Lightening Hair With Developer and Baking Soda: is a good or a really bad idea?

baking soda lightens the hair

  • Lightening your hair with developer and baking soda is a very bad idea.
  • Because the mixture of baking soda and developer can burn your hair. And the resulting color can be unpredictable.
  • So, if you want to lighten your hair up to two numbers, you can use cream developer, which will be less aggressive for your hair. And you’ll be able to lighten it without getting any unpleasant surprises.


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When I get these types of queries, all the alarm bells start to ring.

And that’s when I would love to be a superhero and be able to erase all those bad ideas that circulate around, and that literally ruin people’s hair.


Of course, there are plenty of bad ideas going around the Internet that have nothing to do with hair.

But since my passion and calling is beauty and hair health, for now, I’m content fighting against the bad ideas that circulate about hair.

Which, to tell the truth, is hard enough work as it is.


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I’ll be clear right from the start, and I’m willing to take the consequences. Because I know that many times “being clear” borders on “being unfriendly”.

Therefore, and being true to my more Scorpio side present in my natal chart, I will tell you that  it is really a very bad idea to use baking soda with developer to lighten hair. 


And when I say it’s a very bad idea, I mean a lousy idea.

Because while it’s true that baking soda lightens hair, it’s also true that it can burn it.  And so, who are you going to show your lighter hair to?


No one. Because if the baking soda burns your hair, there won’t be any hair left to show.


I warned you that what I had to tell you might be unpleasant. But it’s the truth. And I can’t feed false expectations, which can also be dangerous.

So repeat after me.


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It’s dangerous to use baking soda and developer to lighten hair

baking soda to lighten hair
Yes, repeat it. Until people on the other side of town can hear it. Repeat it without fear, until you’re convinced.

Because when you’re convinced, you will save your hair. Now let’s look at the science behind this claim.


Baking soda is an oxidant. Therefore, it can lighten hair in theory. But the “little” detail is that  baking soda is not designed to be used on hair. 


Meaning. It’s not a plant you find in nature that may have some sort of beneficial properties for hair, like aloe vera, for example.

Although baking soda is a mineral that you can find in nature, the kind they sell in the supermarket or the pharmacy is artificially produced.


Therefore, if you thought that baking soda was something natural, you can forget about that idea.

You can use baking soda for many things. For example, many people use it as a stomach antacid, although this can also have serious health consequences if ingested too often.

But  you shouldn’t use baking soda to lighten your hair . Because it is very aggressive and will dry out your hair, at best. And at worst, it will burn it.


But in addition, and since you’re getting creative, you want to add to the action of the baking soda, the action of the developer.

Please! Use your creativity in other matters, and for example, start watching YouTube videos to create a vertical garden.

Because the developer also takes moisture out of your hair. But if you use a lower volume developer, such as 10 or 20 volumes, you won’t severely damage the hair, let alone burn it.

And even  a 10 or 20 volume developer can lighten your hair, without the need to mix it with another ingredient. 


So if you’re thinking about lightening your hair you don’t need to use either baking soda or bleaching powder. Because developer has a lightening action all on its own.

It’s ideal if you’re just looking to lighten your hair or lighten certain areas of your hair, for example, your fringe.

And you should also keep this in mind.

  •  If you want to lighten your hair by more than three shades, you will need to bleach your hair . This is a very aggressive chemical process for the hair because bleaching removes the artificial and natural color of the hair.
  •  If you only want to lighten a section of your hair, or lighten your hair up to two shades , you can use a cream developer.

That’s what I’ll talk to you about next.


How to lighten your hair using “only” cream developer

10 or 20 volume cream developer
Yes, because all you will need is  10 or 20 volume cream developer . The 10 and 20 volume developers can lighten between ½ and 2 numbers without the need for another ingredient.

Why do I recommend cream developer?


Because these developers contain moisturizing agents, such as coconut oil, aloe vera, or keratin, which will protect your hair while you lighten it.


 It’s also important you wash your hair 48 hours before the application of the cream developer . Because this way, your scalp will have time to secrete sebum, which will protect both your scalp and hair.

  • Comb your dry hair and separate the area you want to lighten.
  • Apply the cream developer from the roots to the ends, over the area you want to lighten.
  •  If using 10 volume developer , leave it on for up to 60 minutes.
  •  If you use 20 volume developer , leave it on for up to 40 minutes.
  • After the right time has passed, rinse your hair with lukewarm water, using your usual shampoo.
  • Apply conditioner and leave it on for three minutes to moisturize your hair.


I recommend you don’t use more than a 20 volume developer if you’re inexperienced, as you could ruin your hair color completely.



You shouldn’t use baking soda and developer to lighten your hair because you will burn it and because the resulting color will be unpredictable.

If you want to lighten your hair up to two numbers, you can use 10 or 20 volume cream developer.

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