Bleached Knots or Unbleached Knots

What to choose – Bleached Knots or Unbleached Knots?

Written by

Adam Bennett


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Alright, let’s talk about this never-ending debate – bleached knots versus unbleached knots for your hair replacement system.
Let me tell you, I’ve been there. A few years ago, I explored non-surgical hair replacement systems to add volume and length to my hair. Quite literally, I spent hours researching different systems, but when it came to knots, I was completely lost. Bleached? Unbleached? What’s the difference? I thought.
Well, the difference can make all the time in the world when it comes to achieving that “natural look”.
In this blog, we’ll understand everything about bleached knots vs unbleached knots that ultimately leads you to decide which option is best for you and your hair replacement journey. Get ready to choose the hair system that gives you the confidence to rock your new look!

What is the difference between bleached knots and unbleached knots?

unbleached knots and bleached knots before after

Both these types of knots for hair systems come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages while highlighting the differences. So, let us understand how both of these knots are making a difference!

What are Bleached Knots?

Bleaching of the knots is a process that is used to make the knots of the hair system much lighter than the original colour.
Bleached knots refer to a specific method used to make the base of a wig or hair system appear more natural.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Bleached Knots

Advantages –

1. Realistic Appearance

Smooth Integration: Bleached knots blend smoothly with the scalp, giving the illusion that the hair grows naturally from your scalp. This is particularly advantageous for those seeking an undetectable hair system.
Natural Hairline: The major advantage it has is that it lightens up the knots where the hairline starts to look more realistic, which is important for styles that expose the hairline. 

2. Versatility

Suitable for Lighter Hair Colours: Bleached knots wigs are especially beneficial for lighter hair colours, where dark knots would be more exposed. This makes this bleaching technique versatile for various hair colours and styles.
Multiple Styling Options: With the bleaching technique, you will get a more natural-looking base that will give you greater flexibility in styling the hair system without worrying about visible knots.

3. Increased Confidence:

Exquisite Appeal: You will get the exquisite appeal of a hair system with bleached knots that can ultimately boost your confidence, knowing your hair looks natural and undetectable.
Social Confidence: Wearers may feel more comfortable in social gatherings, free from concerns about their hair system being noticed. Walk as if you own the place! 
Disadvantages –

1. Potential Damage

Weakening of knots: Chances are the bleaching process can weaken the knots, making them prone to heavy breakage and shedding, and this is the risk that is fairly associated with bleaching. 
Integrity of hair: Over-bleaching can directly lead to damage, which further leads the hair towards dryness, brittleness, and hair loss from the base as well. 

2. Maintenance and Longevity

On-Time Touch-ups: Bleached knots will ask for on-time touch-ups to maintain their lightened look, adding to the maintenance routine of the hair system.
Reduced Durability: As we know, bleaching knots on a wig weakens the overall durability of the hair system, asking for more frequent replacements or repairs.

3. Complexity and Skill Requiremen

Application Skill: If you do not possess the skill to apply the bleach to the hair system, then chances are you may end up damaging your hair system, as it needs a certain level of skill and experience to achieve the desired results. But if you still want to bleach your hair system, you can refer to the instructions discussed on Reddit. 
Professional Costs: Now, if you are not professional, then you need an expert’s help. Again, bleaching services can add to the cost of maintaining the hair system, making it a more expensive option over time.

4. Colour Mismatch Risk

Scalp Replication: Getting that perfect colour that matches between the bleached knots and the scalp can be tough. A mismatch can result in an unnatural appearance, disappointing the purpose of the bleaching.
Fades over time: There have been cases where the bleached knots can fade or discolour after time, requiring additional products or processes to maintain the desired look.

5. Sensitivity Concerns

Scalp Irritation: Due to the chemicals present in the bleach, it can irritate the wearer’s scalp.  This creates problems for those who have sensitive skin. This can lead to discomfort and potential allergic reactions.
Environmental Factors: Exposure to sunlight and chlorine water can exaggerate the fading and weakening of bleached knots, necessitating extra care and protection.

What are Unbleached Knots?

Unbleached knots are the original, undisturbed knots tied or knotted to the base/ foundation of a wig or hair system. These knots haven’t gone through any chemical lightning process to change their colour.

