Natural Ways to Lighten Hair

Everyone wants lighter hair in summer. Well, maybe not everyone but most people do prefer a lighter look for the warmer months. If you tend to want to highlight your hair during the summer but prefer to steer clear of harsh chemical lighteners, there is a great homemade recipe that you can try. These recipes are using uses all natural ingredients so there is no damage to your hair. You may remember spritzing lemon juice on your hair when you were younger and hoping that it would lighten. Well, this is about the same thing only with a few key ingredients thrown in.

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Homemade lightening is much less expensive than buying highlighter in the store and you can use it more than once because there are no chemicals to cause dry and brittle hair.

Here are a few different lightening methods that you can try:

1. Honey and Vinegar

Honey is a great lightening ingredient and the olive oil in this recipe will help to keep hair from drying out. To make it, you need:

  • 2 cups of distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup of raw uncooked honey – you can find this at most health food stores
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cardamom or cinnamon – either one is good so it’s really your choice

You just have to mix the ingredients together and then apply onto damp hair. You can use a brush or comb to make sure that you get it evenly distributed or just apply it wherever you want highlights. When you have the mixture applied, just wrap your hair in plastic wrap. If you have one, you can put a shower cap or swim cap on to keep the plastic wrap in place or just wrap a towel around your head.

You want to leave the mixture on overnight and then wash it out in the morning. There is no need to sit in the sunlight. This mixture works because honey has a small trace of hydrogen peroxide which is a lightening agent. Cinnamon and cardamom along with the extra virgin olive oil help to boost the lightening effect.

2. Tea

– Tea, specifically chamomile tea, is a great lightening agent. You can use black tea if you like but chamomile offers a number of properties that will help to keep your hair sleek and healthy. To use tea, you need:

  • 1 Tea Bag
  • Water

You simply boil the water and steep the tea bag for about 10 minutes. Once the tea has cooled, just rinse your hair with it and leave it on for about 15 minutes. You may want to do this 2 or 3 times before you shampoo or rinse to get extra lightening power.

3. Rhubarb

– Rhubarb works great and is a good choice during the summer. If you grow rhubarb, this one will not cost anything. If not, you can pick up rhubarb at your local grocery or farmer’s market. To lighten hair with rhubarb, you will need:

  • ¼ cup chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups water

Just bring the rhubarb to a boil and then allow it to cool completely. Strain and use the liquid as a rinse. Leave the rinse on for about 10 minutes and then just rinse clear with water.

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4. Baking Soda

– Baking soda is actually great for stripping your hair of chemical buildup and can be used as a lightening agent as well. This takes a while longer than other methods but if you use baking soda on your hair about once each week, you can strip harmful chemicals out and lighten your hair naturally over time.

5. Cinnamon

– Cinnamon is not only a great lightener but it smells great, too. Just take:

  • Cinnamon powder
  • Conditioner

You just have to add cinnamon powder to a small handful of conditioner and then evenly coat your hair from top to bottom. You may want to comb the mixture through to ensure that it coats evenly. Pull your hair up and keep it secure with a clip. You can use a shower cap to hold your hair in place and leave the mixture on overnight. Rinse and shampoo first thing in the morning. This mixture is perfectly safe for hair so you can use it more than once if you want to really see highlights.

6. Vitamin C

– Vitamin C is great for your hair. Not only with it lighten your locks, it helps to keep them healthy. Just take about 8 or 9 Vitamin C tablets, crush them and mix with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and then condition.

7. Henna Powder

– Henna Powder mixed with chamomile is a great lightening agent. You will need:

  • Henna Powder – You can get this at most natural food stores
  • Chamomile – Powder is best and this also comes from natural food stores
  • Boiling water

You just have to mix equal amounts of each powder to make a thick paste when added to boiling water. Allow this mixture to cool and then comb it into your wet hair. Place a shower cap or a plastic bag over your hair and leave the mixture for about an hour – note that if you have darker hair, you can leave it for up to 2 hours. Remove the plastic and rinse the mixture from your hair.

8. Vinegar

– Just rinsing your hair with water and vinegar will help to lighten it. It takes a bit of time for this to work so it is best for those looking for gradual lightening. Just mix one part vinegar with 6 parts water and rinse hair. Leave the rinse on for at least 15 minutes. Apple cider vinegar works the best and smells a bit better.


– You can mix salt with water and get natural lightening as well. If you have ever swam in salt water, you know how this works. Just mix 1 part salt with about 5 parts water and rinse your hair. Allow to sit in hair for at least 15 minutes and then rinse clean.

10. Lemon

– Of course, if you want to go old school, you can just mix a cup of water with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and apply it to your hair. Then just sit in the sunlight until your hair dries. This is another natural way to lighten hair that is a bit more subtle.

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