6 Ways to Lighten Your Hair Naturally, without Toxic Salon or Box Dye Chemicals (2022)

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By Kyra Oliver

January 25, 2017

(47)

(Video) HOW TO LIGHTEN HAIR DRASTICALLY WITH NO BLEACH || CHEAP AND FAST

6 Ways to Lighten Your Hair Naturally, without Toxic Salon or Box Dye Chemicals (1)

Dying hair is very popular among women, and even some men, especially as they get older and the gray starts to show. According to some statistics, 69 percent of women say that they feel more attractive right after having their hair dyed. (1)

Another studyshowed that 50 percent of women dye their hair regularly. According to the study, both genders started dyeing their hair around the age of 27. (2)

Like thickening one’s hair, the idea of dyeing hair has been around for a very long time. Ancient Egyptians became pros at learning how to lighten hair. Unfortunately, it was lead-based back in the day and their goal was to create dark hair by dyeing it black … very black. (3)

In modern times, lightening the hair seems to be the most popular approach and often starts at an early age for young girls wanting that sun-bleached, blonde look to their locks.

But first, let’s understand just a bit about hair. I’m sure you’ve heard of keratin. That is what our hair is made of, and it’s the same thing that makes up our fingernails.

But how does our hair get its color? Hair begins its growth inside a hair follicle that is found underneath the skin. It’s here where pigment is added from protein. Our natural hair color comes from two pigments — one called eumelanin, which is usually found in brunettes and darker hair colors, and pheomelanin, which comprises the beautiful red hair colors. Blonde, however, simply comes from lower amounts of pigment, and gray happens when pigment production decreases or stops altogether. (4)

Conventional Ways to Lighten Your Hair

So what happens when you decide to change the color of your hair? And is bleaching safe for your hair? Well, when you learn how to lighten hair by bleaching it, you are removing the natural pigment of the hair. Commonly, the bleach that is used is hydroxide peroxide, which achieves what is often referred to as peroxide hair.

But did you know that when you heat hydrogen peroxide to a boiling point, it becomes explosive? And at room temperature, it is used as a disinfectant. Manufacturers of these products know this, so they dilute it a good bit so that it’s somewhat safe to use.

It works by entering the hair shaft and releasing oxygen. When this happens, the pigments are broken down. This allows for a color product to work in conjunction with the hydrogen peroxide to gain the desired hair color. So ultimately, you are stripping the hair with the bleach, or hydrogen peroxide, to prepare it to take on the color and stay until new hair growth occurs. But is this a healthy process for your hair? Absolutely not.

What is also important to understand is that most off-the shelf hair products contain dangerous chemicals that, when exposed to them, can cause cancer and numerous other health risks. Formaldehyde, for example, is found in tons of hair products and poses a huge risk according to OSHA. (5) (6)

(Video) 13 Incredibly Easy Ways to Dye Your Hair Naturally

Additionally, hair dyeing products may cause allergic reactions when in contact with the skin, such as itching on the scalp, hair breakage, hair loss, redness on the scalp, conjunctivitis and even headache. Interestingly, a study shows that regardless, 89 percent of subjects continued dyeing their hair and many continued use during pregnancy.

I find this alarming since numerous studies give evidence to the absorption of toxic chemicals in hair products through the skin of the scalp, which can pose health risks for both mom and baby. (7)

6 Ways to Naturally Bleach Hair At Home

Now that you have some knowledge of how hair dyeing works and some risks involved in the use of chemical-based dyes, let’s delve into some natural ways for how to lighten hair.

A study by Microbial Biotechnology published some astounding results when assessing plant-based dyes for the hair. “Using a laccase enzyme from Trametes versicolor and natural plant‐derived phenolic compounds, they were able to produce a colorful array of eco‐friendly dyes.” Thisincluded a broad range of colors ultimately reducing the use of hydrogen peroxide‐based dyeing methods, which possibly contain carcinogenic phenylenediamines. This is good news for our health! (8)

1. Chamomile

If you thought benefit-rich chamomile was only for tea, guess what? It can safely lighten your hair too. Just brew a strong cup or two, then allow it cool. Once cooled, apply it to the hair for an all over lightening effect. Then hang out in the sun for about a half an hour while it dries. Shampoo and condition as usual.

