Have you ever heard of the term, “soap cap”?
If you’re into hair color, you need to know what a soap cap is. Let’s talk about how you can use this awesome technique to your advantage.
There are a few different types of soap caps (also known as shampoo caps, or color balancers). In this post, I’ll explain what they are and how to use them.
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What You Need to Get Started:
First things, first… you’re gonna need some supplies. Don’t worry, I got you covered.
- 20V Creme Developer
- High-Quality Hair Lightener
- Clarifying Shampoo That Won’t Dry Out Your Hair
- Hair Coloring Kit
- Processing Caps
- Leftover hair color (depending on the type of soap cap)
- An old towel to drape around your neck
I also highly recommend you follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to keep your hair happy. I LOVE the It’s a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner for projects like this.
1. The “Traditional” Soap Cap with Color
This type of soap cap can be used to refresh dull hair color.
To perform a traditional soap cap:
- Mix hair color with equal parts shampoo
- Apply to the hair and thoroughly saturate
- Process for 5-10 minutes
- Rinse, shampoo and style as usual
This method works best if you want to freshen up your color without recoloring your hair.
For example, if you’re just touching up your roots, you can use this method to revive the rest of your hair without the extra damage.
It could also just be used to refresh color between applications. The added shampoo dilutes the color so it won’t darken the previously colored hair.
It also ensures even application, which is a must.
2. Soap Cap with Bleach and Developer
I use this soap cap technique reasonably often on my own hair, as it is beneficial for platinum blonde hair. It can also be called a “color balancer” or “bleach bath.”
I use it to freshen up my bleached hair after touching up my roots or even just to freshen 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 lift color gently. For instance, it will take out most semi-permanent colors without doing extensive damage.
You could also try to gently lift darker colors without doing too much damage. The Paul Mitchell color line recommends doing this before any color service (when switching color lines) to create a “fresh canvas” for the new color.
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 Hair Toner), which is silver for those of you that don’t know. Well…her hair quickly turned silver. We used this method of soap cap to lift the color out of her hair safely.
Scientifically, I am unsure of how the bleach works without peroxide; I think it has to do with the oxygen molecules from the water mixing with the bleach.
Anyways, believe me, it works, and it does very minimal damage.
Now you know…
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Have you ever used a soap cap to freshen up your hair color? Do you have any tips to add for other DIY hair colorists? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below…