In this post? Do you feel like a little zombie after the summer glow has faded away? Me too. That is why in this post I will teach you epic DIY ways to lighten your hair at home naturally, either with at home ingredients, or with pharmacy bought products (and the bets part: no bleach is needed).
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BEFORE WE START
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Lighten Your Hair At Home Naturally Without Bleach
With summer surely coming to an end (wtf was this August, man? So darn cold), and with our golden beach locks slowly fading away, it is time to look for alternatives that will maintain that beachy glow, even in colder months.
If you’ve been looking for ways on how to lighten your hair at home without using products that damage your hair join the club, my friend!
With colder months and a limited amount of sun exposure when winter approaches, most of us are slowly transforming into little versions of Zombies as the days go by (hey, just in time for Halloween).
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Either our skin starts getting flaky, or we add some extra kilos to our body during Thanksgiving period, winter always seemingly takes a toll on us, and it is perfectly natural to feel underwhelmed with how you look during these colder months.
This all to say that my summer beach highlights are getting darker by the day.
Being that I’d also like saving some money instead of going t my local salon for lighter hair strands, I decided to look for tips on how to lighten your hair at home naturally.
3 Important Things to Consider Before You Lighten Your Hair at Home
1. Your Skin Tone: Unfortunately, not everyone looks better with lighter hair and just because blond hair looks good on someone you know, this does not mean it’s going to look good on you. Your skin color sets the tone for what hair shades will and won’t look good on you.
PRO TIP: If you’re not sure of your skin undertones, try to find a photo of a celebrity who has lighter hair and whose skin complexion is similar to yours to see how it looks. Alternatively, you can also ask a professional in the beauty or hair industry. Nowadays with WhatsApp, you can easily send your hairdresser a picture and ask for his opinion.
2. Your Natural Hair Color: If you’re going the natural route, it’s not a surprise that the best way to lighten your hair is by already having somewhat a lighter hair tonality.
Pro Tip: If you have really dark brown or even black hair, you shouldn’t expect to be able to go blond with natural products, unfortunately. That being said, the techniques and products in this post will work best for those of you with already light hair (blond, light brown, and even redheads) who want to go even lighter!
3. Maintenance: If you want to go lighter for the long haul, you’re going to have to upkeep your hair color on a regular basis. This means using a special shampoo and hair conditioner for lighter hair. It is also important to keep your hair hydrated and to constantly repeat the lightening processes discussed in this post.
HOW TO AVOID DAMAGING YOUR HAIR WHEN LIGHTENING IT
Even if you’re not bleaching your hair by lightening it with natural products, it is always best to know how to avoid damaging our hair, especially when doing DIY hair care.
Here are my 3 top tips to avoid damaging your hair when lightening it at home:
1. Deep Condition: Conditioning your hair on a regular basis is super, duper important if you want to keep from damaging your natural locks. You should always (and I mean always) aim to strengthen and protect your hair.
This means making sure to consistently condition your hair and avoid dry, split ends. Furthermore, I recommend a deep-conditioning hair mask, such as this coconut repair masque at least once or twice a week for best results! For years I’ve been a huge fan of the Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask
You can either make a mask with these oils or simply run them all the way through your strands from bottom to roots, leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse it off.
3. Reduce Your Use of Heating Tools: It is no news that heating tools such as hair dryers and curling wands cause heaps of damage to your hair. Heating tools can seriously dry out your hair strands, as can lightening your hair, so doing both can be extra harmful to your locks.
TIP: My advice is to avoid using beauty tools that require heat as much as possible when you are in the process of lightening your hair.
Why you should use natural highlighters
For centuries on end, people have been coloring their hair. In fact, highlighting hair can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece when the Greeks used natural products such as olive oil, flower pollen, and even gold flakes, combined with hours laying under the summer sun.
Today, it is true that you can easily find many rapid (and cheap) bleaching kits at your local drugstore to chemically achieve lighter flocks of hair. However, please note that these kits are filled with chemical risks, such
- Stiff, brittle, or otherwise damaged hair
- Irritation of skin or eczema
- Irritation of airways or asthma
- An unflattering color that will take time and money to fix
The good news, girls, is that just like the Greeks, you can still try more natural methods to lighten or highlight your hair at home. These options may be better for a variety of reasons, as they implicate less exposure to suspicious chemicals, fewer opportunities for skin irritation, and many times, a more attractive price tag.
How to Lighten Your Hair at Home: 6 Natural Hair Lightening Options
Now it is time for the fun part. There are various ingredients you may have in your kitchen or bathroom right now that could be used to lighten your hair. You may want to experiment with different methods to see which works best for your hair color and type.
If you have dark hair and want to lighten it naturally, this one’s for you! Even if you have super dark hair, chamomile tea helps you add more of a golden glow to your darkened locks. Kindly note that these ingredients are drying to the hair, so I recommend following up with a deep conditioning treatment.