2. Henna

While henna is usually known to darken hair, it can lighten very dark brunettes by providing some reddish highlights. It takes about three tablespoons of henna powder combined with a ½ cup of boiling water. Then allow this mixture to sit overnight. The next morning, apply to your hair, letting it sit for around 2–3 hours. Rinse well.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda can whiten your teeth, but if looking forhow to lighten hair, it can help.Make a paste using a little warm water and about a ⅓ cup of baking soda. (You may need more if you have long hair). Once you have formed a thick paste, apply it to the hair and leave on for about 15 minutes. Rinse, shampoo, condition and style as usual. You can even try my baking soda shampoo for added results.

4. Lemons

(Video) Testing 5 Ways To LIGHTEN Your Hair Naturally - AVOID ONE THAT RUINED MY HAIR

Lemon juice in hair is probably the most popular and has been for years because it contains bleaching properties. It works because of the citric acid in the lemon fruit, which can be used while out in the sun to naturally lighten the hair. This method seems to work best on lighter shades of hair. Regardless, you don’t need much.

To gently lighten the hair, combine one tablespoon of lemon juice with about a half gallon of water. If you want stronger bleaching effects, you can dilute far less by mixing three tablespoons of lemon juice with about two cups of water. If you prefer, you can use lemon essential oil to do the trick. Just a few drops blended with water will create the perfect concoction.

Want a shine boost? Useapple cider vinegar for hairbysimply adding two tablespoons for a great hair rinse. To use, apply after a good shampoo. Simply rinse your hair with the lemon mixture. Make sure it has been evenly distributed. Massage it into your hair. Allow it to sit for five minutes to one hour, and for a lighter effect, sit in the sun with the mixture in your hair. Then, apply conditioner and rinse. You can repeat this technique for two to three weeks until desired color is reached.

5. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

As mentioned above, vinegar can offer some shine, but it also can offer a lightened affect. Just combine a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar with a half-cup of distilled water. Either spray it on or apply to strands using a cotton ball or brush. Leave on for about half an hour, then rinse.

6. Sea Salt

When swimming in the ocean, the salt from the sea can lighten your hair, especially since you are out in the sun. You can simulate that effect using sea salt and warm water. Just dissolve one tablespoon of sea salt with about a ½ cup of warm water. Apply it to your hair, leaving on for about 20 minutes. Rinse and wash for that sexy beach look!

Natural Hair Lightener Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 5 drops chamomile essential oil
  • warm water (enough to make a paste)

In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and sea salt. Mix well. Baking soda is a great home remedy because it helps removes residue caused by other products, helps remove chlorine (which is useful if you spend time in the pool), and it even promotes hair growth! (9)

And you simply can’t go wrong with the natural benefits of sea salt. While overdoing it in the ocean and sun can cause your hair to become brittle, incorporating it on occasion can actually provide some great benefits. Sea salt has the ability to naturally balance and restore the scalp, which benefits the hair. This works because sea salt is jam-packed with health-benefiting minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium. These minerals are vital to the health of our skin, hair and nails. (10)

Then add the chamomile essential oil. Chamomile oil is amazing because it adds shine and softness to hair all while soothing the scalp. It is also known as an anti-dandruff solution. (11)Now, slowly add purified warm water until it forms a thick paste. Make sure it’s well blended.

To apply, choose either strands of hair or apply it to your full head of hair for an all over lighter effect. Either way, make sure to massage into the scalp area at the base of the hair you are working with. Allow it to sit on the hair for about half an hour. To achieve a blonder affect, sit in the sun during this time. After half an hour, rinse thoroughly, shampoo, condition and style as usual. If you want your hair to be even lighter, repeat the next day.

