There are several reasons you might want to bleach a beard, from evening out hair that has started to grey to sporting a peroxide or bright colour look. This all requires stripping the natural colour away and can be done by a colour technician, or using a beard bleaching kit at home. If you want to do this yourself it is important to proceed with extreme caution because it is easy to cause both long and short term damage to skin, as well as getting an unintended colour.
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Things you need
- Beard bleaching kit from a pharmacy
- Old clothes
- Old towel
- Petroleum jelly
Buy a beard bleaching kit, available from pharmacies and professional beauty stores. It is important to only buy a kit suitable for facial hair because anything else could cause a severe reaction. If you want to dye your beard white to match greying hair, get a kit that includes a toner to stop the overall look being brassy.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and patch test the product. Patch testing is essential, as reactions to chemicals used in hair colourants are well documented and can be very serious. Do not move on to application until you are sure that the product is safe for you to use.
Smooth some petroleum jelly around the outside of the beard to help stop any stray dribbles of product getting on the skin.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying the bleach. Instructions can differ, so you should pay close attention to the literature inside the box, but this usually involves mixing two products and then applying the preparation with a brush that comes in the kit. Stroke this on carefully without getting it on the skin.
Wait the allotted time for the bleach to work and then rinse your beard clean, following removal instructions carefully. In most cases you just need to use plenty of water to wash all the bleach away.
Dry your beard. If your kit includes toner, and you want a cool or white bleached look, apply it now. The toner helps to remove brassiness caused by some of the hair’s natural pigment remaining. Again, follow all instructions for application and the length of time you need to wait. Then rinse clean. Sometimes toners need to be reapplied to achieve the desired shade.
Tips and warnings
- If the bleached beard is in preparation for a bright colour like red or blue, you won’t need to bother with the toner as the subsequent colour application should cover any yellow tones.
- Wash and dry your beard before bleaching to get rid of debris, product or grease that may make the treatment less effective.
- Wear old clothes and use an old towel in case of splashes.
- A bleached beard may feel drier than natural hair due to the chemical treatment, so keep your beard conditioned in between bleaching.
- If unsure about the colour result you hope to achieve, consult a hair technician. You could even opt to have your first bleaching treatment done by a professional, so you understand the procedure, then just top this up with a home kit thereafter.
- Never attempt any home hair colouring or bleaching if you have known sensitivities or generally sensitive skin. Not only could you develop a severe and dangerous reaction, but even minor rashes will be more visible on the face.
- Avoid getting bleach on the skin. If you do, wipe it off straight away with a clean tissue, then rinse clean.
- If you experience any discomfort, itching, tingling or visible changes to the skin while using a home bleaching kit, wash the product off immediately and seek medical advice.
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