Many of us have been there.
Looking in the mirror, your eyes widen in frustration and disbelief. “Again?” you sigh. Enough is enough. You want to easily hide unsightly facial hair without the pain of waxing, the risk of shaving, and the expense of electrolysis.
Or, perhaps you’re a man who is eager to experiment with the funky-bleached-beard trend before it completely disappears.
Read on to discover how to bleach facial hair with hydrogen peroxide – safely and effectively.
Sure, you can find bleaching kits are on the shelves of your local drug store or beauty shop. But if you already have the materials at home, and you consider yourself a relatively capable, responsible adult, you might consider a DIY version.
What is hydrogen peroxide?
It’s good to know exactly what it is you’ll be working with. We’ll make this little science lesson as painless as possible.
Formally known as H2O2, hydrogen peroxide is a clear liquid that is used in many contexts. It’s a cleaning agent, an antiseptic, and yes, even a rocket propellant!
Don’t let that scare you. It is not the same chemical as household bleach and is not harmful when used in diluted forms.
If H2O2 comes into contact with hair and skin, it can remove the melanin, or natural color found within.
It’s often the main ingredient in hair bleaching products.
Eventually, the color returns, but hair and skin quality will decline the more they are exposed to the chemical. Something to remember as you handle it with care.
How to Bleach Facial Hair With Hydrogen Peroxide
Let’s talk about the process in detail.
1. Clean your skin
Be sure to cleanse the area you are bleaching before you start. Use soap or cleanser that has a pH level of 7, meaning it is neutral, not acidic or basic.
Please note: if there are areas of broken or irritated skin on your face, delay bleaching until you’ve properly healed.
2. Mix the solution
It’s best to use 3% hydrogen peroxide. It’s important to dilute it so that it won’t be too harsh. To be extra careful, put on gloves before you handle the chemical.
Combine some water and H2O2 in a glass. Mix well. Remember to avoid getting the liquid in your eyes.
3. Test first
Like any hair or skin treatment involving strong chemicals, it’s wise to test it out on a small, inconspicuous area before going all the way. Find a small patch of skin that is not too noticeable (i.e. inner arm) and apply a small amount of the mixture using a cotton swab.
Wait a few minutes, then rinse well. If you have redness and irritation that lasts, there’s a good chance you need to dilute the solution with more water or find a gentler method of bleaching.
Apply the mixture to your facial hair with a cotton swab thoroughly. Leave it on for approximately 20 minutes. Some suggest going out into the sunlight during this time to boost its potency.
Remember, a little tingling is normal, but if you have intense discomfort on the skin, remove the bleach immediately!
When your timer goes off, wash the skin well with cool water. Be sure to remove all traces of the hydrogen peroxide. Examine the altered color of your facial hair. Not light enough? Repeat the process to reach the desired look.
6. Condition and care
Your skin might be a little sensitive after the bleaching procedure, so it’s a good idea to moisturize and use sunscreen when going outdoors.
Hydrogen Peroxide Beard Bleaching
Yes, this is a thing! Fellas, if you’re dying to try it, listen up. The process for bleaching your beard is essentially the same as the steps mentioned above; wear gloves, keep your eyes safe, try a skin and even a hair strand test before you begin.
There are a few key differences when bleaching a beard.
- To protect your face, apply some petroleum jelly to the skin around the beard line with a finger or cotton swab.
- Instead of using 3% hydrogen peroxide, 6% will also be safe and more effective. Mix it with ammonia for extra lightening power and apply it to your beard right away. This can be done with gloved hands and cotton pads, a spray bottle, or even a brush. It’s also wise to be in a well-ventilated room to avoid inhaling fumes.
- You can let the solution remain on your beard for up to 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the lighter your beard will become, but don’t go beyond this time. Remember to quit if you feel strong discomfort or pain.
- After rinsing the beard and face well, you can apply a beard moisturizer to protect the hair.
Bleaching Hair with Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Baking soda is an alkaline powder that can give your bleaching intensity a bit of a kick in the pants. Also, it’s easier to apply to your face because the baking soda forms a paste when mixed with the liquid.
It won’t drip off as easily once applied.
Again, this method is very similar to the one above. Make sure you blend the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda thoroughly in a glass or bowl before applying it with a brush or makeup sponge.
Of course, be sure to completely remove when rinsing.
Does bleaching facial hair have side effects?
Whether you choose to color facial hair with hair bleach or hydrogen peroxide, there are a few side effects you should be aware of.
It’s important to wash the solution off when you’ve reached the maximum time. As you know, leaving it on your skin for too long can cause lighten the skin and cause redness and irritation.
If you’re using too high a concentration of H2O2, you may end up with a chemical burn on your skin.
Remember to dilute, test, and rinse when you need to.
Also, as hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the hair and follicles, it breaks down the proteins. This can result in hair that becomes broken, damaged, and brittle.
It can even cause hair loss.
If you’re a woman bleaching facial hair that you don’t want anyone to see, this might seem like a bonus!
However, if you’re simply changing the color of your beard, it’s a side effect you may want to consider before starting.
Commit to taking health and safety precautions seriously. If you experience a chemical burn on your skin or if you get the solution in your eyes, wash with cool water immediately and then consult a doctor about treatment.
Here’s some more information about how to bleach facial hair with hydrogen peroxide and other ways to bleach with this chemical.
Happy grooming! We hope you enjoy not only the process but the outcome of your coloring experience.