You may have heard recently that honey is a natural way to lighten up your hair. In fact, if you do a bit of searching online, you may see several people claiming that honey is a perfect, all-natural way to lighten up those beautiful tresses without damaging your hair.
However, before you try it, it’s a good idea to find out the truth behind this idea. Will it provide you with results, or is it simply a waste of your time and money? Here’s a closer look to help you decide.
First, let’s look at the claim behind honey for lightening hair. According to some video on Youtube, mixing honey with some banana, regular conditioner or olive oil can help to bleach your hair. Supposedly, the honey has peroxide in it, which will contribute to bleaching hair a bit lighter if you use it over time.
Honey – Is There Really Peroxide in It?
Well, honey has glucose oxidase in it, an enzyme that can produce what we know as peroxide. However, you have to remember that peroxide only works to bleach hair if you have the right pH and the right concentration.
The Concentration of Peroxide:
So, what is the concentration of peroxide in honey? How much would their need to be to help lighten your hair? To bleach your hair fully, you need to have a 6% concentration of peroxide within a solution. If you want to lighten hair gradually over time, then you need a solution that includes 3% concentration of peroxide.
In certain conditions, the enzyme glucose oxidase can release some peroxide. However, if you use water to dilute honey, this enzyme is only about to produce a subtle amount of peroxide, which is significantly less than the amount needed to bleach hair over time.
There just isn’t enough peroxide concentration to make a difference. You also have to remember that the enzyme that produces peroxide can only be found in raw honey.
So, what if you used a huge amount of honey to try to lighten hair. Would a significant amount of honey have an effect? It would only work if the peroxide were at the right pH.
Bleaching Hair Requires the Right pH
To bleach hair, you also need to have a peroxide solution that is at the right pH to activate the peroxide. If the solution has a pH of 4 or lower, it does not react very well, meaning it won’t provide good bleaching results.
Usually, ammonia is mixed with peroxide to help bleach hair, since ammonia has a high pH. Honey only has a pH that ranges from 2.3 to 4.5, which isn’t nearly high enough to provide hair lightening results.
Would this work any better if you mixed your honey with some conditioner? Well, since conditioners usually have a pH ranging between 4 and 5, this probably would not provide results either, since the pH isn’t high enough to make the peroxide efficient.
So, if you had raw honey with the active enzyme, it was properly diluted, it had the perfect pH, and you quickly applied it to hair immediately, the chances of it actually lightening hair are pretty slim.
It sounds great because it is all-natural, but the science just doesn’t back this claim up.