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Does Revlon Colorsilk have peroxide in it?

Revlon Colorsilk is a popular at-home hair coloring product that promises vibrant, long-lasting color results. It comes in a wide range of shades to match different hair colors and goals. Like many permanent hair dyes, Revlon Colorsilk works by opening up the hair cuticle and depositing color inside the hair shaft. This provides more permanent and fade-resistant color compared to semi-permanent or temporary hair dyes.

A common question for those considering using Revlon Colorsilk is whether it contains peroxide. Peroxide is an important ingredient in many permanent hair color formulas. It helps open the hair cuticle so color can penetrate. However, peroxide can also damage hair if used in high concentrations or left on too long. Understanding the role of peroxide in Revlon Colorsilk can help you make an informed decision about using this product.

What Is Peroxide?

Peroxide is a chemical compound with the formula H2O2. It is made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded to two oxygen atoms. Peroxide is commonly used as a bleaching agent and oxidizing agent.

When peroxide is mixed with an alkali chemical, such as ammonia, it breaks down into water and oxygen. This reaction releases free oxygen molecules that help open up the hair cuticle. Here are some key facts about peroxide:

  • Colorless liquid at room temperature
  • Higher concentrations appear more viscous and opaque
  • Oxidizing and bleaching agent
  • Breaks down into water and oxygen when activated
  • Used in many hair dyes and bleaches
  • Can damage hair protein if used in high doses

The concentration of peroxide in hair products is measured in volumes, which indicates the amount of oxygen released. For example, 20-volume peroxide produces 20 times its own volume in oxygen. Higher volumes typically lighten hair more, but may cause more damage.

Most permanent hair dyes use volumes between 10 and 30 to adequately open the cuticle and deposit color. Revlon Colorsilk contains a lower volume to balance effectiveness with hair health.

The Role of Peroxide in Hair Color

Peroxide serves several important functions in permanent hair dye:

1. Swells and opens the cuticle: When peroxide breaks down into oxygen, it causes the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair shaft to swell and lift up. This allows the hair color to penetrate inside the cuticle and access the cortex.

2. Removes pre-existing color: The oxygen molecules released from peroxide work to bleach out and de-colorize melanin pigments in the hair strand. This prepares the hair to accept new color.

3. Activates color molecules: Most permanent hair dyes contain oxidation dye molecules that need to be activated by peroxide to work. The oxygen creates the chemical reactions that allow colorants to deposit and bond within the hair.

4. Lightens hair: In higher concentrations, peroxide will lighten and brighten the existing hair shade. This provides a lighter base for the new hair color.

So in short, peroxide enables permanent hair dye to successfully penetrate and alter the hair shaft for bright, lasting color. But it must be used at the proper concentration to avoid excessive damage.

Does Revlon Colorsilk Contain Peroxide?

Yes, Revlon Colorsilk does contain peroxide in its formula. However, it uses a lower volume of peroxide compared to some other box dyes.

Most Revlon Colorsilk shades use approximately 20-volume peroxide in the creme developer. The higher lifting shades may contain up to 30-volume.

This is weaker than the 30- to 40-volume peroxide used in many salon lightening processes. The lower concentrationminimizes cuticle damage while still allowing enough oxygen release to open cuticles and activate dye molecules.

Here is an overview of the role of peroxide in Revlon Colorsilk:

  • Swells cuticle so dye can penetrate into cortex
  • Lifts out some pre-existing color for brighter results
  • Activates Revlon Colorsilk’s oxidative dye molecules
  • Gently lightens hair to prep it for new color

While present, the peroxide concentration is carefully balanced to limit unnecessary damage. But those with highly damaged or fragile hair may still want to take extra precautions when using the product.

Active Ingredients in Revlon Colorsilk

In addition to peroxide, Revlon Colorsilk contains other important active ingredients:

EDTA: Chelating agent that binds to metal ions. This helps the formula evenly saturate the hair.

Ascorbic Acid: Vitamin C that conditions the hair and enhances color vibrancy.

Propylene Glycol: Helps active ingredients penetrate into hair. Also conditions and moisturizes.

Oxidative Hair Dyes: Para-dyes, meta-dyes, amino dyes, and napthols that interact with peroxide to deposit color.

Fragrance: Added for pleasant aroma during application.

Conditioners: Fatty alcohols, proteins, and silicones help nourish hair and retain moisture.

While peroxide opens and lightens the hair, these additional ingredients play a supporting role for multi-dimensional color results.

How to Use Revlon Colorsilk

To understand whether the peroxide in Revlon Colorsilk will damage your hair, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully:

Step 1: Mix the color creme with the developer as directed on the box. This activates the peroxide to start lifting original color.

Step 2: Apply the mixture evenly throughout clean, dry hair. Work the product from roots to ends.

Step 3: Wait between 20-30 minutes, depending on your hair type. Do not exceed 45 minutes even if dye seems light.

Step 4: Rinse hair thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of dye. Follow with a color-safe shampoo and conditioner.

Step 5: Avoid washing hair for 1-2 days after coloring to allow cuticle to close and seal in the new shade.

Following these steps will help the peroxide lift out just enough color for vibrant results without overly damaging the hair. Leaving Revlon Colorsilk on too long can cause unnecessary chemical processing from the peroxide.

