Does hydrogen peroxide damage hair?

We are all familiar with permanent hair dyes and have tried various dyes at least once in our lives. Today we are going to look at a common ingredient used in permanent dyes and will discuss its effects on our hair. 

One common question about hydrogen peroxide is – 

Does hydrogen peroxide damage hair?

Hydrogen peroxide does both the function of bleaching and dyeing the hair. Excessive use of this chemical has proved to be damaging to the hair cuticle and cortex. 


What exactly is Hydrogen peroxide?

Originally, Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizer and a bleaching agent. This chemical component has other uses as well. It is also used as an antiseptic, antibacterial agent, and even as an acne reducer.


What does hydrogen peroxide do to hair?

It is a color reducer used in hair dyes to provide permanent color for your hair. Hydrogen peroxide is responsible for removing the natural color of your hair and allows the new dye to settle onto the hair strands.


How to use hydrogen peroxide to lighten hair?

Hydrogen peroxide along with baking soda can be used to lighten your natural hair color. The whole process takes about 30 minutes to give your hair complete effect. 

Here is how you can proceed with the use – 


How does hydrogen peroxide bleach hair?

The hair cuticle is the outermost layer of your hair. During the bleaching process, hydrogen peroxide acts on the natural hair pigments and fades away the color.

While in the dyeing procedure, hydrogen peroxide along with other para dyes, conditioners, and antioxidants, will combine to form a huge molecule that will refuse to pass through the cuticle, thereby leaving a layer of your desired color on the hair. 


How does hydrogen peroxide affect hair?

The process of dyeing and bleaching may appear harmless with few occasional applications. however, over time the process will damage the hair strands, making them wear out and increasing the formation of pores. 


Here are some of the serious effects of hydrogen peroxide on your hair – 


1. Skin inflammation or irritation.


Also known as dermatitis, is a serious consequence of over-use of hydrogen peroxide. When your hair scalp comes in contact with the chemical, it induces some sort of reaction that irritates your skin.

It is accompanied by dryness and an itchy scalp.


2. Hair loss


This is a nightmare to many. Hair dyeing with hydrogen peroxide is a way to forcefully remove the natural hair pigments and make it accept the new molecules of hair color. This affects the hair profoundly and causes mild to severe hair fall.


3. Split ends


You may have heard of this term in shampoo commercials. As mentioned earlier, the outer layer of your hair strand is the most affected when using hydrogen peroxide. Split ends are a sign of cuticle damage.

When hydrogen peroxide penetrates the cuticle in order to permanently change the hair color, it leaves behind the disoriented cuticle, giving split ends.


4. Excessive dryness


Since a lot of pressure is put onto your hair during the use of hydrogen peroxide, the hair loses every natural component present on it. This includes the loss of proteins that protects your hair.


Also, a lot is done to the hair cuticle, which forms the basic structure that holds everything together. Bleaching your hair simply removes the protection and renders the structure weak, giving way for pores, via which too much moisture escapes the hair. This leaves your hair constantly dry.


Does peroxide permanently damage your hair?


Fortunately, hydrogen peroxide does not permanently damage your hair. There are many ways to get back to the natural state of your hair.


Naturally, your hair produces hydrogen peroxide, which is the reason why the hair turns grey as we age. In fact, this chemical is used to defend the hair from microbes and other harm. This is a form of natural bleach. 


How can I bleach my hair at home naturally without hydrogen peroxide?


Using natural ingredients to bleach your hair will give you the same effect as chemical bleaches. 


Some of the ingredients you can use for this purpose are;


  • Lemon juice.
  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Honey.


How do you reverse chemical damage to hair?


Damage caused by hydrogen peroxide can be repaired if you follow the below methods.


1. Restore moisture


Bleaching and dyeing are responsible for the excessive drying of your hair. It releases any moisture that keeps your hair strong and healthy. 


Using natural ingredients can help gain the required moisture;

Aloe vera gel – Aloe vera is a popular moisturizer. It is a great ingredient for damaged, weak hair. Since strong components will further deteriorate such hair, go for this ingredient instead.

Coconut oil – Coconut oil has been used for ages and it is the secret behind healthy and strong hair. This ingredient also promotes hair growth and restores your roots. 

Almond oil – If you are craving that lost shine, then try almond oil for your hair strands. They give you enough moisture, making your hair look thick and luscious. 

Shea butter – This ingredient cools your hair and locks in moisture and prevents dryness.

Jojoba oil – This is a common ingredient found in conditioners. 

HIbiscus- The Hibiscus plant has everything your hair would need. It is known to give your hair a shine and acts as a natural shampoo, removing chemical impurities and restoring the cuticles of your hair



2. Stay away from heat


Your hair needs to stay cool and hydrated in order to recover from the damage. Increased heating in an attempt to straighten hair strands will dry up the scalp and destruct its structure. 


Make sure to avoid hot showers for your hair. Instead of blow-drying, try wrapping your hair in a towel. This is a more healthy way to dry excess water. 


3. Add in the proteins


A lot of hair proteins are lost during the bleaching process. If your hair seems frizzy and looks like dry grass strands, then it is due to the lack of proteins. You will need to feed your hair the right amount of proteins to get it back to its healthy look.

Egg whites – Egg whites are rich in proteins. Apply them to your hair to get the effect. In fact, including them in your diet promotes hair growth and other health benefits. 

Banana – Try a banana hair mask which is a great factor that induces collagen productions. Collagen helps in synthesizing hair proteins and even helps to maintain the natural color of your hair without greying. 

Argan oil – This ingredient is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. If you have trouble with frizziness, use Argan oil.

Honey – We all know honey is great for almost everything. Make sure to include this natural ingredient in your hair care.

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