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Bleaching Hair with Peroxide: Is It Safe?
As fun and dramatic it is to experiment with new hair colors, the ingredients or compounds you use to get a DIY makeover might not always be the safest.
Hydrogen peroxide is one such chemical that effectively lightens darker hair colors and is found in medical and grocery stores and hair dyes.
So, before you start bleaching hair with peroxide, it’s important to understand how it works and whether it has any major side effects.
In this article, we will flesh out the mechanisms of this chemical, go into detail about its harmful impact on the hair, and suggest natural remedies that can offset these side effects to keep your strands as healthy and robust as ever.
Table of Contents:
- How does hydrogen peroxide work?
- Potential Side Effects of Peroxide on Hair
- Bleaching Hair with Peroxide: A Tutorial
- What natural products can you use to keep your hair healthy?
How does hydrogen peroxide work?
Hydrogen peroxide is essentially a colorless oxidizing agent popular for its antiviral and antibacterial uses on wounds. However, it has also emerged as a solution for lightening hair and even fighting acne.
You can use the chemical on its own or mix it with blonde dyes to get the desired color, which is typically a lighter shade.
The agent works by entering the innermost part of the hair, i.e., the cortex, and combining it with the natural pigment to alter the color.
Potential Side Effects of Peroxide on Hair
While you are advised to use hydrogen peroxide at the low concentration of 3 to 9 percent, it can still lead to certain side effects like:
Dyeing your hair with peroxide can create irritating sensations on the scalp or around the hairline, especially if you have sensitive skin.
One way to prevent this is to keep the concentration low and reduce the time of exposure.
Using peroxide alone can build up some oxidative stress within the scalp, leading to damage and hair loss.
However, mixing it with other chemicals or dyes can make you feel itchy and result in a pattern of dry skin and rashes.
You can avoid this by treating your hair to vitamin E products, as it has the ability to reduce oxidative stress and preserve your scalp’s protective layer.
Bleaching with peroxide can also have adverse effects on the hair cuticle and cause split ends or too much frizz.
Therefore, while it’s not 100% safe, most of the damage can be prevented with nourishing products like essential oils, shampoos, leave-in masks, and deep conditioners.
Bleaching Hair with Peroxide: A Tutorial
Why spend a fortune at the salon to dye your hair a fun color when you can do it at home?
- Wash and air-dry your hair thoroughly with a hydrating shampoo and conditioner.
- Do a patch test by applying 3% of the peroxide on a specific part of the hair and leaving it on for 30 minutes. If there’s no irritation, you can wash it out and wait for the hair to dry.
- Soak a cotton ball in 3% peroxide and apply it to different sections of the hair, leaving a distance of about one inch from the scalp.
- Wrap each section in aluminum foil. Once done with all the sections, leave it for 30-45 minutes.
Make sure not to wash the hair too often after bleaching, as it can lead to excessive dryness or damage.
What natural products can you use to keep your hair healthy?
The Activated Charcoal & Keratin Shampoo from WOW is an effective remedy for bleached hair because it contains keratin that fortifies strands and keeps them from breaking. With the activated charcoal working to remove dirt, impurities, and oil, you’ll be left with hair that is soft, shiny, and squeaky clean. In addition to keratin and charcoal, the shampoo is also infused with the powerful blend of jojoba, sweet almond, and argan oil to replenish any moisture that the bleach might have stripped. You can use it 1-2 times a week with lukewarm or cold water to preserve the hair color.
- This Pack of Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Coconut + Avocado Oil Conditioner is ideal for those who frequently bleach their hair with hydrogen peroxide. Since lightening your hair has the potential to damage your cuticles and result in effects like breakage or frizzy ends, the hydrating properties of virgin coconut and avocado oil are essential to retaining natural moisture. The apple cider vinegar formula is free from harsh ingredients like parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, and even silicones, so you get a 100% ethically sourced and chemical-free combination to take care of the overall health of dyed hair.
- If frizz taming is the aim, WOW’s 10-in-1 Hair Revitalizer Spray is an excellent treatment as well as a precaution to use before you soak your hair in bleach. While the extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil deliver intense moisture to revitalize dull, lifeless strands, the vitamin E and bhringraj extract strengthen the scalp to prevent breakage and serve as natural antioxidants. It also gives you the benefits of shea butter and soy protein, which are rich conditioning agents with the ability to absorb protein faster and smoothen out your locks.
Now that you have all the information you need to bleach your hair safely with peroxide, do make sure to take extra precautions beforehand and use the chemical in the right concentration.
It’s important to first do a patch test and speak to a doctor in case you experience irritation on the scalp or skin. Moisturizing with nourishing conditioners and serums can help offset some of the side effects and give your hair all the flair without much of the damage.