Who Should Use Revlon Colorsilk?

Revlon Colorsilk can work well and minimize peroxide damage for users who:

  • Have minimally color-treated hair
  • Want to stay close to their natural shade
  • Have hair in good condition
  • Follow all processing directions

Those who apply Revlon Colorsilk to excessively bleached, relaxed, or damaged hair may still experience some breakage from the peroxide. Maximum results with minimal damage will occur when used with care on healthy hair.

However, if your hair is highly fragile from overprocessing, you may want to avoid permanent dyes with peroxide altogether. There are semi-permanent and demi-permanent alternatives that deposit color without lightening existing pigment.

Does Revlon Colorsilk Damage Hair?

When used correctly on suitable hair types, Revlon Colorsilk results in minimal damage. Here is an overview of its effects on hair:

Cuticle integrity: The peroxide causes mild cuticle swelling and lifting to allow dye inside. This is reversed with proper rinsing and sealing.

Protein bonds: Revlon Colorsilk does not break down protein structure as severely as high-volume lighteners. Bonds remain relatively intact.

Moisture levels: Ingredients like propylene glycol and conditioners help counteract any drying effects from peroxide.

Color removal: Only removes enough melanin for fresh dye uptake. Does not dramatically lighten underlying pigment.

Scalp irritation: Revlon Colorsilk contains skin-soothing ingredients to prevent excessive itching or burning on the scalp.

When directions are followed, Revlon Colorsilk results in no more damage than a standard permanent hair dye. Those who leave it on too long or fail to adequately condition after coloring are more likely to experience problems.Performing a patch test before full application can indicate your hair’s tolerance.

Preventing Hair Damage from Revlon Colorsilk

You can help minimize any risk of peroxide damage during Revlon Colorsilk application by:

  • Washing with a clarifying shampoo before coloring.
  • Choosing a shade close to your natural color.
  • Doing an allergy patch test.
  • Using a hair repairing treatment before and after.
  • Only leaving on for the recommended time.
  • Rinsing thoroughly with cool water.
  • Using a deep conditioner after rinsing.
  • Waiting 48 hours before first shampoo.
  • Limiting repeat use to 6-8 weeks.

Being cautious with chemical processing and maintaining the integrity of your hair is key to avoiding peroxide damage.

Risks and Side Effects

While low, here are some possible risks and side effects from the peroxide in Revlon Colorsilk:

1. Skin irritation: Peroxide can cause redness, itching, and stinging if you have very sensitive skin. Do a patch test first.

2. Hair breakage: High levels of peroxide damage proteins and cause dryness, increasing chance of breakage.

3. Brittle hair: Overprocessing with peroxide compromises elasticity and leaves hair prone to snapping.

4. Dryness: The cuticle lifting can reduce moisture retention, leading to dehydration of hair strands.

5. Frizz: When the cuticle is damaged, hair loses its smoothness and becomes increasingly frizzy over time.

6. Dullness: Extensive lightening of melanin with peroxide fades out natural underlying warmth and shine.

By following directions and limiting chemical treatments, you can color safely with Revlon Colorsilk. But know that frequent peroxide exposure increases problems like brittleness. Give hair recovery time between colorings.

And if you experience severe scalp burning or irritation, discontinue use immediately. See a doctor if skin reaction is severe.

At-Home Hair Color Alternatives

If you want to avoid peroxide entirely, you can consider some other at-home hair color options:

Semi-permanent: Uses smaller color molecules that coat the outside of the cuticle only. No peroxide. Subtler results that wash out in 4-6 weeks.

Demi-permanent: Slightly larger dye molecules penetrate a bit into the cuticle. Uses very low peroxide to set the color. Lasts up to 24 washes.

Temporary color sprays: Coat the outside of hair with temporary pigmented mists. Color washes out in one shampooing.

Enhancing shampoos: Gently deposit transparent color pigments into damaged areas of the hair, providing a sheer tint. Rinse away.

Color-depositing masks: Use nourishing masks to soak hair in pigment. No peroxide. Color washes out slowly over 4-8 weeks.

Natural hennas: Coat hair in natural reddish stains from the henna plant. No chemicals. Color builds up with repeated use.

So if you wish to avoid peroxide when coloring hair at home, alternatives are available. Just know the results will typically appear more sheer.

The Takeaway

To summarize, here are the key points about the peroxide in Revlon Colorsilk:

  • Revlon Colorsilk contains 20-30 volume peroxide to gently lighten and activate dye.
  • It lifts some underlying pigment and swells the cuticle just enough for color to penetrate.
  • When directions are followed, damage is minimal for most hair types.
  • Taking protective measures helps reduce risk of peroxide damage.
  • Frequent use or overlapping with other treatments can cause problems.
  • Those with damaged hair may prefer alternatives with no peroxide.
  • Do an allergy test and watch for skin irritation.

While present at mild concentrations, being aware of the peroxide in Revlon Colorsilk allows you to make an informed choice about using this product. Take proper precautions and avoid overuse for best results with limited damage.


  • Revlon Colorsilk Ammonia-Free Permanent Hair Color:
  • Everything You Need to Know About Peroxide and Hair Color:
  • How Does Hair Dye Work?:
  • Revlon Colorsilk Ingredients:
  • How to Prevent Hair Damage from Dye: