Many people routinely apply chemicals to their hair to help bring out the highlights, hide the gray or to create a subtle change to the overall tone. If this is your goal, there is no need for expensive salon treatments or unpleasant-smelling drugstore bleaches. While home treatments cannot change raven hair to honey blond, they can safely and effectively soften and lighten your natural color, giving you great highlights for a fraction of the cost of their beauty salon counterparts.
The Hair on Your Head
There are a number of popular home treatments for bleaching your hair. One of the most effective ingredients in hair lightening kits is hydrogen peroxide. To use peroxide on your head, pour ¼ cup into a small spray bottle and then apply to wet hair. Comb through to ensure even distribution and either allow your hair to dry naturally or blow it dry with a hairdryer.
If you are unsatisfied with the result, repeat the process until the desired amount of bleaching has been achieved. If you’re uncomfortable applying peroxide to your hair, a more gradual, gentler bleaching effect can be created by rinsing your hair with chamomile tea after each washing. Make the tea in advance by bringing two cups of water to a boil and pouring it over 2 tea bags or ¼ cup of chamomile blossoms. Set the mixture aside and allow it to cool. Then remove the flowers and stir in 1 cup of lemon juice. Pour the solution over your hair and allow it to dry. The effects of chamomile or hydrogen peroxide treatment can be amplified by exposing your hair to direct sunlight.
Hair that is not on your head can be a bit more difficult to lighten, as it tends to require a thicker paste, rather than a simple liquid solution. To make a bleaching paste that will effectively lighten your body hair, measure ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide into a small bowl. Add two teaspoons of household ammonia and stir well. Then add pure soap flakes, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is achieved. Spread a thick layer of the paste on any areas where bleaching is desired and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse it away with cool water. Repeat this treatment three times a week until the desired color is reached and then reduce the bleaching schedule to one time per month.
Do not use chamomile tea if you are prone to seasonal allergy flare-ups, as it is in the same family as ragweed and can initiate a histamine response. Also, be sure to test any new remedy in an inconspicuous area to be sure you are happy with the results before applying a treatment in a location where final outcome would be difficult to overlook and do not apply bleach to eyelashes or eyebrows. Be alert for possible allergic reactions to unfamiliar ingredients. If you experience a burning sensation, itching, redness, inflammation or rash, rinse the affected area with copious amounts of cool water and discontinue use of that particular remedy immediately.