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How to safely bleach your hair with hydrogen peroxide

The first time I dyed my hair, I used hydrogen peroxide. I was an ignorant college student and I just walked into a supermarket, bought the liquid, and went home and applied it. The result was dry blonde hair, which started breaking in the process. Using hydrogen peroxide to bleach hair is affordable and can give great results but only if used well.

The following steps will help you bleach your hair safely with hydrogen peroxide:

Always have an expert bleach your hair, especially if it is weak or over-processed. This way, it is done with extra care and you achieve the right colour. If you have to do your hair at home, ensure it is healthy and that the peroxide is only three per cent; anything stronger than this will damage your hair.

You will need: Plastic gloves, a towel, clarifying shampoo, deep conditioner, a comb, three per cent hydrogen peroxide, a bowl, hair clips to section the hair, a small brush or toothbrush to apply peroxide and aluminium foil for highlights.

Shampoo, rinse and dry your hair. Apply the conditioner; let it stay for a few minutes before you comb it through. Rinse off the conditioner with lukewarm water then dry it. Pour the peroxide into the spray bottle, then wear the gloves. Put a towel on your shoulder ensuring it covers your neck. You can do a strand test by pulling one strand away from the rest, applying the peroxide on it and letting it stay on for a few minutes. The longer the peroxide stays on the hair, the lighter it becomes. This will help you adjust the time to get the shade you desire.

• Dip the toothbrush into the bowl of hydrogen peroxide and apply it on the areas you want bleached. Apply some heat on your hair to make it process faster although this is optional.

• After it gets the shade you like, rinse it off with cold water. This will reduce the tendency of the peroxide drying the hair.

After the bleach: Keep your hair healthy. Treat it with hot oil at least twice a week since peroxide has a tendency to dry the hair. Do not wash your hair frequently as shampooing it strips it of natural oils, which it so much deserves now.

Caution: Peroxide should never come into contact with your face or skin. Prior to bleaching your hair with peroxide, avoid any hair treatment or extra chemicals like gels.

Photo: thirstyroots.com


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