How to Add Developer to Shampoo to Lighten Hair

Add developer to your shampoo and you can lighten as you wash.

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When you can't get to the hairdresser, lightening your hair on your own can be a real nightmare. Sectioning your hair and brushing, combing or squeezing the lightener onto your hair is nearly impossible unless you are a contortionist with eyes in the back of your head. The result is often a weird, stripe-like appearance that is less than sexy. What you may not know is that you can actually shampoo bleach and developer into your hair to create a soap cap, making for a klutz-free lightening experience.


Hop into the shower and shampoo your hair as you normally would. Rinse and squeeze excess water out of your hair with your hands. If you normally condition your hair, skip that.


Blot your hair dry with a towel. Keep blotting until your hair is damp and is no longer dripping. You can even wrap your hair in the towel while you mix the lightener if you want.


Mix-up your hair lightening, soap cap concoction. Add 1 tbsp. of powder bleach to a plastic bowl. Stir 1 tbsp. of 20 percent liquid peroxide developer in with the powder bleach using a plastic spoon. Keep stirring until the bleach and powder make a thin paste.


Squeeze 2 tbsp. of shampoo into the bowl. Mix well using a plastic spoon. Slip on a pair of plastic gloves. You can use surgical gloves or dish washing gloves, you just need to protect your hands from the bleach.


Scoop the soap cap out of the bowl using your gloved hand and massage it into your hair just like you would shampoo. But here is the catch -- do not scrub your scalp. The bleach and developer can irritate your skin, so massage the lightener into your hair not your skin. The idea is to cover all of your hair from root to tip.


Leave the soap cap on for 15 to 20 minutes, looking in the mirror every five minutes before then to see how the lightening is progressing. If it looks like your hair has lifted to a shade that you like, remove the soap cap before the 15 to 20 minute elapsed time.


Rinse the soap cap from your hair with warm water after processing. Either flip your hair over in the kitchen sink to rinse or jump back in the shower. Just make sure that you rinse all of the suds from your hair. Follow with your favorite conditioner. Rinse, dry and style as usual. Repeat as often as necessary.

Things You'll Need



3.1 tbsp. powder bleach

5.1 tbsp. 20 percent liquid peroxide

7.Plastic gloves


4.Plastic bowl

6.Plastic spoons


Tips & Tricks


You can use any type of shampoo with a soap cap.

A soap cap also works well as a hair dye remover if you color your hair too dark.

Do not use cream peroxide. This will make the soap cap too thick, especially when you add the shampoo. Clear liquid works best with a soap cap.


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