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How to Lighten Your Hair Naturally at Home

Updated on March 6, 2016

Blonde Highlights

If you want that sun kissed blonde look but don't want to damage your hair or pay big bucks, then these natural tricks are for you.

  • You can get the same results you would from bleaching products, except you're using all-natural ingredients instead that won't damage your hair as badly.
  • The items in these recipes below can be easily found at a grocery or health store.
  • If you are on a budget, then these tricks will be even more of a perk for you—all of these ways are under fifteen dollars.

Below, find some ways to lighten various shades of hair.

Medium or Light Shades

Lemon Juice

Lemons
Lemons

Things needed:

  • Lemon juice (Note: Lime works also!)
  • A spray bottle
  • Water
  • Sunshine

Instructions:

  1. Fill your spray bottle halfway with lemon (or lime) juice.
  2. Fill the rest with water. (This is optional, depending on how strong you want your mixture.)
  3. Spritz hair until damp. Do not soak your hair and scalp.
  4. Go outside and let your hair dry in the sun.
  • Try not to overexpose your hair. You should not be in direct sunlight for more than a half and hour.
  • You can leave the juice in your hair overnight or wash it out immediately after you're done in the sun, it's up to you.
  • The juice does bleach your hair and cause some dryness, so be sure to condition and moisturize before and after trying this.

How to Make Lemon Juice Lightener

Chamomile

Things needed:

  • Chamomile tea
  • A spray bottle
  • Sunshine

Instructions:

  1. Brew some chamomile tea.
  2. Put the tea in your spray bottle.
  3. Spritz your hair until damp, not soaked
  4. Go hang out in the sun

This method is not as damaging or as harsh as lemon juice and you do not have to worry about over exposure. You can also boil camomile flowers instead of using the tea—both ways are effective.

Darker Shades

It can be tricky to get natural looking highlights when you have really dark hair. You often risk getting orange looking shades, instead of blonde.

  • Always try out the mixture on a small sample of hair before applying to the rest. This will help prevent orange hair.

The following highlighting techniques are much stronger than the two listed above so they should work better for darker shades of hair.

Rhubarb

Things needed:

  • Lemon juice
  • A spray bottle
  • A blender
  • Rhubarb
  • Water
  • Sunshine

Instructions:

  1. Take a couple of pieces of rhubarb and puree them in your blender.
  2. Take the rhubarb juice and fill your spray bottle one third of the way
  3. Fill another third of your bottle with lemon juice and the remaining third with water.
  4. Shake well to mix the three liquids.
  5. Spritz hair with mixture.
  6. Go out into the sun for half an hour.
  7. Rinse mixture out of hair, condition, and towel dry

The rhubarb makes the bleaching effects of the lemon juice a lot stronger. Do not forget to condition your hair. Lemon juice can dry your hair out a bit.

Henna Powder

Source

Things needed:

  • Henna powder
  • Chamomile tea
  • Water
  • Sunshine
  • A comb
  • A plastic bag

Instructions:

  1. Make the chamomile tea and pour it into a bowl.
  2. Mix in the henna powder, enough so that it makes a thick paste.
  3. Apply the paste to the comb and run it thoroughly through your hair.
  4. Cover your hair with a plastic bag, leaving it for thirty minutes.
  5. After thirty minutes, rinse the mixture out of your hair and towel dry.

Henna powder is pretty strong, so don't forget to try it on a small sample of your hair first.

For Any Shade of Hair

Honey

Organic honey
Organic honey | Source

Things needed:

  • Honey
  • Your usual conditioner

Instructions:

  • Mix equal parts your conditioner and honey in a bowl. Make sure you mix it really well.
  • Lather the mixture into your hair like you would for shampoo.
  • Leave it in your hair for about a half an hour.
  • After thirty minutes, rinse it off and then towel dry your hair.

Honey has natural qualities that will lighten your hair, much like peroxide does, except it's obviously much healthier. The conditioner helps your hair from getting damaged badly and drying out.