(Video) HOW TO USE BOX DYE THE "RIGHT WAY" | TIPS FROM A PROFESSIONAL HAIRDRESSER

Keep in mind that results may vary since everyone’s hair is different. Using purified water can help achieve better results. Since some may have an allergic reaction, if you experience any irritation, stop using and thoroughly rinse immediately.

Read Next: Top Vitamins for Hair Growth

How to Lighten Hair Naturally — 6 Natural Ways

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 1–2 applications

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 5 drops chamomile essential oil
  • warm water (enough to make a paste)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl or jar, combine all ingredients until well blended.
  2. Apply from the roots, either to strands of hair or to the entire head of hair.
  3. Leave on for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse well. Shampoo, condition and style as usual.

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FAQs

How can I lighten my hair naturally? ›

Natural bleaching agents like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, chamomile tea, or cinnamon and honey can lighten hair gently and naturally with minimal damage. Rinse your hair in a solution of warm water and one or more of these lightening agents, then sit in the sun to dry.

How can I lighten my hair without using products? ›

Apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar are easy and cheap options for lightening your hair. Rinse your hair in vinegar and then rinse it again in cold water to lift color and revitalize dull strands.

Is there a safe way to lighten hair? ›

To try out this method while mitigating the risk of damage, combine one cup of baking soda with no more than three tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Mix it up and apply the paste to your hair, letting the mask sit 30 minutes for lighter hair and 45 minutes for darker.

How can I lighten my natural hair without chemicals? ›

Ways to naturally lighten hair at home:
  1. Baking soda. If you got a bad dye job or previously darkened your hair and now want to brighten it up, baking soda might be a viable option to try. ...
  2. Lemon juice. ...
  3. Vitamin C. ...
  4. Honey. ...
  5. Saltwater spray. ...
  6. Cinnamon. ...
  7. Lightening shampoo.
14 Jan 2021

Does salt water lighten hair? ›

Saltwater and chlorine are also culprits for lightening,” Gonzalez says. “They alter the natural keratin in your hair, resulting in lighter shades.” If frolicking in the ocean or a pool every day isn't an option or you don't want to leave it to chance, a salt spray or some lemon juice can help things along.

Can toothpaste lighten your hair? ›

Can toothpaste bleach your hair? Yes, leaving toothpaste on your hair long enough may bleach your hair, but that doesn't mean you should try it. Even if whitening toothpaste can “bleach” or lighten hair on your skin and on your body, the result will be somewhat unpredictable.

Does baking soda lighten hair? ›

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

Baking soda can also lighten hair that isn't dyed, but not when it's used by itself. To lighten nondyed hair, you have to use baking soda as a base with hydrogen peroxide. This is a bleaching agent that lightens hair.

Does vinegar lighten hair? ›

Apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar is an easy and cheap option for lightening your hair. Rinse your hair in vinegar and then rinse it again in cold water to lift color and revitalize dull strands.

How can I bleach my hair with household items? ›

You may use it to clean stains in your house, make some cookies, and as an ingredient for homemade hair bleach.
  1. Mix 1 cup of baking soda and 2 to 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a mixing bowl until you form a paste. ...
  2. Coat your hair with the paste.
27 Jun 2022

Can lemon juice lighten hair? ›

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is a natural bleaching agent. Citric acid can whiten fabrics, and it's sometimes included in skin care products to help lighten dark spots. It's this ingredient that gradually whitens hair, making it appear lighter in color.

Can honey lighten hair? ›

Honey has an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, This lightens your hair by breaking down the natural pigment, much like bleach.

How can I color my hair at home? ›

How To Color Your Hair At Home - Home Hair Dye Tips And Tricks

Does lemon juice damage hair? ›

Can lemon juice damage hair? Fresh lemon juice will not dry out or damage your hair. However, prolonged exposure to the sun can damage your hair's outer sheath, called the cuticle. For this reason, you'll want to limit the amount of time you spend in the sun after applying lemon juice to your hair.

