Today I am going to talk to you guys about a soap cap ( or also known as shampoo caps ). There are a few different types of soap caps that I can think of and will explain to you what they are and how to use them…

Have you ever heard of the term "soap cap" and wondered what it meant? Learn the different types of soap caps and how to use them...

1. The “Traditional” Soap Cap with Color

This type of soap cap can be used to freshen up color. Hair color is mixed with equal parts of shampoo and then added to the hair. After processing from 5-10 minutes, rinse, shampoo and style as usual.

You can use this method when you just need to touch up your roots, and just want to refresh the rest of your hair.  Additionally, this can be used to refresh color in between applications. The purpose of the added shampoo is to dilute the color so it will not darken your previously colored hair. It also ensures even application.

2. Soap Cap with Bleach and Developer

I use this soap cap technique fairly often. It can also be called a “color balancer” or “bleach bath”.  You just mix equal parts of bleach, shampoo, and developer. Like the previous form of soap cap, process for 5-10 minutes.

Personally, I use this to freshen up my bleached hair after touching up my roots or to freshen it up in between applications. It does a lot less damage than re-bleaching the hair over and over again.

You could also use this type of soap cap to gently lift color. For instance, it will take out most semi-permanent colors without doing extensive damage. You could also try using it to gently lift darker colors. The Paul Mitchell color line recommends doing this before any color service (when switching color lines) to leave the hair as a “fresh canvas.”

3. Soap Cap with Bleach, No Developer

I honestly just learned about this type of soap cap yesterday and it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. You can mix powdered bleach with shampoo and it will lift color out of the hair. Skipping on the developer cuts down the damage done to the hair.

Yesterday, my co-worker tried to tone her hair with Redken 8T (Titanium), which is silver for those of you that don’t know. Her hair quickly turned silver. We used this method of soap cap to safely lift the color out of her hair.

Scientifically, I am unsure of how the bleach works without peroxide, but believe me, it works. And you can bet that I am going to find out how!

Now you know…

Author

Hollee Wood is a professional hairstylist with over 10 years of experience in the hair industry. She loves teaching about the science of hair along with everything else beautiful.

28 Comments

  1. K. Clarkson Reply

    Did you apply any heat when doing the powdered bleach and shampoo technique?

    • I never have and I’m not sure if you can or not. Certain bleaches shouldn’t be used under a dryer (read instructions) but I don’t know if it’s possible to do with bleach that is allowed to be used under a dryer. Maybe call the manufacturer hotline and ask.

    • I’ve never actually done this, but I wouldn’t see why not. I think it would add a toning property to the bleach… but don’t quote me on that 🙂

  2. Lori K. Long Reply

    The original soap cap…when you say the color is mixed with equal parts shampoo: Do you mean the color that has been mixed with developer? Or just the color from the tube (or bottle) with shampoo?

  3. Does it work on dark blonde roots to match them to my platinum/silver hair? Or only color treated hair?

  4. Joan Clark Reply

    I have over frosted my hair and it looks brassey. Can I soap cap it with 511N for a few minutes to bring the gold down?

    • I cant say 100% since I don’t know what your hair looks like or what color you are using, but usually when it has N in the name, it is a neutral base. I don’t think a neutral base would do much to tone the gold. If your hair is slightly brassy, and you want it to go to a darker blonde, I think that would probably work, but it won’t actually tone out the gold. I would also make sure that you only let it sit for a few minutes and watch it the entire time, otherwise it might get too dark (I’m guessing it is a level 5). Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

  5. What parts/amounts do you use for just the bleach powder and shampoo mix?

  6. What parts/amounts do you use for just the bleach powder and shampoo mix?

  7. I’ve seen a stylist try bleach/shampoo with no developer and it didn’t do anything, even after 1 hour (I wasn’t advising her, another stylist was). Maybe it was the dark red tones the girl had in her hair, or the type of bleach?

  8. I’ve seen a stylist try bleach/shampoo with no developer and it didn’t do anything, even after 1 hour (I wasn’t advising her, another stylist was). Maybe it was the dark red tones the girl had in her hair, or the type of bleach?

  9. I saw this post about powder bleach with shampoo ….was willing to try as I wanted rid of feria hair dye that was too dark …i was blonde but fancied being purple it came out nearly black ….wow this actually works I was left with a lovely copper colour , going to redo it again in a few days …going back to blonde x

  10. I saw this post about powder bleach with shampoo ….was willing to try as I wanted rid of feria hair dye that was too dark …i was blonde but fancied being purple it came out nearly black ….wow this actually works I was left with a lovely copper colour , going to redo it again in a few days …going back to blonde x

  11. Does it work on darker hair when using just bleach and shampoo? My hair is dark brown with blue ombre.

  12. Does it work on darker hair when using just bleach and shampoo? My hair is dark brown with blue ombre.

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