How to use Chamomile Tea to Lighten your Hair:
Steep chamomile tea in a large mug of boiling water for 10 minutes. Once the tea has cooled, add a bit of lemon juice, pour the tea over clean hair and let it soak overnight! If you lay under the sun with chamomile tea, it can also speed up the hair lightening process.
#2 Lemon juice
Lemon is probably the most well-known process to naturally lighten your hair. Lemon works best to lighten your hair if you have lighter brown, blonde or red hair (however, it does not work so well for dark brown or black hair).
How to Use Lemon to Lighten Your Hair:
Use a piece of lemon and run it through your hair, or mix lemon with warm water for an all-over hair mask. Then sit out in the sun, allowing the heat to activate the lemon. Follow your lightening process with a hydrating hair mask!
WARNING: Avoid contact of lemon with your skin + sun, as is can cause sunburns. If some lemon splashes in your skin, wash it off with water. Put a towel between your hair and your skin to avoid sunburn.
# 3 Cinnamon
I was surprised t find out that ground Cinnamon alone may lighten the hair.
How to Use Cinnamon to Lighten Your Hair:
Combine ½ cup of hair conditioner with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon into a paste and apply to damp hair. Leave on for three to four hours or even overnight (cover your head with a shower cap). Wash and style as usual.
# 4 Vitamin C
Vitamin C also contains citric acid, so is also extremely effective if you want to lighten your hair. Crush up some vitamin C, add it to a spray bottle with water and spritz it on your hair. Simple as that!
# 5 Apple cider vinegar + Chamomile
Combining chamomile and apple cider vinegar works great to naturally lighten hair locks. The good news as well is that the apple cider vinegar helps to balance the pH of hair, no matter the texture.
Don’t worry — the vinegar scent will dissipate.
How to use Apple cider Vinegar to Lighten Dark Hair:
Mix organic apple cider vinegar with water at a 50:50 ratio. Apply the mixture all over your hair, let it sit for 30 minutes and then rinse it out.
# 6 Salt
Even plain table salt may help lighten locks. Have you ever noticed how amazing and lighter our hair looks when we come back from a day to the beach?
How to use Salt to Lighten Hair
Mix table salt and water in a half/half ratio. Leave the mixture on for at least 10 minutes, preferably when you’re outside under the sun. Rinse or leave in for a beachier texture (salt also gives volume to the hair).
Pro Tip: Mix it with Chamomile tea for even lighter locks.
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How to lighten your hair: Best-Selling Hair Lightening Products that Work
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Lightening Shampoo: I love John Frieda’s shampoos and hair conditioner when I want to give my hair a lighter boost (especially over winter, when there is less sun). Formulated with bergamot extract and chamomile, this shampoo gently lightens your hair without drying it out! Use it every time you wash your hair and watch as your hair will seemingly magically transform.
John Frieda Lightening Spray: Another John Fri alternative, if you want quick and easy sun-kissed strands, this lightening spray is infused with natural lemon for a beautiful (and easy application), sun-drenched look.
Sun Bum Hair Lightener: This hair-lightening product will work for those who are blonde-haired to medium brown hair! Enriched with Costa Rican pineapple, Hawaiian Lehua honey, and Meyer Lemon, the Sun Bum Hair will lighten your hair by amplifying the natural highlighting effects of the sun!
Sun-In Hair Lightener: This hair lightener was what initiated me in my hair lightening journey when I was 15 years old. In fact, every 15-year-old girl in Brazil had a bottle of sun-in at the beach (good times). Sun-in contains botanical extracts like aloe, marigold, chamomile and flaxseed to bring out your hair’s natural highlights, and conditions your hair while it lightens it. Careful if your hair is really dark it can get orange instead of blonde (been there). This product really works though.
Dassange Paris Lightening Shampoo: Made with chamomile and citrus extract, this shampoo gradually lightens natural blond hair for a sun-kissed look!
Label.M Brightening Blond Shampoo: If you have blonde tones in your hair, this shampoo contains natural extracts like Mamaki tea and white pineapple to brighten and nourish your strands, boost shine and refresh your scalp! Win, win, win!
Lighten Your hair at Home, Final Thoughts
If you want to lighten your hair naturally, these techniques and products are the best of the best! Try them out to get those sun-kissed locks you’ve been dreaming of!
Keep in mind even if these are all natural solutions to lightening your hair, many of the at-home methods may also dry your hair out or temporarily affect its texture. I recommend using this deep conditioner to keep your hair moisturized and manageable.
This tip is especially important if you plan to follow a any of these methods more than once to achieve an even lighter hair tonality.
Lastly, many of these highlighting tips suggest sitting outside for long periods of time to get the added bleaching benefit of the sun. Be sure to protect your skin by wearing a quality sunscreen. Also, again, be extra careful with lemon spilling in your skin combined with sun exposure. As a Brazilian and being raised under the sun myself, lemon sunburns is a horror story we hear every day since we are little. Be careful!
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Have you ever tried any of these methods? Do you know any other ways to lighten your hair without using chemicals? Let me know in the comments below!
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