Lightening Your Hair With Hydrogen Peroxide

December 14, 2009

Woman in towel combing wet blond hairI want to lighten my hair with hydrogen peroxide. Will it dry out my hair, and can I dye it afterward to get the orange out?

By lisa from NV



Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
July 15, 20090 found this helpful
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Yes! Peroxide will turn your hair orange! Maybe not right away, but for sure slowly over time. If your hair is naturally a dark blond you MAY be able to get away with it, but even then, it will most likely turn it orange (& Don't use Sun in either).

Put the lemon juice on in streaks for a more natural look, then sit in the sun. I did this with my 3 year old when she was little. I put lemon juice on her hair in streaks when she played in the sun) & it looked wonderful! She kept her "baby blond hair" a little bit longer. It's best to put the lemon juice on in streaks to get a more natural or "real" look. This doesn't work on dark hair. Only on dark blond, light brown or dishwater blond hair & sometimes on medium brown.

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July 17, 20090 found this helpful
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Always do a "strand test" from two areas of your head: 1) take about thirty hairs from the top off a center part AND 2) take about thirty hairs from behind an ear near the middle of your head but up from the bottom of your scalp about 3-4". Place clear tape around the base of each bunch and mark with up arrow or down arrow for where it came from on your head so you will know how to compare and time whatever you are doing.


(It's a real science so don't get over-confident nor blame those of us who try to advise and warn you, should you be disappointed. Without seeing it, no one can give you anything but guesses based upon their own personal experiences. Although I have a hairdressing license doesn't qualify me as an expert at coloring, nor does a colorist claim to know exactly what to expect nor how long a color will last. Every one's hair is different, period!) : )

It totally depends upon the color of your hair. If light, it will not turn very red. If med to darker, both lemon juice, and peroxide most definitely will. Why? Because the color of hair is made up of varying shades of reds, browns, or blacks, unless grey, white, or artificially "funky".


There is red in the brown and black hair colors. So lightening/bleaching is like removing SOME of whatever color is in each strand, leaving ONLY what amt. of color remains in each strand to live with.

Also, it depends upon what else you have or are doing to your hair. For example: If you have been using different chemicals, oils, conditioners, colors, natural or inorganic "things" you will not be able to accurately "predict" the color you will get.

However, if your hair is natural, virginal without added things ever, and IF you are not on any sort of drugs, or heavy vitamin/mineral supplements, your will have a better chance at predicting/ judging what it is likely to turn out like.
That strand test needs to be done for one hour, but tested for the color you want to achieve every fifteen minutes! Write down when you start, what was your formula, and every time you look to see if the color is where you want it to be shade wise.


Remember that clear peroxide is MUCH weaker than Creme Peroxide from the Beauty Supply or cosmetic dept. The Creme is easier to time and more reliable, but is also more damaging to the hair.

If you have been perming or shampooing with a strong/ cheap shampoo, you will most likely have sections/ bans of varying colors up/down each strand of hair. Realize that the hair grows about 1/2 inch a month, and if you permed last month, for example, that month's 1/2 "growth will react differently than the next month's 1/2" growth if you do not continue with whatever you used LAST month AND do not overlap into THIS month's growth.

Every time you use anything other than filtered water on your hair there is some degree of damage because each strand of hair can only take so much brushing, chemical, shampooing, sunlight, heat, etc.


There are so many factors to consider that this is why hairdressers need to be educated, tested, licensed, and experienced.

The good news is that if you do nothing too harsh
you will have more hair to grow out and replace any damage, unlike if our hair was a wig which is totally destroyed with only one bad thing that happens.

Read all instructions to whatever you use, do not drip the chemicals on anything you like to wear, and
wear gloves even with the strand test. Peroxide reacts faster when in the heat/light, so keep your strand test indoors, but you can then look at it briefly outdoors, noting the time in writing for yourself. Don't be in a rush nor allow distractions. Have excellent lighting. Keep your desires as simple as possible and don't get extreme for your


hair's health.

Remember that you are working with dead hair once it leaves the scalp, as if with fingernails that are dead as they grow beyond the nailbed. You cannot "add life" to hair or nails, only the appearance of "life".

