Q: Is it true that you can use vitamin C tablets to lighten your hair? How does it work?
A: Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic acid and by exposing the hair to said acid for an extended period, you soften the hair which opens the cuticle by gently swelling it. (Alkalis also expand the cuticle, but do so
more rapidly, while acidic solutions will tighten the cuticle and then cause expansion depending on the strength of the solution.)
Because it will expand the cuticle, Vitamin C can be used in a solution to lighten permanent hair color and in some cases can help to remove the color somewhat. It can also be used to
enhance the sun lightening process on the hair. Women today will still use lemon juice (high in vitamin C – ascorbic acid) to help the sun-bleaching process.
There are even “home remedies” for removing permanent haircolor when you dislike the results that involve crushing vitamin c tablets (or obtaining the powder form) and creating a paste
by mixing it with a highly alkaline shampoo then applying it to damp hair with the haircolor you want to remove. Once the cuticle layer is opened, the stronger shampoo is able to wash away much of the color molecules that
have been deposited into the hair shaft.
You should remember, though, that the hair MUST be treated carefully to avoid excessive damage. (It is ACID after all.) Above all, keep in mind that everything we do to our hair has a
price associated with it.