Tips to Lighten Hair
Many people have blonde hair when they are children but as they grow older, an increase in melanin - the protective, natural chemical that causes skin and hair colour - begins to kick in and as a result the hair darkens and they lose their natural blonde streaks.
In some cases people can have even have pale blonde hair as children and wind up brunettes by the time they are teenagers. Why this extreme change happens is not entirely clear but scientists believe it has something to do with our 'genes recipe' being read by cells and turned on at a particular stage of growth. If the 'recipe' for dark hair is not read, blonde hair will result. Geneticist, Dr Barry from Stanford University has a deeper explanation here:
In the summer months, just being under the sun will lighten hair, particularly if your natural shade is anywhere from light brown to blonde -drying freshly washed hair in sunlight can bring out lighter highlights and hues.However if you are a true brunette or darker, probably the only way to go lighter is with conventional bleaching products. The best candidates for natural methods of lightening hair are those with hair colour in the mid to light brown/dark blonde range.
Regular pool swimming will lighten your hair, as the combined effects of drying your wet hair in the sun with the chemicals used in pool water will bleach the hair. Similarly, salt water swimming in the sea and drying your hair on the beach will give you that sun-streaked surf look. However, you do have to be careful of the deleterious effects of too much sun exposure - not much point in lovely sun streaked hair if your skin is a shrivelled up and leathery. Too much salt and chlorine will also dry out your hair.
The lightening effects of the sun can be further enhanced by giving your hair a final rinse in lemon juice, which has been squeezed through a sieve.
Lemons are a natural bleach and while you wouldn't want to be rinsing with it everyday due to drying effects, periodically rinsing your hair with it will do no harm.
Natural Herbs for Lightening
Chamomile works very well as a brightener and conditioner for blonde hair but works best as an enhancer for hair that already has some natural blonde highlights - it won't create them in darker hair. You can make your own chamomile hair rinse by boiling the flowers for 30 mins..allow to cool then strain through a sieve and use as a final hair rinse.
For a stronger approach, you can use a product like Herbatint, which combines natural chamomile with a mild peroxide that, over time, will lighten hair gradually, without damaging it.
Even ordinary black tea can have a lightening effect on brown hair, though it probably wont make difference to blonder hair...just make a cup of tea using the normal process, cool and apply as a final rinse.
Adding Streaks and Tips
Applying commercially made bleach to the hair on the tips or on selected streaks can work extremely well on mid to light brown and dark blonde hair as it adds depth and contrast , creating the effect of blonde hair without having to apply chemicals to your whole head of hair - resulting in less damage and more natural looking hair. Sometimes just a couple of well-placed streaks along the front hairline is all it takes to lift and brighten the hair and face.
You can have this done a salon but the cheaper option is with one of the many home products available , many of which come with detailed instructions and easy to use applicators.
- Ten Tips for Healthy Hair
Hair is a barometer of good health - shiny, bouncy hair is an outward signal of vitality and of course, vitality esentially comes from good diet and exercise, so if you really want good hair, eat well and move!
- How to Bleach Your Hair
If you intend to bleach your hair at home, it's definitely best to buy a purpose made bleaching kit, which come in various degrees of lightening strengths and follow the instructions. Don't just grab a bottle of peroxide and hope for the best!
- How Retro.com: The Platinum Blonde
Ever since high voltage platinum blonde Hollywood actress Jean Harlow sashayed her way across a silver screen in the 1930s, super-pale blonde hair has become a symbol of sexual energy.
More by this Author
Have you ever noticed how dictators have very distinctive hairstyles? What can this mean...an extensive of ego perhaps? A desire to be noticed or different? Is there a kind of Sampson-like power there?
Handbag styles in the 1920s were greatly influenced by the Art Deco design movement that swept through that decade
Beauty worshippers have found a new feature to covet - a subtle effect that defines the coloured part of the eye and adds an extra lustre and desirability to a person's general attractiveness...