Advantages & Disadvantages Unbleached Knots

Advantages –
Excellent Durability: Unbleached knots remain in their natural & darker state. No chemicals are used on the unbleached knots. This lack of chemical processing makes them more durable and resistant to breakage or weakening compared to their bleached knots.
Low on Maintenance: Since they haven’t come into contact with bleaching, unbleached knots require less care. You won’t need to worry about harsh chemicals damaging the hair strands tied to the knots.
Cost-Effective Choice: Unbleached knots are often found in wigs or hair systems at a slightly lower price. This can be a deciding factor for those who are looking for something that is on budget. 
Subtlety for Darker Hair: Unbleached knots might offer significant originality if you have dark hair and a darker scalp tone. The contrast between the knots and your scalp may be less noticeable.
Suitable for Specific Styles: Unbleached knots can be a good option for hairstyles that don’t require parting or where the hairline might be exposed by bangs or head coverings.
Disadvantages –
Concern on Realism: The main concern is the dark colour of unbleached knots, which is clearly noticeable, especially on lighter hair systems or against a lighter scalp tone. This can diminish the illusion of natural hair growth.
Styling Restrictions: It is a fact that the unbleached knots are more visible when parting your hair while limiting your styling options. Parts that expose the lace base can reveal dark knots, reducing the natural look.
Customization Issues: Tinting unbleached knots to match your scalp tone can be tricky. The dark base colour can make it difficult to give you an even and natural-looking blend.
Maintenance Considerations: While unbleached knots are generally more durable, they always ask for extra care to avoid damage. Excessive handling or pulling at the knots can cause them to loosen or break, leading to hair shedding.

Is it necessary to bleach knots?

Bleaching knots is not necessarily important for everyone who is wearing a wig or hair system. It ultimately depends on the level of realism you desire and your hair type. Here is how you can decide;
If you want to achieve an undetectable hairline then bleached knots are highly recommended. They offer a seamless blend between the hair system and your scalp, especially for those with lighter hair or a lighter scalp tone.
Next, if you prioritize a low-maintenance system and handle your wig frequently, unbleached knots might be a better choice as they have a sturdier base, whereas, on the other side, the bleach can weaken the knots over time.
And if your hair system matches your natural hair color closely, unbleached knots might be less noticeable. However, for a stark contrast, bleached knots offer a more natural look.

How do you bleach knots on a wig or hair system?

Things required: Bleach powder, a developer, a mixing bowl, an applicator brush, gloves, aluminium foil, and shampoo.

Step 1 -

Combine bleach powder and developer in the bowl to create a thick, creamy consistency.

Step 2 -

Turn the wig inside out so the lace base is facing up. Protect the hair away from the lace with clips to avoid getting bleach on the strands.

Step 3 -

Using the applicator brush, carefully apply the bleach mixture to the knots on the lace.

Step 4 -

Keep the bleach on for about 15-30 minutes, checking frequently to avoid over-bleaching.

Step 5 -

Rinse the bleach thoroughly with lukewarm water once the knots have lightened to the desired shade. Wash the lace using a shampoo to get done from the bleaching process.

Step 6 -

Apply a deep conditioner to the hair to get moisture and maintain its health.

Step 7 -

Allow the wig to air dry and style as desired.

How to Take care of bleached knots Wig or Hair System?

  • Use a sulfate-free, moisturizing shampoo to wash your hair system. Do not ever scrub the base to prevent loosening the knots.
  • Always use cool water to wash your wig, as hot water can lead to knots and damage the hair.
  • Use a deep conditioner or hair mask to keep the hair hydrated and soft. Try not to apply conditioner to the base to prevent build-up.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner spray to maintain moisture and manageability between washes.
  • Gently pat the wig dry with a towel and allow it to air dry on a wig stand.
  • Be gentle when combing or brushing. Use a wide-tooth comb or a brush designed for wigs to detangle, starting from the ends and working your way up.
  • Use low heat settings on styling tools to avoid damaging the hair and the knots.
  • Periodically check and re-bleach knots if they start to darken or become noticeable again.
  • Store the wig on a wig stand to maintain its shape and prevent tangling.


When deciding between bleached knots and unbleached knots for your wig or hair system, consider the balance between appearance and maintenance. Bleached knots offer a more natural and undetectable hairline, adding to the overall appearance.
However, they require careful maintenance to avoid damage and ensure longevity. Unbleached knots, while less realistic, are more durable and require less upkeep. Ultimately, your choice should match with your lifestyle to commit to regular maintenance.
For expert advice and hair replacement solutions, visit IHS Hair Replacement London, where our specialists can help you make the best decision for your needs.

Author Profile

Adam Bennett

Adam Bennett is a Certified Trichologist at IHS Hair replacement with over 21 years of Unbeatable experience. Throughout his remarkable career, he has successfully completed an impressive 8000 hair replacement systems. Adam is dedicated to transforming lives and boosting self-confidence so that one can live with all the pride and confidence. Adam Bennett has served over 800 satisfied clients and still-counting, while helping them get their natural appearance and emotions back with all the pride and confidence.

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