relaxer by a hair care shop advisor but later learned the treatment is usually used on ‘more resistant’ African-American hair

The mother-of-three, pictured with partner Ian wearing a wig, says she keeps leaving coconut oil on her hair hoping to revive it

The mother-of-three, pictured with partner Ian wearing a wig, says she keeps leaving coconut oil on her hair hoping to revive it

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

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

Her ‘coarse’ hair now goes barely past her ears and her three children, aged between one and five-years-old, miss playing with it before bedtime.

Eden said: ‘It’s really short right now. It probably goes down a little past my ears.

‘I still can’t do anything with it because it’s so fraught and coarse. I keep leaving coconut oil on it hoping to bring it back.

Eden, pictured with one-year-old Scottlyn, has now been inundated with offers of help, with her old school even offering to donate money for a wig

Eden, pictured with one-year-old Scottlyn, has now been inundated with offers of help, with her old school even offering to donate money for a wig

‘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.

‘It stays so greasy on my head all the time that you really can’t style it – especially being as short as it is.

‘People have been very nice. I’ve been sent in wigs. The school I went to years ago saw my post and wanted to send money so I could get a wig.

‘I’m going to try some wigs, but it’s a case of leaving it short really. I’d urge people not to bleach their hair at home. Wait until you can get help.

Pictured wearing one of the wigs she bought after the bleaching incident, Eden says she struggles to style her own hair now

Pictured wearing one of the wigs she bought after the bleaching incident, Eden says she struggles to style her own hair now

After seeing her post on Facebook, Eden's old school offered to send her money so she could afford a wig (pictured wearing a wig funded by kind strangers)

After seeing her post on Facebook, Eden’s old school offered to send her money so she could afford a wig (pictured wearing a wig funded by kind strangers)

‘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.’

Eden’s friend and hairdresser, Kristen Rankin, 25, claims the two treatments were a toxic mix that should not be used on Caucasian hair.

Kristen, also from Tennessee, said: ‘I feel terrible for her. [It was the] mixing of chemicals. The relaxer after bleach is what melted it but the bleach over box colour had already damaged it.

Eden, pictured with her son Slayter trying on new wigs, says her natural hair is now awfully frizzy and hard to deal with

Eden, pictured with her son Slayter trying on new wigs, says her natural hair is now awfully frizzy and hard to deal with

‘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.’

Celebrity hair experts reveal how to avoid bleaching disasters – and what to do if you experience one 

By Charlie Lankston for DailyMail.com

Bleaching hair in order to get the perfect blonde shade can be a tricky process if you aren’t in the hands of a true professional who boasts years of experience.

But thankfully some of the world’s most seasoned hair experts are now offering up their thoughts on exactly how to avoid a dye disaster – and what to do if you are unlucky enough to experience one.

‘Platinum hair portrays the image of glamour and edginess, but it comes with several risks for imperfect results and damage,’ Matrix Celebrity Colorist George Papanikolas told DailyMail.com. 

According to George however, there are several ways to ensure that the hair stays healthy even while be subjected to such a harsh chemical as bleach. 

‘The best results come when you are starting with healthy virgin hair,’ he explained. ‘It’s really important for the stylist to stay a half inch off the regrowth and lighten the hair length first, then go back to do the 1/2 in from the scalp. The heat from the scalp will lighten the hair faster. You only go back and do the regrowth at the very end to get to even color.’

For those whose hair has been previously highlighted, attempting to create a uniform blonde color is not as easy as some might think, with George revealing that there is a lot of potential for a multi-colored end result.  

Get it right: Matrix Celebrity Colorist George Papanikolas told DailyMail.com that it is 'really challenging' to give highlighted hair one uniform platinum shade

Get it right: Matrix Celebrity Colorist George Papanikolas told DailyMail.com that it is ‘really challenging’ to give highlighted hair one uniform platinum shade

‘If the hair has been previously highlighted, then it’s usually a combination of light and dark pieces which need to be evenly lightened to create a uniform platinum look,’ he said. ‘This can be really challenging and is not really recommended as the potential for damage and uneven tone is very high..

‘Applying a platinum toner on hair that is not evenly lightened will take differently. White pieces will take on a violet tone where yellow pieces will take on a different color.

‘Since toners are a very sheer delicate hue they tend to fade very quickly, so it’s very important for home care to include a Violet based shampoo like Matrix Total Results So Silver. Incorporating the violet toning mask once a week will give a heavier duty boost of violet pigment at home to neutralize any unwanted yellow tones. Five minutes is usually sufficient for most people but if you have a lot of yellow you can leave it on longer.’

In a previous interview with DailyMail.com, A-list color experts Rita Hazan – who takes care of A-listers like Beyonce and Madonna – and Sharon Dorram – who has dyed the locks of a host of stars including Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan – shared their top tips for avoiding dye disasters, particularly when it comes to bleaching the locks.

Both women agreed that caution should be taken when using bleach, with Rita noting that it is a ‘harsh chemical’ that can cause serious damage when not being used correctly.

‘[Dyeing hair blonde is not an easy process, bleach is a very harsh chemical that needs a trained eye and a skilled hand,’ she said. ‘There is a safe way to use bleach but you need to know where to start, how to apply it correctly etc. This is not a “slap on your head and pray” moment.’ 

Meanwhile master colorist Sharon, who founded Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger, revealed certain warning signs that people should look out for when working with bleach, explaining: ‘You should never feel or smell your hair burning when doing any sort of color transformation, especially when leaving on your hair for only 20 minutes.’ 

If you are unlucky enough to experience a hair dye disaster, both celebrity hairstylists advised that you seek professional help from someone who is experienced in correcting such damage. 

Expert: Master colorist Sharon Dorram urged anyone who is going to attempt at-home bleaching to do a strand test to see how the product reacts with their hair

Professional: Celebrity colorist Rita Hazan, who has worked with the likes of Madonna and Beyonce, urged people to always visit a salon for such a serious color transformation

Pros: Master colorist Sharon Dorram (left) and celebrity colorist Rita Hazan (right) both shared their top tips for avoiding a bleaching disaster 

‘Stop and run into a salon that is known for corrective color,’ Rita suggested, before noting that most people at this point will have no other option but to cut their hair shorter in order to get rid of the damaged locks. 

Sharon was in complete agreement, and she added that someone in this situation should also ask their hairstylist or colorist to take extra measures to look after the hair that they have been left with.

‘Call the best hair salon you have access to,’ she said. ‘Immediately cut off the damaged hair, or as much as you can, and have them apply a deep restorative conditioning treatment or mask.

‘Ask your colorist to apply a protein-based shampoo and conditioner. I’m love using Milbon’s line of Plarmia shampoo and conditioning treatments on clients with badly damaged hair. Adding it into to color itself will help treat the hair by adding proteins to increase the strength of the shaft.’

However, Sharon notes that the aftercare for this kind of damage cannot end after just one salon appointment, saying: ‘After such an intense chemical exposure, you need to make sure you’re doing weekly at home hair masks or treatments to help the hair more elastic.

‘You should also have a reoccurring trim appointment set up for every 6-8 weeks. Having those maintained trims will help the hair grow quicker so you can remove all of the dead hair.’

Haircare essentials to restore and protect damaged or colored hair 





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