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Conditioning Vitamin C Hair Mask

19 March 2012

The first couple of times I tried a vitamin C treatment, I was amazed by the results. It was much more effective than I expected. However, I noticed that after using it my hair was unusually dry, and had a slightly tacky feel to it. After adding this and that, and experimenting for a few months, I came up with this recipe. It won’t remove more colour than a regular vitamin C treatment, but it will leave your hair feeling softer afterwards.


  • 2 dstsps of your most conditioning conditioner. (For example I use TrésSemme Protect, as opposed to my regular colour safe conditioner.)
  • 2 dstsps clarrifying shampoo, or dandruff shampoo.
  • 2 dstsps washing up liquid.
  • 1 dstsps vitamin C powder, or the same ammount of crushed vitamin C tablets. (Note: Avoid using a multivitamin tablet, as it may contain riboflavin (Vitamin B2), which can stain your hair. Also check the ingredients of any tablets you buy to ensure that they contain no dyes. Pure vitamin C powder is the ideal ingredient and can be purchased in most health food shops.)
  • ~1 dstsp of lemon juice
  • 1 dstsp coconut oil, or as much as you usually use, depending on your hair length. (Note: Olive oil can be substituted if you can’t get any coconut oil, however in my experience it’s not as conditioning, so add another dstsp if you’re using it instead.)
  • 1 dstsps bread soda (baking soda).

This mixture is enough for one head of short hair. If you have medium length hair, you could double the measurements in the mixture. For longer hair they should probably be tripled.


1. Mix all of the ingredients together, except the bread soda. Be careful to break up any lumps of vitamin C powder and dissolve them in the mixture as much as possible. I use a tint brush for this. This is why the powder is ideal; Even when crushed, vitamin C tablets are harder to dissolve than the powder. At this point the mixture might seem very runny, but don’t worry, this wont last.

2. Add the bread soda in your bathroom, or where ever it is you intend to put the mask on. Mix it in well with your fingers, or a tint bush. Make sure all the lumps are broken up, but try and do it quickly. It will foam up allot. If it doesn’t foam up a lot add some more lemon juice, and mix that in. Foam is good.

3. Lather the foamy mixture into your hair, and wrap it in a towel. The towel makes a big difference to how much colour comes out, but use an old one, because the vitamin C can stain it yellow.

4. Leave the mixture on for between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on how much you want to condition your hair. I usually avoid leaving it on for more than an hour, as any longer than this makes my hair quite greasy, so I wouldn’t really advise it unless you have very dry hair.

5. Wash the mixture out with warm water. First wet your hair, and lather up the mixture again. Then rinse it out completely. It can be hard to get it all out, so you might have to rinse more than once.

6. Allow your hair to dry naturally, or use a cold setting on your hair drier. Remember not to judge the colour while it’s wet. Wet hair looks darker!

The mixture can be stored in an air tight container before you add the bread soda.

My Results
Before After
teal purple green

It’s worth noting that in the above pictures the colours had been dyed over a darker blonde than the platinum that would normally be ideal.

A set of three before and after treatments.

As you can see, the results for warm colours are less than dramatic, however with two treatments I managed to bring a bright flamingo pink down to a dull reddish orange colour, bring most of the orange tones down to a uniform pale orange, and though it is difficult to see in these pictures, bring a pale blue to a pale silver with white tips. It might not be dramatic, but it meant I didn’t have to bleach as much for my next dye job.

themouce’s Results

themouce before and after pictures from vitamin C treatment


Everyone’s hair is different, and this mask has been designed to be perfect for my hair. There’s no reason you shouldn’t alter it to suit your own needs. For example if you usually have very dry hair, you could add an extra measure of conditioner, or coconut oil, or if you have naturally greasy hair, you could reduce these amounts. If you try it once and don’t have optimum results, perhaps the recipe doesn’t suit your hair type, and you need more vitamin C in it, or extra shampoo. If you’re totally stuck as to what you might change, feel free to pm me on the site. I’d love to help!

Also, this is not bleach. It can only be expected to lighten your hair by one or two shades and it wont lighten your hair any lighter than the original base you dyed over. If you dye over dark blonde, you won’t get it platinum. Similarly, many dyes stain your hair, and often it is impossible to get a nice blonde back after fading your hair. Most blues will wash out to a grey colour, depending on the base, and most purples will wash out to silver. The only colour I have ever completely removed from my hair with this mask was green.

It’s worth mentioning that this mixture tends to remove blues and greens best, and reds and purples worst.


A few people really helped me when I was trying to perfect this recipe, so thank you to ickle_cat, and themouce for being excellent guinea pigs, and giving me loads of advice on how to improve the recipe, and thanks to VerbumSap for letting us know about the riboflavin problem with multivitamin tablets.


I made a little how-to video, just in case anyone was a little fuzzy on the procedure. It’s pretty basic, actually, but better safe than sorry!
Apologies for poor video quality.


  • This article is very informative! It's also edited quite nicely. :D Report Comment
  • vitamin B2 turns your blue hair green- as i found out. i've been using parts of this recipie recently and it's really helpful :) Report Comment
  • What's a dstsp? Report Comment
  • Sorry! Dessert spoon. :) Report Comment
  • why the bread soda and do you mean baking soda? Report Comment
  • I threw it in for the hell of it when I was experimenting, because people on the forum had mentioned it was good for fading, and the mix took out quite a bit more colour. Before I added the bread (baking) soda the conditioner seemed to take away from the vitamin C's fading power, but with the bread/baking soda it was back to normal. I'm honestly not sure about the science behind it, but my best guess would be that the reaction between the ascorbic acid and the basic bread soda aids the colour removal. Like I say, though, that's just a guess. Report Comment
  • This is really great, thanks for posting! I really like how your hair looks in the second photo. Even though the colour is faded, I still really like how it looks, and the haircut is brilliant(: Report Comment
  • I think it's great that you've put a lot of work into finding out what works. Thanks for the info :) Report Comment
  • Awesome article! This is very helpful info indeed Thanks :) Report Comment
  • Did anone tried that out? it sounds very dangerous for the hair structure. Report Comment
  • I substituted honey for the shampoo and soap and increased the vitamin C and lemon juice. It smelled amazingly delicious and gave some fading. It really didn't touch my stubborn pravana blue though. That stuff is holding on for dear life. Report Comment
  • Just tried this! Really eyeballed the ingredients, but it was less harsh/drying than just a regular vitamin c mask. It faded my stubborn color from a light turquoise to a lighter, more minty green color. This is after I've already used a bleach- and ammonia-free color remover, too. Very pleased with the results! Report Comment

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