How can I get blonde hair naturally? ›

How to Lighten Hair Naturally Without Absolutely Destroying It
  1. Lighten Hair With a Mist. ...
  2. Lighten Hair Dye With Clarifying Shampoo. ...
  3. Ask Your Stylist About Vitamin C Powder. ...
  4. Lighten Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  5. Go Lighter With a Cinnamon and Honey Hair Mask. ...
  6. Get Natural Highlights With Lemon Juice. ...
  7. Try a Brightening Shampoo.
15 Jul 2021

How do you lighten your hair with vinegar? ›

For lightening, mix one-part apple cider vinegar with six-part waters and spray across the hair. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing it out. You may have to repeat a few times until you see results.

What does salt water do to hair? ›

'Sea water and chlorine both swell the cuticle on the outside layer of the hair, making it look damaged" she said. 'It also makes hair more tangled and knotty, fades colour and irritates the scalp."

How do you make your hair blonder naturally overnight? ›

Combine a fourth cup of strong chamomile tea with one fourth cup apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spray the mixture to saturate your hair, let dry, and leave in overnight. This hack can also be used in the sun to increase its lightening effects.

Does toothpaste make hair blonde? ›

The bottom line is that you should not use toothpaste to lighten your hair. Most toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide, which is the lightening (oxidizing) agent in many hair dyes.

Can I put hydrogen peroxide in my hair? ›

It can be used as a disinfectant and as bleach, including as a hair lightener. Because of this, hydrogen peroxide is an ingredient in many blonde hair dyes. While it's generally safe to use hydrogen peroxide on your skin and hair, it can cause skin, lung, and eye irritation.

Is toothpaste good for pimples? ›

Does putting toothpaste on a pimple make it go away? You may have heard this suggestion, but experts on acne say don't try it. Toothpaste could make that spot on your skin even more red, irritated, and noticeable.

What will baking soda do to your hair? ›

Baking soda dissolved in water helps to remove any buildup of oils, soaps, and other ingredients in typical hair care products. By stripping away this buildup, baking soda can leave hair squeaky-clean, shiny, and soft.

Does Epsom salt fade haircolor? ›

Bath salts which contain sodium bicarbonate and Epsom salts are of great help to remove unwanted hair color easily. Add a certain amount of bath salts to the water and soak your hair in that water for around 15-20 minutes.

What does vinegar do to hair? ›

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar balances hair and scalp pH. By lowering the pH of your scalp, ACV flattens and closes the hair cuticle. This makes your hair smoother and easier to detangle, shinier, less frizzy, less prone to breakage, and more moisturized.

Can vinegar change hair color? ›

The truth is that Apple Cider Vinegar is only slightly acidic–not nearly enough to strip hair color. Whew! The only thing you do need to know about using Apple Cider Vinegar on your hair is this: don't use it too often. Like any clarifying shampoo, it is meant to be used every few weeks to refresh hair.

Does honey and vinegar lighten your hair? ›

Raw honey and vinegar: Plain vinegar and raw honey can lighten the hair. It is believed that results may be seen after using these ingredients even once. You can even apply this solution at night and sleep your way to natural highlights.

How can I make my hair blonde without dye? ›

Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice can also be used for the brown hair to blonde at home. It has its own natural acid. There is no need of any bleach. You can spray the lemon juice with water on your hair to achieve the brown hair to blonde hair at home purpose.

How long do you leave hydrogen peroxide in your hair? ›

Leave the hydrogen peroxide in your hair for about 30 minutes. Depending on how dark your hair is, how light you want it, and how much irritation the chemical may cause, you'll want to experiment and play around with it.

Does baking soda and lemon lighten hair? ›

Sometimes you end up with dye on your skin or the color in your hair is not what you expected. No worries: you may be able to remove hair color with lemon juice and baking soda. Lemon juice lightens the hair and removes built-up product, and baking soda acts as a mild scouring agent.

