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How to Lighten Hair Naturally - 6 Easy Ways to Lighten Your Hair Without Bleach

Updated on May 23, 2014

Do you have these things?

If you have some of these things at home, you're ready to start lightening your hair naturally.

  1. Water
  2. Lemon
  3. Chamomile Tea
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Honey
  6. Blonde Ale

So it's summer and golden locks are in. If you've had the itch to go blonde - or at least lighter - for some time, summer is the time to do it. But we all know how damaging those bleach products can be. They may make your hair lighter, but they also leave it feeling rough and brittle. Don't cause any more damage to your hair than your have to. Check out these methods to lighten your hair naturally.

One thing to keep in mind is that all methods to lighten hair can cause damage, even the natural ones. The only difference is that natural methods won't damage your hair as much. Also, the reason these natural methods work is because they burn your hair, hence the lightening. For this reason, it is important that you use hair masks while you are trying to lighten your hair naturally.

I already bleached my hair...

If you already bleached your hair and are now struggling to care for the brittle strands that were left, this hub might help you to take better care of it.

How to care for dyed or bleached hair

Chamomile and Water

Chamomile has been used for years as a natural hair lightener. The reason chamomile is so effective In lightening hair is because it releases small amounts of peroxide which results in blonder hair. The process of using chamomile is also quite simple.

You will need:

  • 5 - 6 bags of chamomile tea bags
  • 1/2 liter of water.


  1. Boil water
  2. Add tea bags
  3. Let it cool down
  4. Once tea is cold, apply to humid (not washed) hair.
  5. Go out and enjoy the sun rays or use a blow dryer for faster results.

Although chamomile is a very effective hair lightener, it is NOT a fast process. It will take about 1 or 2 months before you begin to see results. This method should only be used once or twice per week as chamomile, because of the small amounts of peroxide it releases, can be damaging to your hair if applied more often than indicated.

Chamomile, as well as cinnamon and other compounds, releases small amounts of hydrogen peroxide when diluted with water. That's why it's so effective in lightening your hair.
Chamomile, as well as cinnamon and other compounds, releases small amounts of hydrogen peroxide when diluted with water. That's why it's so effective in lightening your hair. | Source

Adding Lemon to Shampoo

Some people add a little bit of lemon juice to their shampoo and use it everyday. I wouldn't recommend doing that. Lemon could be very harsh on your hair if used too often. However, some people never experience negative results. So, if you're a daredevil and aren't afraid of trying new things, go ahead and add a couple do drops of lemon juice to your shampoo and see how that works.

Lemon and Water

Lemon is an awesome helper is you want to lighten your hair without using any chemicals, and the best part is that is super simple. This method is to be used on "dirty" hair, and by that I don't mean that you need to go play in mud. It just means that your hair shouldn't have been just washed. Here's what you will need:

  • 3 lemons (yellow lemons yield better results)
  • 1/2 liter of water


  1. Mix the lemon juice and water.
  2. Apply mixture to humid hair.
  3. Go out and enjoy the sun or blow dry hair.

The lemon juice will only lighten your hair when it has been exposed to heat. Therefore, if you go out and only one part of your hair is receiving sunlight, only that part will lighten.

This mixture can be used once or twice per week. You definitely should not use it everyday. Lemon can dry your hair significantly, so use it wisely. Also, it would be wise to apply some kind of hair treatment or hair mask at the end of the day to protect your hair from damage.

Chamomile and Lemon

You can also combine the two methods listed above for faster results. Add the juice of 3 lemons to the 1/2 liter chamomille tea. Apply to hair and let it dry in the sun or with a blow dryer.

Did you know cinnamon can help you lighten your hair? Mind blown!
Did you know cinnamon can help you lighten your hair? Mind blown!

What is this sorcery???

Certain compounds such as chamomile, olive oil, cinnamon and honey release small amounts of hydrogen peroxide when diluted in water.

Cinnamon Paste

Cinnamon is another one of those things that releases small amouns peroxide. This method works better if applied right after showering.

You will need:

  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tbs water.

Whatever measurement you use, the ratio should always be 2:1.


  1. Mix cinnamon and water until it becomes a paste
  2. Apply paste to hair beginning at the roots
  3. Use a shower cap and leave on for at least 4 hours. You can leave it on for a maximum of 8 hours.
  4. Rinse with cold water.

Your hair will not only have a lighter color, but it will also smell delicious.

Warning: Some people can be very sensitive to cinnamon. If this is your case (or if you don't know how sensitive you are to cinnamon) start by applying this treatment only to the ends of your hair, avoiding the scalp area.

