There are several methods for lightening hair naturally without using harsh chemicals. The fastest ways involve using household ingredients like lemon juice, chamomile tea, honey, and vitamin C. When used properly, these can lighten hair a few shades over 1-2 weeks. More gradual lightening can be achieved over 1-2 months using natural sunlight and deep conditioning treatments.
What household ingredients lighten hair quickly?
Some of the most effective household lighteners are:
- Lemon juice – contains bleaching citric acid
- Chamomile tea – contains lightening flavonoids
- Honey – gently lifts stain molecules from hair
- Vitamin C powder – acts as a natural bleach
Creating a mix using two or more of these ingredients can speed up the lightening effect. For example, mixing chamomile tea with lemon juice and leaving it on hair for 30-60 minutes before rinsing can lighten up to 2 shades in 1-2 applications.
How does lemon juice lighten hair?
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which acts as a natural bleaching agent. When applied to damp hair and exposed to sunlight, citric acid interacts with the amino acids in hair to remove excess pigment. This lightens the overall color. Straight lemon juice can be drying, so dilute it with a little conditioner or coconut oil.
How does chamomile tea lighten hair?
Chamomile tea contains bioflavonoids that help lift stain molecules from hair gradually. Brew a strong batch of chamomile tea, let it cool, and apply as a rinse after shampooing. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes before rinsing out. The more applications, the lighter the color lift. Chamomile is conditioning and low risk for damage.
What’s the lemon juice and honey lightening method?
One of the fastest natural lighteners is a lemon juice and honey blend. The citric acid and enzymes in lemon work together with the peroxide in honey to lighten hair faster. Here’s how to do it:
- Mix 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1/4 cup honey
- Apply mixture to damp, clean hair and work through strands
- Wrap hair in a shower cap and let sit 30-60 minutes
- Rinse out mixture and shampoo hair as normal
- Repeat 1-2 times per week until desired lightness is reached
Doing this treatment 2-3 times over 1-2 weeks can lighten natural hair up to 2 shades. It’s best on light brown to medium blonde shades. Use a deep conditioner after to prevent dryness from the lemon juice.
What does vitamin C do for hair lightening?
Vitamin C is an effective natural hair lightener because it acts as a cleansing and bleaching agent. When vitamin C powder is combined with an anti-drying ingredient like coconut oil or honey and applied to hair, the vitamin C removes excess pigment from the cuticles. This reveals a lighter shade of hair.
What’s the vitamin C and coconut oil lightening method?
For a nourishing lightening treatment, combine vitamin C powder with coconut oil. Try this simple method:
- Mix 2 tbsp vitamin C powder with 1/4 cup coconut oil
- Apply thoroughly to damp, clean hair
- Wrap hair in a shower cap for 45-60 minutes
- Rinse out mixture and shampoo as normal
- Use a hydrating conditioner after to smooth cuticles
Perform this treatment once a week for 1-2 months to see a gradual lightening of hair color up to 2-3 shades, without harsh chemicals.
How can sunlight lighten hair safely?
Sun exposure is an age-old method for naturally lightening hair. The sun’s UV rays interact with melanin pigment to gradually bleach hair lighter. However, UV damage also makes hair dry and brittle. Here are some tips for safely getting lighter hair from the sun:
- Apply a UV protection spray to protect your hair from damage
- Cover hair with a hat or scarf then let the ends hang out – this prevents over-drying
- Spend 15-30 minutes per day in the sun to gradually lighten up over weeks/months
- Rinse hair with cool water and apply conditioner after sun exposure
- Avoid chlorine and salt water which can interact with sunlight and damage hair
With patient, limited sun exposure, hair can lighten up gradually without becoming super dry and damaged. Avoid lightening aids like lemon juice before going in the sun.
What’s the baking soda and peroxide lightening method?
For hair that is already chemically colored, a baking soda and peroxide mix can lift stain molecules faster. Warning: this is a more damaging method and should only be used occasionally.
