Bleaching the hair at home can be a difficult and tricky process. Whether you are an expert or a newbie, hair bleaching sessions require a lot of time, patience, and attention in order to keep the hair as healthy as possible throughout the process.
However, one obstacle that may get forgotten about during the process, is how the hands react when the skin is exposed to the hair bleach.
With the focus on watching the hair to avoid it being overprocessed, we can forget that any errant hair bleach that drips onto the skin can also cause irritation if it is not taken care of.
While hair bleach may not cause the same intense reaction as household bleach, it can still cause a reaction to the skin when it is exposed. The most common reaction that will be seen on the hands from hair bleach is a lightening of the fingertips, chalky build-up at the nails, or dry and cracked skin.
What is the best way to get hair bleach off of your hands? The best and easiest method is to use warm water and a mild detergent, whether it be a dish soap or a shampoo, to help quickly remove the bleach from your hands.
There are other helpful methods as well that consist of exfoliating lotions, citrus juices, or apple cider vinegar to remover the stains to the skin caused by hair bleach.
Below, we’ll discuss what the side effects are for leaving hair bleach on the skin, the best ways to remove the stains from your fingertips, and how to prevent hair bleach stains from settling on your skin in the future.
Is Hair Bleach Dangerous on Skin?
Hair bleach is different than household bleach that can be used to clean and is meant to lighten the hair color. While not directly dangerous to the skin like household bleach, if left on the skin without being removed, it can cause irritation or potential superficial chemical burns that may require medical attention.
However, if hair bleach that is on the skin is removed immediately after color the hair, it should not be harmful to the skin.
The hair bleach lifts and changes the melanin that consists in the hair strands, which are made up of a keratin-based protein.
That same keratin protein is naturally occurring in the skin, so when the hair bleach interacts with the skin it will cause the same reaction. Much like when hair bleach is left on the hair and the scalp becomes itchy or irritated, the same result can happen when hair bleach is left on the skin.
Hair Bleach On Skin Side Effects
When coloring the hair, it is natural to have the hair color or other products you are using transfer onto the skin. Similar to hair color that can leave a stain on the skin around the forehead if not carefully applied, hair bleach can leave lightened stains on the fingertips during its application.
As stated above, the hair bleach will react to the protein in the skin the same way it does to hair, which will cause the affected areas to appear lighter or discolored.
If the hands or fingertips are exposed to hair bleach throughout the hair coloring process, it can cause the skin to feel dried out.
This can also lead to the skin peeling or cracking around the fingertips, as a result of the skin’s extreme dryness. Depending on the amount of bleach that stains the skin, it can cause the affected area to feel tight, uncomfortable, or painful.
Along with affect the skin around the fingertips, the nails can also be affected by the exposure to hair bleach. If the bleach gets on the nails, it can cause a white, chalky build-up to appear over the nail bed.
The hair bleach stains can also cause general discomfort on the skin, including redness and itchiness. However, if the skin appears reddened and painful, it is best to go to a medical professional to see if there needs to be treatment applied.
Best Ways To Remove Hair Bleach From Skin
There are a few methods that can work effectively to remove the bleach stains and discoloration from the fingertips after a hair lifting session.
The best method is to immediately rid the skin of the bleach, by rinsing the hands under warm water. Follow up with a mild dish soap or a shampoo and lather the hands together, focusing on the area that has been stained by the bleach.
After you have worked the soap into a lather, rinse the cleanser from the skin with warm water and dry the hands completely. As the hands will be especially dry, apply a moisturizing lotion to add extra hydration to the skin.
Another remedy for removing the bleach stains is to incorporate the use of citrus juice when rinsing the hands.
Citrus ingredients, especially lemon, are known to have properties to lighten and even out the skin tone and any discoloration. Start by mixing lemon juice with the warm, soapy water and letting the hands soak in the mixture for about a minute or two.
After the citrus juice mixture has been worked into the hands, rinse with soap and warm water and follow up with a hydrating lotion. The lemon juice will work to neutralize the properties of the hair bleach, while also helping even out the discoloration.
Lemon extract is used in many skincare products for its brightening benefits and will have a similar effect when applied to the bleach stains on the hands.
If you do not have citrus juice to mix with the soapy water, a similar method can be used with apple cider vinegar to remove the stains.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Much like the citrus juice, the ACV will work to neutralize the hair bleach to ease the reaction it has on the skin. It can cause the skin to also feel dried out, so it is important to follow up with a lotion to lock in moisture.
It can also help to exfoliate the skin, whether with an exfoliating lotion or with a body scrub, as it can rid the skin of any dead skin cells. It can also help rid the skin of any peeling and help ease the chalky buildup on the nails.
It can also be beneficial to apply a hydrating nail treatment to your nails, to avoid them feeling brittle or dry. Topping the nails with a clear coat of polish after removing the chalky buildup can also help with their overall appearance.
How To Avoid Getting Hair Bleach On Skin
To avoid getting hair bleach on the skin, the best method is going to be to ensure you are always using gloves when it is time to start the hair coloring process.
The hair gloves will create a barrier between the skin and the bleach, as well as the chemicals that are needed when you are mixing the bleach before it is even applied to the hair. The gloves can also help prevent any potential skin irritation that can be caused from the bleach or the hair color overall.
It can also help to apply a generous layer of moisturizing lotion or petroleum jelly to the hair line, to prevent any stains or discoloration from occurring there.
This also works to protect the hair line from hair color in general. It is easy to drip hair color onto the forehead, and the layer of moisturizing lotion will help to easily wipe away any product before it has a chance to stain the skin.
In general, while hair bleach is not inherently dangerous to the skin, it is important to not let it linger on the skin to avoid any irritation.
Although hair bleach stains may cause some discomfort or discoloration to the fingertips after a bleaching session, the remedies for removing the stains are relatively easy and consist of products that you most likely already have at home.
The way to avoid these potential stains in the future is just as simple, making the hair bleaching process have one less obstacle.
Using a mild dish detergent and warm water will immediately help to alleviate any side effects of irritation or discoloration from the hands. Although, adding in a citrus ingredient, like a lemon, will also help to neutralize and even out the skin color.
However, along with removing the hair bleach quickly, it is just as important to follow up with a richly moisturizing lotion to help recapture the lost hydration from the hands.
To avoid hair bleach affecting the hands in the future, ensure you have a supply of rubber, disposable gloves to be used any time you are about to start a bleaching session. The disposable gloves are going to be the most effective way to avoid bleach stains on the hands in the future.
Much like making sure the hair is well prepped before bleaching away, making sure you have the proper accessories to apply the product effectively will make the whole process run smoothly.