Can Hair Color or Lightener Burn Your Scalp?

by Brianna Thompson

Hey there, gorgeous locks enthusiasts! Today, let's dive into the world of hair color and lighteners, because, well, knowledge is power, and we want your hair to be as powerful as it can be! Now, I'm not here to scare you away from the color chair, but it's time we have a little chat about that tingling sensation during the coloring process. Yes, the burn – we've all been there, right?

First things first, that sensation doesn't mean your stylist is secretly a fire-breathing dragon. Nope, it's all about the science happening on your scalp. Let me break it down for you.

The Culprit: Ammonia and Peroxide

Okay, let's talk ingredients. Most hair color and lighteners contain ammonia and peroxide, and other ingredients the dynamic duo responsible for that magical transformation. Ammonia opens up your hair cuticle, allowing the color or lightener to penetrate and work its magic and the other ingredients help with that as well as changing your hair color completely. 

 When these chemicals get cozy on your scalp, they can cause a tingling or burning sensation. But fear not, it's usually a sign that the product is doing its job!

pH Power Play

Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of pH levels. Our hair and scalp have a natural pH level, and when we introduce ammonia and peroxide, it can temporarily disrupt this balance. Picture it as a friendly neighborhood superhero (ammonia and peroxide) saving the day but causing a bit of chaos in the process. Your scalp may react with a tingling sensation, and in some cases, a mild burn.

The Burn is a Signal

Think of the burn as your hair's way of sending out a signal flare, saying, "Hey, something's happening down here!" It's essential to communicate with your stylist during the process. If the sensation becomes too intense or unbearable, speak up. 

What if it's really bad?

It is never normal for you to feel like an agonizing burning sensation. Especially with permanent color it should never leave marks on your scalp, that could mean you are allergic. That is why it is important to seek a patch test before starting your color journey! Even with lightener, it should never be something totally unbearable, that is not good! A little burn or tingle, aye okay, BURNING CRAZY, no!!! Definitely tell your stylist when it is really bad or even when you are just concerned, because they can't feel your scalp, only you can! 

Protective Measures: Before, During, and After

Now, let's talk prevention. Before your color adventure begins, your stylist might apply a protective barrier, like petroleum jelly, to the sensitive areas of your scalp. During the process, they'll keep checking in to see how you are feeling and if needed, make adjustments to ensure your comfort.

What if it's really bad?

It is never normal for you to feel like an agonizing burning sensation. Especially with permanent color it should never leave marks on your scalp, that could mean you are allergic. That is why it is important to seek a patch test before starting your color journey! Even with lightener, it should never be something totally unbearable, that is not good! A little burn or tingle, aye okay, BURNING CRAZY, no!!! Definitely tell your stylist when it is really bad or even when you are just concerned, because they can't feel your scalp, only you can!  

The Aftermath: Soothe and Hydrate

Opt for a sulfate-free, hydrating shampoo and conditioner combo to replenish moisture and maintain that luscious color. A cool tip: an occasional hair mask can do wonders in rejuvenating your locks. I would avoid scalp products and maybe just rinse your scalp with cooler water just to soothe if your scalp was sensitive during the service. 

In conclusion, it is normal to sometimes feel a slight tingle with color, or minimal itch or burn when lightening your roots.Trust your stylist, communicate your comfort level, and remember – a little tingling is a small price to pay for the fabulousness that awaits your mane!

 


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About the Author

Brianna Thompson

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