Both my parents were licensed cosmetologists and owned their own full service beauty salon. I grew up working in that salon and learned a thing or two about hair care. One of the things I know for certain is to refrain from using household hydrogen peroxide as a homemade hair lightener. Some articles out there on the internet suggest that you should use it as a cheap hair lightening technique. I am here to tell you otherwise.
It is Not the Same Hydrogen Peroxide Used in Hair Salons
There is a big difference between the hydrogen peroxide found in a first aid kit and the hydrogen peroxide found in a professional hair salon. I know, because I use to order and stock the stuff for my parents’ hair salon. The hydrogen peroxide used in a first aid kit is a much weaker form of hydrogen peroxide than the kind used in professional hair salons. Therefore, it is not going to be as effective at lightening your hair as the type of hydrogen peroxide that a hair stylist would use. In most instances, the kind of hydrogen peroxide in your home has less than 3% of peroxide in it. The hydrogen peroxide used in professional hair salons has 10% or more of peroxide in it. It is categorized by volume. The higher the volume, the stronger the hydrogen peroxide is.
It Opens Your Hair Up to Damage
Hydrogen peroxide serves as a developer in the professional hair dying process and is used in conjunction with other chemicals like coloring. In the professional hair dying process, a developer is designed to lighten the hair and open up the hair cuticle so it can receive the other coloring agents more fully. Therefore, when you douse your hair with household hydrogen peroxide, all you are really doing is opening your hair up to receive damage from the sun and other chemicals like chlorine from your family’s swimming pool or hot tub. It could cause your hair to turn orange, green or some other funky color based on what substances your hair is exposed to while the cuticle is open. I can’t tell you how many women I have seen over the years walk into my parents’ hair salon in tears after using a homemade hydrogen peroxide hair treatment. Most were sporting brittle and broken, green or orange hair at the time. All I can say for certain is that there were many of them. Other women were more fortunate and emerged from their homemade hydrogen peroxide hair experiments with slightly lightened hair and a bad case of split ends. Either way, you are not doing your hair cuticles any favors by soaking them in household hydrogen peroxide. In the long run, you are far better off forking over the $6 to $7 it costs for a box of hair dye from the local pharmacy than you are trying to repair the damage caused by using straight hydrogen peroxide onto your hair.
Hydrogen Peroxide Can Cause Skin and Eye Irritation
Some people may have mild to severe skin irritation when hydrogen peroxide is placed onto their scalp. I have seen people with hydrogen peroxide sensitivity develop everything from mild redness and burning to blistering of the scalp during exposure periods. In addition, if household hydrogen peroxide happens to drip into your eyes during your homemade hair treatment process, it may damage your vision. As such, you should avoid using household hydrogen peroxide onto your hair.
Killeen Gonzalez’s parents are licensed cosmetologists that have owned and operated their own hair salons in both New York and Arizona.
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