Does cinnamon lighten hair? ›

Cinnamon alone may lighten hair. You'll find this ingredient added to various other DIY hair “bleaching” recipes, but you may try using this ingredient on its own to achieve highlights and overall lightening.

What happens if you rinse your hair in lemon juice? ›

Lemon is a cheap and effective answer to your oily hair worries. The astringent and toning effect of lemon balances your scalp's natural oil production and remove any excess oil which may be causing your hair to feel heavy. Lemon juice also works to restore scalp pH balance and adds body and sheen to your hair.

What happens if I leave lemon juice in my hair overnight? ›

Apply this mixture all over the scalp and leave it for an hour. Follow this by washing your hair with mild shampoo and hot water. Being rich in Vitamin C and Folic Acid, lemon juice will stop oiliness and leave the lengths of your hair shiny and smooth.

How long do you leave honey in your hair to lighten it? ›

If you want to lighten your hair naturally using honey, you'll have to keep it on for at least two to eight hours. What is this? It takes between 2-8 hours to lighten your hair with honey so make sure you don't have any prior appointments on that day. You even leave the honey hair masks overnight to keep your day free.

What does honey do to your hair? ›

Honey has both emollient and humectant properties, making it a great hair moisturizer. Emollients smooth the hair follicles, adding shine to dull hair. Humectants bond with water molecules, adding moisture to dry strands. By moisturizing and locking in shine, honey can help restore the natural luster of your hair.

Does Olive Oil lighten your hair? ›

Olive oil is very well known and present in hair care products, shampoos and conditioners. It brings softness and shine to the hair, but not only! Like chamomile and honey, olive oil can be used to naturally lighten hair. It is necessary to apply it on the hair before exposing it to the sun for one hour.

How do you dye your hair naturally with coffee? ›

Simply brew a couple of cups of dark coffee or espresso, using twice the amount of coffee grounds you'd use for a regular batch. Let the coffee cool, then mix the coffee with conditioner, apply to your hair as you would any store-bought hair dye, and let it sit for at least an hour.

How do you dye hair with coffee? ›

Instructions
  1. Brew ½ cup of dark roast coffee; the stronger, the better. ...
  2. Let the coffee cool to room temperature, and add 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds.
  3. Add 1 cup of leave-in conditioner. ...
  4. Wash your hair with shampoo.
  5. With your hair still damp, apply the coffee dye evenly.
16 Sept 2022

Is it better to dye your hair wet or dry? ›

“If the hair is dry, all the color can soak easily into the strands and not wash off or out in the first shampoo.” That said, if you want a more subtle color to your hair, coloring your hair while it is wet isn't a bad idea. It will just result in a sheer or more transparent appearance of the color.

Is applying lemon on hair good? ›

When it comes to your hair though, lemons are most beneficial when applied topically in liquid form. Lemon juice can be used to: naturally lighten hair, especially lighter hair colors. create shinier hair.

Does drinking lemon water help hair growth? ›

Stimulates hair growth:

Lemon water can make your hair stronger than before, by keeping the roots healthy. Lemons are known to be a natural stimulant for hair growth.

Is apple cider vinegar good for your hair? ›

Apple cider vinegar is praised for being rich in vitamins and minerals good for hair, like vitamin C and B. Some also claim it contains alpha-hydroxy acid which helps exfoliate scalp skin, and that it's anti-inflammatory, which can help with dandruff.

Does salt water lighten hair without sun? ›

When swimming in the ocean, the salt from the sea can lighten your hair, especially since you are out in the sun. You can simulate that effect using sea salt and warm water.

How can I make my hair white without bleaching it? ›

From Yellow to WHITE HAIR in under 10mins! No Bleach, No Damage!

How long should I leave apple cider vinegar in my hair? ›

Leave it in for 40-45 minutes and wash off with regular shampoo and cold water. Continue regularly once a week to get long hair.

How can I lighten my hair naturally in the winter? ›

Add enough baking soda to ½ a cup of warm water to make a paste. Cover your hair for 20 or so minutes. You can also add apple cider vinegar or lemon juice or essential oils. Not only will it lighten hair naturally, but it will strip it of product and chemical build-up at the same time!

