Photo credit: Image collage by Haiprint
Your hair is your crowning glory. Day by day, you wash it, condition it, dry it, brush it, and style it for maximum beauty and shine. But what if over time your hair has darkened to a shade you don’t prefer?
Perhaps you live in a more temperate climate and your naturally blonde hair has turned slightly brownish. Or perhaps your naturally brown hair has grown a shade darker year by year.
There are a number of natural tricks for lightening or highlighting your hair. Skip those nasty hair dyes, grab a few items from your pantry, and let’s get started.
First, choose your main lightening ingredient. You can choose from lemons, honey, chamomile tea, or a combination of all three.
Second, choose your distribution agent. You can choose from warm or hot water, olive oil, golden brown beer, apple cider vinegar, or your favorite conditioner.
Keep in mind that hair lightening can cause excessive drying of hair, particularly with the use of lemon juice. If you have dry or coarse hair, you may wish to choose olive oil, apple cider vinegar, golden beer, or conditioner as your distribution agent of choice.
Now, scroll below through our various recipes and choose the one that suits you.
• ½ c. fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 cup for long or thick hair)
• ½ c. warm water, or distributing agent of choice (1 cup for long or thick hair)
• A new or thoroughly cleaned spray bottle
• To make the Lemon Light solution, pour lemon juice and warm water into spray bottle and shake vigorously until thoroughly mixed.
• Wet your hair beneath the faucet and towel dry until it’s damp. If you can hold off on shampooing your hair for a few days before applying Lemon Light, your natural oils will provide some protection from the drying effects of the lemon juice.
• Cover your shoulders with a clean towel and consider placing a towel on the floor beneath your feet, as well.
• Spray all of your hair thoroughly with the Lemon Light solution. The more solution you use in a given area, the lighter it will become. Use plenty of solution near your roots to ensure even coverage.
• Sit in the sun to allow activation of the lemon juice. The longer you sit in the sun, the lighter your hair will become. However, do not sit out longer than 60 minutes, or your hair may become damaged. Only do this when the sun is shining, as a blow dryer will not activate the lemon juice the way the sun will.
• Rinse your hair with cool water until it runs clean and clear, then shampoo and condition as you normally would.
• Allow your hair to air dry for the next couple of days to avoid possible damage from heat drying. Use plenty of conditioner over the next couple of days to restore your hair’s moisture content.
For Dry Hair - Use ¼ cup olive oil or conditioner instead of water as your distributing agent.
For Highlights - Use ¼ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup warm water. Use cotton balls to apply Lemon Light solution to strips of your hair. Cover the strips in plastic to keep them from getting solution on the rest of your hair.
• ½ cup honey
• ½ cup olive oil
• Clean towels
• Using a whisk, mix the honey and olive oil thoroughly until the solution is completely smooth.
• Wet your hair thoroughly and towel dry to damp.
• To lighten your entire head of hair, apply Honey Glimmer thoroughly from root to tip. Work in sections, ensuring complete coverage. If you need to make more Honey Glimmer during the process, please do so.
• Cover your head with a plastic shower cap or layers of plastic wrap, ensuring that all of your hair is enclosed in plastic. If you have long hair, use clips to twist your hair up under the cap.
• Leave the mixture on your hair for no less than 30 minutes. The longer you can leave it, the lighter your hair will be when you’re finished.
• Rinse with warm water until the water runs clear. Your hair should not feel oily or sticky.
• Shampoo and condition as you normally do, and then style as usual.
Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 cup of hot water, warm apple cider vinegar, or golden colored beer. Stir to dissolve. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Then pour the liquid over your hair or use a spray bottle to coat your hair thoroughly with the solution. The apple cider vinegar acts as a conditioner, so it will help keep your hair from drying out. You can use a blow dryer or sit in the sun for 20 minutes afterwards, or you can put a shower cap on and sleep on it overnight. Just be sure to lie on a towel to protect your pillow.
Mix ¼ cup honey with ½ cup conditioner. Stir in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Use the conditioner after every shampoo, distributing a small amount throughout your hair. Leave the conditioner on your hair for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse out thoroughly. If your hair feels sticky after rinsing, use less honey in your conditioner mixture.
• 3 - 4 bags of chamomile tea (or 16 oz. of fresh chamomile flowers)
• 16 oz boiling water
• 16 oz mug
• Place chamomile tea bags or flowers into a 16 oz mug.
• Pour 16 oz boiling water over tea/flowers.
• Let steep for 5 minutes.
• Wet your hair and towel dry to damp.
• Strain the tea bags/flowers out of the tea.
• Pour the chamomile tea into a spray bottle.
• Thoroughly coat all of your hair with the tea.
• Use a heat source, either sunshine or a blow dryer, for 30 minutes.
• Wash and condition your hair as you normally would.
• Repeat the process daily until your hair is the shade you desire.
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to speed the lightening process.
• You can combine any of these ingredients in the proportions mentioned here, mixing and matching to see which ingredients have the most effect on your hair.
• We are aware that hydrogen peroxide is an effective way to lighten hair. However, we believe these other natural methods are far more protective of your hair than peroxide. We caution those who decide to use peroxide to read thoroughly about the process to ensure minimal drying and skin irritation.
• If you choose to use lemon juice or honey, you will want to counteract the drying effects of these ingredients by waiting at least a week between treatments and by using moisturizing conditioners for several days after rinsing out the solution.
• Never sit out in the sun longer than 60 minutes with one of these solutions on your hair, as you may risk damage.
• Please keep in mind that these methods are working to bring out the natural highlights in your hair. If you have Red Hair, you may discover that your natural highlights are brighter red or orange than you knew. If you have Black or Brown Hair, you may discover that you may also have red or orange highlights. If you are uncertain of your natural highlights, consider testing a strip underneath the bulk of your hair in the back before proceeding to your entire head of hair.
• Any of these recipes can be used to create highlights in your hair. Just use a cotton ball or clean basting brush to apply any of these solutions to small strips of hair. Be sure to wrap the treated strips in plastic wrap in order to prevent the solution from contaminating the rest of your hair.