After I wrote my last post, I talked to my mom about Hydrogen Peroxide. She mentioned she had heard it was a good natural bleach for brunettes, while blondes could use lemon juice. So then we talked about the many different uses for peroxide, which I thought I would tell you all too.
First off, though peroxide is a type of natural bleach, I do NOT recommend using it on your hair. It will work, but especially brunettes will come out brassy, yellow, gold, nasty colored. Trust me, I've done it!
So what is peroxide? According to Wikipedia, "Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a very pale blue liquid, slightly more viscous than water, that appears colorless in dilute solution. It has strong oxidizing properties, and is a powerful bleaching agent. It is used as a disinfectant, antiseptic, oxidizer, and in rocketry as a propellant. The oxidizing capacity of hydrogen peroxide is so strong that it is considered a highly reactive oxygen species."
I've recently become an OxyClean convert (oh my gosh, it's AMAZING!!) and you know what the main ingredient is? Peroxide. It oxidized and bleaches out stains safely.
You know peroxide is used for cleaning wounds, too. It kills the bacteria so you don't get infections. Have you ever watched after you sprayed it on a wound? You know how it gets all bubbly? That's oxidizing. OxyClean does that too!
When you color and/or bleach your hair, you mix together the dye or bleach powder with developer. What is developer? Basically it's just peroxide, but there are different volumes of developer with different strengths of peroxide depending on your needs. If you want to barely lighten the tone of your hair, you can actually use straight developer. But since it's not an exact science, you don't know how it will really affect your hair. Anyone with brunette hair, I don't recommend "natural" bleaching methods because the darker your hair, the more undertones you have, which will show up when you lighten it if you don't use something to counteract them.
One of the reasons why I don't like box color, remember? You don't know what volume of developer is in the box, you don't know what undertones the color is counteracting (if any) since it's made for any hair color.
Anyway, say you have a pretty dark brown head of hair. You want to go to a lighter brown, maybe even blonde. You'll need some pretty strong developer mixed with your bleach or color, because that's what will give you lift. Generally the 10 developer is used when you are going darker or staying the same color, up to possibly one shade lighter. The higher the volume you use, the more lift you'll get. But then since you have dark hair, you also have to know your undertones. Don't know what undertones you have? Think about when your hair naturally lightens or when you've had bad bleach jobs. Does your hair tend to pull orange, copper, or red? Those are your undertones. The darker your natural color, the more undertones you have and they tend to be more red/violet. This is why I don't recommend just spritzing peroxide on your brown hair; you'll turn really brassy!
Blondes, you are fine. Go ahead and use peroxide, lemon juice, whatever, but beware you are still going into unknown color territory where you aren't controlling the outcome. Blondes tend to pull more gold/yellow if you are a warm blonde, so if you are fine with that, do it naturally on your own. If you want to lighten your natural blonde without the gold, see a professional who knows how to counteract those undertones.
Hopefully you all understand what I'm telling you here, but if you are confused and need more clearification or have any more questions, feel free to ask!