A Few More Ways

Sunny day with clouds
Sunny day with clouds | Source
  • The sun will naturally lighten your hair all by itself as well. It just takes longer this way.
  • You can go swimming. The combination of water and sun will lighten your hair too, not as fast as the ways listed above, but this is faster than just the sun alone.

Which method is your favorite

See results

Comments I Would Love to Hear What You Think

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    • profile image

      Marissa 3 months ago

      I use

      1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

      1/2 cup shampoo

      4 tsp cinnamon

      2 tbsp honey

      leave on for 4-8 hours or overnight to see results. If you have white dots on your fingers or hands from using this mixture it's fine the dots go away.

    • profile image

      Kat 5 months ago

      Will the sun help the honey mixture also?

    • profile image

      Rianne 14 months ago

      Hiya, I was wondering whether dark blonde hair with red undertones will turn yellowish after a treatment with any of the above ingredients. When I was a teen I used to go crazy with peroxide in a spray bottle, with the result that my hair had bright yellow highlights, while the rest stayed dark blonde. Horrible. So I guess I'm also looking for a way to bleach it evenly.

    • profile image

      Deen 17 months ago

      Hi, great article!! ^^ You said you could get light blonde from light brown with the honey treatment. Someone above even mentioned platinum blonde. Does it mean that honey+conditioner can be some bleach or high lift alternative? Will it work on dark base like level 3? This article was posted quite long ago, but I wish someone reads my question xoxo

    • profile image

      Jenn63 21 months ago

      I can say from years of experience that henna (while absolutely amazing) will not lighten your hair so much as it will give you the most amazing red hair (depending on what you mix with it - my mix was henna powder, lemon + orange juice, chamomile + mint tea, and an essential oil). Mixing in citrus juice will brighten the color, but henna *stains* red-orange. On darker hair, you'll get a reddish tint, medium hair will turn you auburn, and if you're blonde, you're most likely getting fire-engine red. Henna is a fabulous moisturizing hair treatment that boosts shine, tames frizz, makes it incredibly soft, and the color in no way bleeds out; the only drawback is that it's something you commit to and need to let grow out (I couldn't find a hairstylist that would touch it with dye for over 6+ months) because dyeing your hair after using henna could seriously damage it.

      Think about henna tattoos. They're usually a darkish brown that take a few weeks to fade from your skin. The first time I hennaed my hair (with my mix), my gloves broke and I had carrot-orange hands for literally 3-4 weeks.

      All I'm advising is to seriously research henna before you do it because you're going to be stuck with it for a really really long time. The other methods work lightening wonders though!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 24 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      I've used to lighten my hair blonde, a long time ago. It's so expensive to get it done at the hair salon. This is a great way to do it at home. I'm going to try it real soon! Nice hub!

    • Rachel Gaddie profile image

      Rachel Gaddie 2 years ago

      I think I am going to use the honey and conditioner method. I have a few days to get my hair lightened so time isn't an issue. Thank you so much for the info~

    • bakingSense profile image

      bakingSense 2 years ago from Vaughan, Canada

      Can't wait to try it!

    • profile image

      jojo 2 years ago

      Hi what is the fastest and best method???!!

    • profile image

      Coco 2 years ago

      I loved the honey method !!!!❤️

    • profile image

      Anon 2 years ago

      Thank you! My hair is dark brown but I want it to be blonde.

    • profile image

      chloetuck 2 years ago

      i really liked them they were very good

    • profile image

      cece 2 years ago

      I tried the lemon method and found out I'm allergic to lemons.... not so fun

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      thanks for this hub. I've been trying to find ways to lighten my hair without damaging it with harsh chemicals. voted up and sharing. thank you so much will try the honey method sooner rather than later

    • profile image

      Daliaaaaa 3 years ago

      I've lightened my hair with honey and instead of conditioner, I used olive oil and it worked pretty good!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      Good article on lightening your hair naturally. Ive always wanted lighter hair but was afraid to due to fear of my hair falling out. Thanks for the tips. Voted up.