Once you find the formula you like, keep the written information somewhere safe to refer to the next time you color or bleach. Coloring ADDS color, whereas bleaching removes color. A good idea after you reach a color slightly darker than what you really want is to use cheap beer to rinse and set your color, as well as condition it and make it shine, unless you have very dry hair and scalp. In that case use two slightly beaten raw eggs with a tblsp of Mayo and mix well before applying to your dry hair. Let set for 15 ins. and rinse with warm water much longer than usual but not
scrubbing too harshly.

Using Peroxide is not a "dying" process but a "bleaching" process, regardless of natural color. "Dying" is used when referring to coloring with tint.

I do hope you have good luck, that what I have said makes sense. I used Creme Peroxide bleach for nine years when I was young, turning dark brown hair into near platinum, almost ruining my hair for lack of knowledge back then. Frosting, foiling, illuminating, adding streaks is better than adding all over color or bleach from a hair-health standpoint, if the color is acceptable. Ideally, one should learn to be happy with their natural hair color, in my opinion. lol God bless and help you. : )

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February 11, 20130 found this helpful
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I am naturally dishwater blonde and have been dying my hair since I was 12. I'm now 16 and have been almost every common colour out there. Blonde, browns, black and red. I went from black to blonde in a very easy way.

I booked in with my hair dresser who gave me a half head of foils and did a toner. The highlights were perfect and blonde. I go back every 12 weeks to have my half head foils done again. Due to mistreating my hair with all sorts of dyes in the past my hair dresser refuses to redo them every 6 weeks so what I do is buy 9% cream peroxide (pharmacies sell these on their own) and I buy a purple shampoo I use pro voke. I mix these together about 15mls of each and lather into my hair before washing. Leave it for 5-8 minutes and rinse. Make sure you use a really deeply nourishing shampoo and conditioner after because depending on your hair type the peroxide may dry your hair out. I do this once sometimes twice a week and my highlights stay nice and vibrant ready for my 12 week touch up.

I'm attempting to go silver soon and I'll definitely use this trick to help make it lighter! I've been doing this for about 6 months and my hair is still in excellent condition :-) Hope this helps. Good luck!

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3 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 13, 2011

My hair is already blonde but I want the ends to be even lighter. Is it possible for me to use only peroxide on it to make it lighter?

By Blanch


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
May 16, 20110 found this helpful
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The safest and gentlest way to do it is use the 3% volume peroxide you buy in the brown bottle at the pharmacy and mix a 50% peroxide with 50% plain water in a water bottle. Spray your hair after washing it, comb it through and then dry your hair as usual. It will be a gradual lightening but since your hair is already blonde it won't take long before you see the lightening effect.

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October 30, 2019

I dyed my hair dark brown, but I want it lighter. I bought dark blond. But I get orange or yellow tones.

How Does Peroxide Lighten Your Hair? - side by side photo of woman with blonde hair
How Does Peroxide Lighten Your Hair?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
October 30, 20191 found this helpful

This is a bit confusing. Your question is how will peroxide lighten your hair. Then you go on and say you dyed it one color and it was too dark and now you dyed it another color and have orange or yellow tones. If you add peroxide to the hair it will lighten the hair with the heat of a blow dryer or even in the sun. I am not sure what you exactly want to do but this could lighten the hair and give it blond streaks in your hair.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
October 31, 20190 found this helpful

There is a chemical reaction to strip the color from your hair. You are better off going to a salon or beauty school, if finances are an issue. Peroxide gives unpredictable results.

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October 31, 20190 found this helpful

I strongly urge you go to a professional. Mixing different dyes in a short period can cause a chemical response that may damage your hair and even burn your scalp. At best, your likely going to get what you got - colors that don't respond as you planned.

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
October 31, 20190 found this helpful

Not recommended to use hydrogen peroxide. More information:

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 168 Feedbacks
November 1, 20190 found this helpful

The safest peroxide to use is one you get from a beauty parlor. There's a big difference between beauty product peroxide than the one found in medical supply department area.

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July 14, 2009

My hair is medium blond already, but will hydrogen peroxide lighten my hair if I mix it 50/50 with water and spray on?

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