Does baking soda lighten hair? ›

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

Baking soda can also lighten hair that isn't dyed, but not when it's used by itself. To lighten nondyed hair, you have to use baking soda as a base with hydrogen peroxide. This is a bleaching agent that lightens hair.

How can I naturally lighten my black hair? ›

For an easy lightening paste, mix together raw honey, vinegar, olive oil, and a little cardamon. Work the paste evenly into your hair and put a shower cap on your head overnight. Then, rinse it out in the morning. Another easy option is to apply a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part lemon juice to your hair.

How do I make my hair blonder at home? ›

To use, mix together 1 cup (236.6 g) of baking soda with 3 US tbsp (44 mL) of hydrogen peroxide in a bowl, and apply it to your hair from root to tip. Leave the mask on for 30-60 minutes, then rinse it out completely with shampoo and conditioner. After you rinse, your hair may look 1-2 shades lighter!

What will baking soda do to your hair? ›

Baking soda dissolved in water helps to remove any buildup of oils, soaps, and other ingredients in typical hair care products. By stripping away this buildup, baking soda can leave hair squeaky-clean, shiny, and soft.

Does vinegar lighten hair? ›

Apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar is an easy and cheap option for lightening your hair. Rinse your hair in vinegar and then rinse it again in cold water to lift color and revitalize dull strands.

How can I bleach my hair with household items? ›

You may use it to clean stains in your house, make some cookies, and as an ingredient for homemade hair bleach.
  1. Mix 1 cup of baking soda and 2 to 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide in a mixing bowl until you form a paste. ...
  2. Coat your hair with the paste.
27 Jun 2022

Does lemon juice lighten dark hair? ›

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is a natural bleaching agent. Citric acid can whiten fabrics, and it's sometimes included in skin care products to help lighten dark spots. It's this ingredient that gradually whitens hair, making it appear lighter in color.

What can lighten black hair? ›

To lighten black hair, start by mixing 1 part honey with 4 parts water in a bottle. Then, wet your hair completely, and work the honey mixture into it. Next, put on a shower cap, and let the mixture sit in your hair for 1 hour so the honey's bleaching properties have time to work.

Does lemon work to lighten hair? ›

Again, lemons can only provide a subtle lightening effect, so if your hair is super-dark, all that effort might not even show up (or, worse, tinge your strands a bit orange). Lemons also won't work if you already have salon highlights: "This is best done on virgin hair," McCard explains.

Does cinnamon lighten hair? ›

Cinnamon can also be used to lighten hair on its own. Simply combine a half cup of your favorite conditioner and two tablespoons of cinnamon. This hydrating mask can be left in overnight with the help of a shower cap and will leave your hair with natural highlights and a silky-smooth texture.

Can food change your hair color? ›

Food coloring is a cheap and easy way to dye your hair fun colors. It is also much less harsh on your hair than store-bought dyes. If you want a temporary option, you will have to use white conditioner. If you want a more permanent option, however, you will need to use developer.

How does honey lighten hair? ›

Honey can produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide which is a bleaching agent. And this is what makes your hair lighter. By adding ingredients like cinnamon and lemon juice you can increase the production of hydrogen peroxide, making the honey mixture more effective.

How long do you leave hydrogen peroxide in your hair? ›

How long does it take for hydrogen peroxide to lighten hair? Leave the hydrogen peroxide in your hair for about 30 minutes. Depending on how dark your hair is, how light you want it, and how much irritation the chemical may cause, you'll want to experiment and play around with it.

How do you lighten your hair with vinegar? ›

For lightening, mix one-part apple cider vinegar with six-part waters and spray across the hair. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing it out. You may have to repeat a few times until you see results.

Does salt water lighten hair without sun? ›

When swimming in the ocean, the salt from the sea can lighten your hair, especially since you are out in the sun. You can simulate that effect using sea salt and warm water.

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