how to naturally lighten your hair

Have you ever wondered how to lighten your hair without dealing with harsh chemicals? Well, you’re not the only one. Whether you have dark hair and want to go lighter or are blonde but want to go blonder, almost every woman has tried to go lighter using different methods.

A trip to the salon can be expensive, and the harsh chemicals in hair color can damage the hair. Natural hair lighteners offer the same effect without any side effects and are much easier on the pocket as well. In this article, you will learn all there is to know about giving your hair a sun-kissed look naturally. With these natural remedies, you can lighten up your hair at home and get the mane of your dreams.

Why use natural hair lighteners?

The most common method of lightening hair is bleaching. Bleaching acts on the inside of the hair fiber and works in two ways. The ammonia swells the hair shaft and opens up the cuticles on the hair. The persulfates, which are potent oxidants, penetrate the hair fiber to dissolve and remove melanin. The degree of lightening depends on the total length of time for which you leave the product in the hair.

This process can damage the hair, and exposure to chemicals can increase your risk of developing cancer. Hair dying products can also cause allergic reactions like itching, hair loss, redness of scalp, conjunctivitis, and headaches. Studies have also found that the absorption of toxic chemicals in hair products through the skin of the scalp during pregnancy can pose health risks for the mother and the baby (1). Natural hair lighteners reduce your exposure to chemicals and lower your chances of an allergic reaction.

Natural hair lighteners

1. Lemon juice

Lemon juice is the easiest and the most common way to lighten the hair. The citric acid in lemon juice reduces the production of melanin and lightens the hair. The process is accelerated when you expose your hair to the sun. The heat of the sun opens up the hair cuticles, and the lemon juice lifts the color, and the sun bleaches the strands.

Take one cup of lemon juice and ¼ cup of conditioner or a teaspoon of coconut oil. Pour this mixture in a spray bottle. Part your hair and spray this mixture from your roots to the tips. Sit in the sun for 20 minutes and then wash your hair. If you don’t want a powerful bleaching effect, dilute the lemon juice in water before you apply.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile tea can lighten your hair and give it a golden glow. Brew come strong chamomile tea and let it cool down. You can add this tea to your spray bottle and apply it to your hair. Stay in the sun for about half an hour till it dries and then shampoo as usual. Chamomile tea is safe to use on already colored hair.

3. Baking soda

Baking soda paste is another popular method for lightening the hair. Make a medium paste of 1/3 cup baking soda and warm water. Apply this paste to your hair for about 15 minutes. Rinse it out and shampoo as usual.

4. Apple cider vinegar

Raw apple cider vinegar can give reddish highlights to dark hair. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and distilled water. Spray this mixture all over your hair if you want to lighten all your hair. If you want highlights, use a cotton ball dipped in the mix. Leave it on your hair for 30 minutes and wash as usual.

5. Cinnamon

Not only does cinnamon highlight your hair, but it also protects the hair from the damaging rays of the sun. Take ½ cup of your conditioner and add ground cinnamon to it to make a thick paste. Apply this thick paste to your hair and leave it on for four hours. Rinse and wash your hair as usual.

6. Sea salt

It is not just the sun that lightens your hair when you go to the beach, salty water of the sea also plays a role. You can create the same effect at home with sea salt and water. Dissolve one tablespoon of sea salt in half a cup of warm water. Apply it to your hair and rinse it after 20 minutes. Don’t forget to condition your hair as salt can dry out your hair.

7. Henna

Women from the Indian subcontinent have been using henna for years to color and condition their hair. Brunettes can use henna to provide reddish highlights to their hair. Take three tablespoons of henna and mix it into ½ cup of boiling water. Allow this mixture to sit overnight so that the color activates. Apply this mixture to your hair and wait for two or three hours. Rinse and shampoo.

8. Honey and olive oil

Honey and olive oil can create soft highlights for your hair. Warm equal parts of honey and olive oil and mix them up well. Apply on your hair and leave on for one hour. Work it into your hair before you wash it out.

9. Honey and vinegar

Give your hair the benefits of honey and vinegar at the same time. Use two cups of raw apple cider vinegar and add one cup of honey to it. Add one tablespoon of coconut oil to this mixture and blend well. Apply this to your hair, wrap your hair in a towel, and leave on overnight. Shampoo your hair in the morning to lighten your hair.

10. Rhubarb

Rhubarb is useful for women who have dark hair. Let a few stalks of rhubarb simmer in four cups of water for an hour. Strain this water and wash your hair with this water. You will notice a lighter tone of your hair after a few washes.

11. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, which can decrease the melanin in our hair and make it lighter. Crush 8 to 10 vitamin C pills and add them to your shampoo. Wash your hair with this shampoo to make it brighter.

12. Marigold petals

Marigold petals moisturize coarse hair and give you dandruff-free hair. It lightens the hair tone and gives you softer locks. Boil marigold petals with one cup of apple cider vinegar and then filter the mixture. Let it cool and then add one teaspoon of almond oil. Spray the final mixture onto your hair and let it dry.

13. Coffee

Women who have black hair can use coffee masks to give a brown tinge to their hair. Not only does coffee make the hair lighter, but it also makes it more manageable. Make one cups of freshly brewed organic coffee and cool it down by keeping it in the refrigerator. Take ½ cup of this coffee and add two tablespoons of coffee grounds, and one cup of leave-in hair conditioner to it. Apply this mixture to damp hair and leave on for one hour. Rinse and shampoo.

14. Sun

Nothing is more natural than the sun. Take advantage of the bright summer sun and go to the beach. Exposure to the sun will naturally lighten your tresses. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen when you laze on the beach.

Side effects and precautions

Though chemicals can damage your hair, often, home remedies can also dry out your hair and make them brittle. Always condition your hair and moisturize them properly to keep them looking lustrous.

Before you apply any of these natural hair lighteners on your hair, try it out on a small section of your hair first. You can use the mixture on your whole hair if there is no irritation or allergic reaction, and you are happy with the color. When you are trying to lighten hair naturally, the results can vary from person to person. Everyone has different hair texture, and they absorb or lose color differently.

History of natural hair color

Ancient Egyptians were the first people to use hair dye. They used henna to cover grey hair. Ancient Greeks and Romans also used various plant extracts to color their hair. Ancient Romans were the first to use permanent hair color to color their hair black. Over the years, they started using more colors.

During the Roman Empire, prostitutes were required to have blonde hair. While many of them wore wigs, some used natural methods to lighten up their hair color. Several civilizations also used hair color on the battlefield to show their rank and to frighten the enemy.

Final thoughts

If you are looking for ways to lighten your hair, natural methods are much better than chemicals and salon treatments. Exposure to chemicals can make the hair dry and brittle, and they can lose their sheen.  Some people can also develop an allergic reaction to chemical hair lightening procedures. Lemons, apple cider vinegar, chamomile tea, and sea salt are some of the natural products that you can use to give a sun-kissed look to your hair. You must always test these products on a small area before you try it on all your hair.