Here’s how to do it:
- Mix 1 tbsp baking soda with enough 10 volume peroxide to form a spreadable paste
- Apply thoroughly to dry, unwashed hair
- Wrap hair in a processing cap or plastic wrap and let sit 15-30 minutes
- Rinse mixture out and shampoo well
- Use a rich deep conditioner after to smooth and hydrate hair
The alkaline baking soda opens cuticles, allowing the peroxide to lift out more artificial pigment. Use no more than once a month to avoid excessive damage.
What are some gradual lightening techniques?
For subtle, gradual lightening over 1-2 months, try these natural methods:
- Chamomile rinses – Use cool chamomile tea as a final rinse to deposit lightening flavonoids
- Lemon water – Drink lemon water daily to deposit citric acid internally, for subtly lighter hair
- Papaya mask – Mashed papaya contains papain enzymes that can lighten over time
- Aloe vera gel – Contains cleansing anthraquinones to remove stain molecules
- Anti-dandruff shampoo – Contains zinc pyrithione which can lift some color over time
For best results, alternate between a few of these techniques and be patient. Gradual methods are gentler on hair.
How often should you do natural lightening treatments?
When using household lighteners like lemon juice, chamomile, honey, or vitamin C, limit treatments to 1-2 times per week at most. Doing them too often can overly dry and damage hair. Here are some guidelines:
- Lemon juice – Once a week maximum
- Chamomile tea – 1-2 times per week
- Vitamin C treatments – Once a week
- Honey lightening – Once or twice a week
- Sun exposure – Daily 15-30 minute sessions
Always follow up these treatments with a hydrating conditioner. Monitor hair health closely and take a break if hair becomes overly dry. Patience is key for natural lightening.
What ingredients should you avoid when lightening hair?
While natural lighteners are gentler than bleach, some ingredients still need to be used cautiously. Avoid overuse of:
- Lemon juice – High acidity damages hair. Dilute with conditioner.
- Hydrogen peroxide – Can burn scalp if left on too long.
- Baking soda – Very drying to hair and scalp if used too much.
- Anti-dandruff shampoos – Can be overly drying with long term use.
Also, avoid combining certain household lighteners like lemon and baking soda – this can trigger a damaging chemical reaction. Do not apply lemon juice or vitamin C before prolonged sun exposure, as this can also increase damage.
What’s the healthiest way to lighten hair?
The most gentle, healthiest way to lighten hair over time is through these methods:
- Chamomile tea rinses
- Papaya or avocado hair masks
- Limited sun exposure with UV protection
- Deep conditioning treatments
- Gradually switching to lighter hair products
This combination of UV lightening, deep hydration, and gradual depositing of lighter pigments produces subtle lightening over 1-2 months with minimal damage. Patience and consistency are key.
What’s the fastest way to lighten dyed black hair?
Removing black box dye to get to a lighter color can be challenging. The fastest way is to use a color remover product to strip the artificial pigment. Options include:
- Vitamin C powder and anti-dandruff shampoo
- Color Oops or L’Oreal Effasol color remover
- Baking soda and dish soap mixture
- Bleach bath with 20 volume developer
Apply the product according to instructions, let it process fully, then shampoo thoroughly. It may take 2-3 applications spaced over weeks to remove black box dye. Always deep condition after harsh processing.
Can vitamin C remove black hair dye?
Make a paste of vitamin C powder and anti-dandruff shampoo and apply it to dry hair. Let it sit for 20 minutes under a shower cap. This will lift and dissolve some of the artificial dye molecules. Shampoo out and repeat weekly as needed to gradually lighten.
Lightening hair safely without damaging chemicals is possible with the right combination of methods. Be patient, stay hydrated, and protect hair from over-processing. In 1-2 months, natural lightening techniques can safely lift your hair color a few shades lighter.
|Chamomile tea rinse||1-2 hours||1-2 shades|
|Lemon juice + honey||30-60 minutes||1-3 shades|
|Vitamin C treatment||45-60 minutes||1-2 shades|