Honey can improve your hair's health and lighten its color at the same time.
Honey can improve your hair's health and lighten its color at the same time. | Source

A Word on Hydrogen Peroxide

Although hydrogen peroxide is a very, very effective way to make your hair lighter, you should NOT use it. It's just as bad as using bleach or hair dye with the added disadvantage that you cannot control the outcome. You can end up with orangish or reddish hair tones.

Honey and Water

Much like chamomille, honey also releases small amounts of peroxide. It is an effective method, but it could be a little messy. One SUPER Important thing to remember with honey is that you should never let it dry on your hair or the consequences could be very, very sticky.

You will need:

  • Raw honey
  • Water


  1. Mix 1 tbs of honey in 4 cups of water. IMPORTANT: do not use a metal spoon to stir this mixture! The best way to mix it is by shaking it as you would mix a cocktail.
  2. Let mixture stand for 1 hour in a COVERED jar/bottle
  3. Apply to humid hair
  4. Wear a shower cap and leave it on your hair for an hour. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE DRY ON YOUR HAIR!!
  5. Rinse with warm or hot water. Don't use cold water as this could solidify the honey and give you a lot of trouble.

This treatment can be used 2-3 times per week.

Blonde Ale

Another way to make your hair lighter is to use non alcoholic blond ale. This method will not only lighten your hair, it will also add volume to it. This may be the simpler of all the methods. You only need one thing:

  • 1 blond ale.


  1. Apply the non alcoholic ale to humid hair
  2. Go out and enjoy the sun

If you feel like having beer on your hair could get you in trouble at work or school, apply to before showering and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. This will give you slower results but at least you won't have to worry about your hair smelling funky.

This method can be used once or twice per week.

Keep on experimenting and Happy Living!


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    • Lauren Flauding profile image

      Lauren Flauding 

      23 months ago from Sahuarita, AZ

      Very interesting stuff here. I bleached my hair once (for fun) and I’ll never do that again, but maybe I’ll try one of these methods.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great informative tips on how to lighten your hair. Very useful, too. Voted up!

    • profile image


      5 years ago


    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi Cyndi10:

      I always like to try natural methods first. I guess I feel a bit safer than heading for the chemicals right away. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi Kaili Bisson:

      Lemon is great for lightening hair and a lot less damaging than bleach. Go ahead and give it another try, I'm sure you will be pleased with the results. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      As a teen I would lighten my hair with lemon water that I sprayed on my hair and go out in the sun to let the combination do the job. Then the hair care industry started to push spray on lighteners with lemon in it and I switched to those. Now I just go ahead and get it professionally lightened when I'm ready for a change. I'm ready for that change again. Maybe I'll try the natural method first.

      Thanks for the info and the recipes.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      5 years ago from Canada

      I actually tried lemon years ago and got pretty good results, though my hair was lighter back then anyway...may just give one of the other ideas a spin...thank you for sharing!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi greeneyesblondie:

      Thank you for that awesome tip! I will keep it in mind. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi Glimmer Twin Fan:

      I had that same problem when I was taking swimming classes some time ago, although not as extreme as you describe it because I wasn't out in the sun nearly as much as a lifeguard is. Chlorine can be aggressive on hair, but so can too much lemon. It is best to do the lemon treatment only a few times a week and not every day. Thank you for reading and commenting!!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi brakel2:

      Thank you for reading, and I'm sorry to hear about your friend's hair results. However, if she just dyed her hair, do tell her to wait a little before using any of these methods. Hair can be very sensitive, especially right after being dyed. Thanks for commenting!

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Great ideas. It sure is cheaper than having hair color at beauty salon. A relative had hair colored, and the results were too dark. Maybe she could try one of these methods to lighten it. Women are so fussy about their hair that hairdressers sometimes make customers feel freaky, especially when they bring a pic about the color. I would really need to be comfortable with someone who will color my hair. Thanks for sharing. and I will share. Blessings, Audrey

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      When I was a lifeguard I always squeezed lemon in my hair to lighten it up. That, the chlorine and the sun made me incredibly blond. It was harsh on the hair though. Like this method better and may have to give it a try.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Cinnamon can actually add more red hair to your than actually lightening it, keep that in mind. Thanks for these tips though!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi Vvitta:

      Thank you for reading, and yes, the results are permanent, but they will be so gradual that, if you don't like the results you're getting, you can stop at any time without damage to your hair.

    • Vvitta profile image

      Kalaichelvi Panchalingam 

      5 years ago from PETALING JAYA

      interesting use of everyday products for the hair. i have about the use of lemons as a form of bleach but the others are new to me. How long will the effect last? Is it permanent?


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