    • KatEast profile image

      KatEast 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for the great advice, I've been using the Organic Camomile Natural Hair Lightening Spray from Amazon UK but these free tips may also help me along!

    • profile image

      jake 4 years ago

      will the honey method work on leg hair

    • profile image

      Ashley 4 years ago

      Thank you for the information I can't wait to use it and ,make my blond hair a bight libreta. I will try to use the honey one it sounds .more esier. Thank You

    • cathie bridges profile image

      Hamza Arshad 4 years ago from Pakistan

      wowww...i never heard heard about it that looks interesting

    • profile image

      Sunshine-17 4 years ago

      Hi Brittanie2216, Thank you so much for this article it is very helpful! ..today I tried the method of lemon, some water and a drop of olive oil. I have medium brown hair. I read that the olive oil helps too keep the natural oils in the hair that lemon takes out, is this true? or does it have no effect? ..Also once I applied the products to my hair the sun went out and it started to rain. Will this method still work without sunlight?? thanks for your time :-)

    • profile image

      stroudie17 4 years ago

      How quickly does the honey and conditioner work? Will i need to repete the honey and conditioner over again? Also i was wondering what is in the honey that lightens the hair?

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      Hydrogen peroxide will definitely lighten your hair but it is very damaging.

    • Glass-Jewelry profile image

      Marco Piazzalunga 4 years ago from Presezzo, Italy

      What happened to the old method of hydrogen peroxide? I remember my aunts and the grandmother if I remember correctly, they used this method to lighten their hair, sometimes they even get a platinum blonde!

    • profile image

      Audrey 4 years ago

      Wow thanks! XD

    • profile image

      Katheryn 4 years ago

      This helped a lot! I'm gonna go try the honey and conditioner one (:

    • ReneeLoves profile image

      ReneeLoves 4 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Hi again Brittanie2216, so I put the honey mixture on my hair for an hour and then after rinsing it, I washed any remains out with a little bit of baby shampoo and used a special hair conditioning treatment after. I results weren't dramatic at all, I have no idea why I was so scared. My hair is very thick and very dark brown at the roots and slowly lightens to a medium brown mid length, so I think it will take a few treatments before I will see the results I'm looking for. I'm excited to take the rollers out tomorrow and see what it all looks like. And thank you for your blessing!! :)

      P.S. looking forward to seeing your other articles and such!!

      Oh! And the two in one shampoo/conditioner that I used to make the recipe worked perfectly. I didn't see any hurt in using it. I would just recommend for other users to use a good quality 2-in-1, and place a towel around your neck before applying!!!

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      Thank you have a wonderful date

    • ReneeLoves profile image

      ReneeLoves 4 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Great, thank you so much for your quick reply. I have a special date tomorrow night and needed to do this today so I can continue with the rest of my plans for getting ready. And yes, I will come back and let you know. :-)

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      The change is subtle it takes a few uses before you see any drastic changes. I would try the two in one shampoo and conditioner. Let me know if it works. The conditioner is to help hydrate your hair but I don't think that shampoo would hurt.

    • profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago

      Hi, I was interested in using the honey and conditioner method but I unfortunately don't have any plain conditioner, all I have is the 2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioner. Will this work? Also, does the honey and conditioner method bring about dramatic, noticeable results after a few hours, or are the subtle? I don't want it to be a drastic change, just looking for something a little different.

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      Is your hair naturally an orange shade or was is colored that way? If your hair is naturally that color than it may take a bit longer to lighten it. If it turned orange while trying to bleach it then I would suggest honey because this method will not dry out your hair anymore.

    • profile image

      Angolena 4 years ago

      i have orange hair :( and i woz just wondering wot the best method is for me ? it's short !!

    • celeste inscribed profile image

      Celeste Wilson 4 years ago

      Great advice thank you. Finally an alternative to all those chemicals.

