Soap Cap/Bleach Bath/Break-the-Base
me this summer - faded stawberry blonde hair.
more details inside, but basically if you've dyed your hair and it has come out a shade too dark; if you would just like to lighten your hair 1 - 1 1/2 levels; if you toned your hair and it has turned grey/blue; or if you want to slightly lighten your hair just enough to dye over it, READ THIS POST for a how-to on "soapcapping"...
to make a long story short, I got blonde highlights and dark blonde lowlights put through that color, my roots then grew out, and I went to the salon for a "tintback" - matching the rest of my hair to the 2 inches of dark ash blonde roots using semipermanent dye - so that I could grow my hair long without dying it for a very long time. well.... they screwed up, and I didn't trust going back there for them to fix it.
this is the color I walked out with at the salon. I figured "hey, maybe it'll fade about 2-3 shades and will actually be close to a dark ash blonde", so I waited about 2 weeks. finally, I decided to fade it out myself. I found some information on soapcapping, which is basically mixing a mild mixture of bleach and developer with shampoo and conditioner and massaging it through your hair. The shampoo and conditioner serve as a buffer between your hair and the bleach mixture so that damage is minimal and change is very gradual.
Here's what I used:
1. packet of bleach powder
2. bottle of 10 vol. developer (you can probably use 20 vol, but I wouldn't recommend anything higher)
3. mixing bowl and tint brush
4. deep conditioner
5. the shampoo and conditioner i normally use
Here are the steps:
1. Pour about 2 tbsp. of bleach powder in the mixing bowl. Gradually add developer and mix until all of the bleaching powder is saturated and creamy (no lumps or dry spots). The amount of this mixture needed is solely based on how long/thick your hair is - mine is medium length and kind of thin, so I didn't need too much.
2. Pour in equal parts of your everyday shampoo and conditioner - this mixture should be twice as much as the bleach mixture. For example, if you had 1 oz. of the bleach mixture, you should pour in 1 oz of shampoo and 1 oz. conditioner. This 1:2 ratio is key because it dilutes the bleach mixture so that damage on the hair is minimal.
3. Wet your hair thoroughly and towel dry.
4. Using the tint brush, apply the mixture liberally and quickly all over the head. Once enough of the hair is covered, you can begin to use your hands to massage it in just as you would shampoo your hair normally. There shouldn't be any skin irritation, but rinse hands after contact just in case.
5. WATCH YOUR HAIR CLOSELY!! If you neutralized the bleach mixture with the shampoo/conditioner mixture as instructed, it could take as little as 5-10 minutes to see results. Rinse and check a strand after 5 minutes to check the progress, and continue to do so every minute or two afterwards.
6. Once the desired shade is reached, rinse hair in warm water thoroughly. Use the deep conditioner to offset any drying that might have occurred.
I followed the instructions above the first time with a little less bleach powder (maybe only 1 tbsp) and saw a very slight change, so later in the day I used more bleach powder and left it on a few minutes longer. Here are my results:
so since the brown from the salon was warm and had red undertones, the color is now a warm dark blonde (it looks a little more red in these photos than it really is). I might tone it to take out the red undertones, but for the most part I'm happy because my hair is not any worse off than before I soapcapped twice.
Pros and Cons of Soapcapping:
Pros - less harsh on hair, easier to monitor, able to be massaged in like shampoo, little to no skin irritation, quick and relatively easy, can be done multiple times over a week until shade is reached
Cons - results vary widely based on mixtures and ratios, some drying from bleach, fast results-need careful observation, hard to know what shade it will lighten to-look at undertones in good lighting
Hope this helps! PS - the waves above were really easy, just use a 1" curling iron and start the curl a few inches from the ends so that they're still straight