Coloring hair using a level 3 permanent colorant involves two processes, lightening the underlying melanin and information of the colored chromophores inside the hair. In a typical in-market products the oxidant used to achieve these changes is hydrogen peroxide buffered at pH 10 with an alkalizer such as ammonium hydroxide. A new oxidant has been developed based on the combination of ammonium carbonate, hydrogen peroxide and glycine at pH 9 that can match the lightening and color performance of the current oxidant. It has the advantage that both the carbonate and hydrogen peroxide concentrations can be changed to alter the lightening performance making it a more flexible oxidant. This allows the capability to lighten the hair in a shorter time, or with lower hydrogen peroxide levels. This paper discusses the key oxidizing species that are present in both systems and the mechanisms of melanin lightening. In addition, the lightening performance will be assessed as a function of time, pH, hydrogen peroxide concentration and carbonate concentration. The importance of glycine to the oxidant is also described along with a proposal for its mechanism of action. It has been demonstrated that the addition of glycine can control the undesired formation of carbonate radicals that can be generated from the oxidant. The control of these radicals enables the oxidant to deliver excellent lightening with no negatives in fiber damage bs. conventional oxidants.