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      If you are in the sun lemon is the way to go. Honey does not need sun but it takes longer.

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      Thank you so much I am glad you ejoy this page :) Since your hair is already damaged and you do not want to dry it out anymore I would suggest the honey and conditioner method. This is the one I use most often. The plus is that it does not damage your hair to much. The cons are the amount of time it takes. I leave the honey in my hair all day for one or two days but it feels soft and looks great when I am done. I would also suggest putting egg whites in your hair for a half an hour and then rinsing them out. This just puts the protien back in your hair and makes healthy again. Thank you for reading my article and I am glad I could help.

    • profile image

      Justine 4 years ago

      I LOVE THIS PAGE!!! OK, so my hair is naturally light brown, and I lightened it with Sun In a while back...I liked the color at first...then it become gross as my hair grew out. It was pretty damaging...it dried out my hair quite a bit. I need to touch up my roots with something other than Sun In. What is the best method to use in the Wintertime? I really value your opinion!!!

    • profile image

      Finn 4 years ago

      Thank you for the methods!!

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      When you use honey it takes time but you should definitely see results after the first use. I use honey to lighten my hair and I usually put it in my hair for six hours one day and then again the next day. I also have light brown hair and after the second day my hair is a very light blonde. If you want to speed up the process you can hang out in the sun or use a blow dryer. Heat speeds the process up good luck :)

    • bangell08 profile image

      bangell08 4 years ago from Ohio

      With the honey technique, will it lighten your hair noticeably after one use, or does it needs to be repeated often? I have light brown hair

    • Alison-Jean profile image

      Alison-Jean 4 years ago from Egypt

      Hi, I've always used lemon and cammomile to lighten my hair in the sun but I love the idea of honey; I'll try it tomorrow and let you know how it works out.

      All the Best!

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      I love all natural beauty techniques I am glad that you liked these ones. Yes I would say that either honey or henna would be the best for very dark hair.

    • profile image

      kass16 5 years ago

      Does the honey treatment work for dark hair too? Mine is a darkish brown like brunette

    • profile image

      jusbeth16 5 years ago

      I love reading all about different home remedies. They all work so well, and lemon? That is def. one of my favorite for it can be used for a lot of things.

      Great ideas!

    • profile image

      taylor 5 years ago

      I I have brown hair, but I really want it to be lighter! I will deffinitely ask my mom if I can try the lemon!

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      When you use lemon lemon juice the results depend on the amount of sunlight. The honey and conditioner does not depend on any other variables so I find it more dependable. If you are out in the sun a lot I would recommend the lemon juice. Thank you for all the feedback :)

    • lolasporch profile image

      lolasporch 5 years ago from Michigan Great Lakes State

      I appreciate this information. I have seen blondes who have that natural look, and maybe this has been the method they've used. Thank you!

    • profile image

      nancypatel 5 years ago

      Very useful informations, great writing ... Thanks !

    • profile image

      Beachlife 5 years ago

      I will have to remember to tell my daughter to use lemon juice she is always nagging me to bleach her hair all the time. thanks!

    • Jean Rogers profile image

      Jean Rogers 5 years ago

      I had heard of lemon and chamomile, but never rhubarb or honey. Very interesting!

    • profile image

      karla 5 years ago

      Which way lightens hair the most: lemon or honey?

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      The honey and conditioner method works better when your hair is wet but it will work either way.

    • profile image

      miranda 5 years ago

      does your hair need to be wet with honey & conditioner one?

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      Thank you

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      thank you for the comment :)

    • uNicQue profile image

      Nicole Quaste 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Thanks so much for this! I always heard of the lemon juice, but the others were new to me, and I think I'll go try the chamomile tea one :)

    • Brittanie2216 profile image
      Author

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      I am glad you liked it thank you :)

    • profile image

      Kalani Elkins 5 years ago

      This was very helpful for my girlfriend. Thank you.