lighten your hair naturally

2021 edit: i no longer subscribe to or support the “all-natural” label. more here.

after my post about dying your hair darker with walnuts went live on AE, i’ve had lots of questions about how to lighten hair naturally.

lightening hair is always more involved, because it involves removing color from the hair (instead of depositing color for “darker” shades). by removing color, you’re typically using harsher chemicals and are being harder on your hair. your hair can become more brittle and dry by going lighter.

with that in mind, we need to make sure our hair’s getting a little extra TLC –

  • keep your hair conditioned
  • scritch and preen to use your natural scalp oils to moisturize the length of your hair (video HERE)
  • look into using leave-in conditioners
  • if your hair becomes brittle, give it a dose of protein with an egg yolk mask or gelatin mask

since we’re steering clear of the toxic stuff, here are some tried n’ true ways to naturally lighten your hair (over time, of course. ’tis the price we pay for being crunchy)!

quick note: these methods work best on hair colors that are not very dark (not dark browns/black), and these are more than likely NOT going to have “dye-like” effects. the shades you’ll get will be more of the sun-kissed variety.

lighten hair naturally

  • honey
    on already wet hair, slather as much raw honey as needed to cover you hair from root to tip. really work it in. cover your hair and let it sit for a couple hours to overnight. then rinse with cool water.  (yes, the honey HAS to be raw. don’t try that teddy bear crap lol)
  • chamomile
    make a very, very strong batch of chamomile tea and use it as a rinse on dry hair. catch what runs out and re-rinse a few times. let your hair air dry, preferably in the sunshine. rinse well with water. there should be no immediate need to condition from this method.
  • cinnamon
    when mixed into a paste (either with your favorite all-natural conditioner or with raw honey), cinnamon acts as a lightening agent on hair.  mix a couple tablespoons into your conditioner or honey to form a thick paste and apply it to damp hair. let it sit for a couple hours, preferably drying in sunshine.
  • lemons
    juice a lemon or two, and mix it with 1/4 amount of water (ex: if you have 1 cup of lemon juice, mix it with a 1/4 cup of water). put the mix into a spray bottle and spray away on dry hair. let your hair dry in the sunshine. rinse with water only after and condition.
  • sunshine
    with spring and summer fast approaching, be sure to let your locks soak up the rays! sunshine has a natural bleaching effect on hair.

i’ve seen some posts on using rhubarb root, but that just stains hair a yellowy color. it doesn’t actually lighten hair. that might be disastrous for some hair shades.

here’s a couple mixes you can try:

  • lemon juice & chamomile tea:
    make a strong pot of chamomile tea and add the juice of lemons (for every 2 cups of tea, use the juice from 1 lemon). on dry hair, either spray or rinse the mix throughout your hair. let it sit for a couple hours, preferably letting it dry in the sun.
  • cinnamon, honey, & lemon:
    for every tablespoon of raw honey needed to cover your hair, add 1 tablespoon distilled water (low mineral content), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. mix well. apply this to damp hair and let it sit for a couple hours to overnight (wrap hair in saran wrap and then a t-shirt). if you’re not leaving it in overnight, let your hair dry in the sun.

hope you love your new sun-kissed locks!!

please keep in mind it’ll take several tries to see lightening (especially depending on your current hair color), but it’ll get there!

& don’t forget to share your hair lightening stories below!

Happy Spring!


Published by

alexraye //

26 thoughts on “lighten your hair naturally”

  1. I tried the honey in hair mixture to my brown/ darkish brown hair. It didnt change much the first time, my second try was much more noticable as I left it in overnight. Im trying my third tonight!

    1. Buongiorno non riesco a commentare questo articolo quindi lo faccio volete schiarire capelli potete usare quanto miele volerle i capelli rimangono del propio colore.con camomilla forse qualche lieve riflesso ma niente.limone secca solo icapdlli quindi comprare uno spray che schiarisce e state al sole allora funziona.rsperienza personale

  2. haha, so i read this but then didn’t reference it when making my mixture, so i mixed chamomile tea (2 bags soaked in 1.5-2 tbsp of boiling water), half a small lemon, 2 tbsp of honey, and 1 tbsp (not tsp, oops) of cinnamon. Since its almost winter, in oregon, and it was, like, 10 p.m., I sat in front of my fireplace (instead of in the sun) for 30-45n minutes. The mixture ended up watery and sticky, and i don’t think it lightened my hair, but it did WONDERS to my curls! I bleached my hair a while back, and dyed it a multitude of colors before returning to brown, and it has just been frizzy and limp- but my curls are back! I’m so happy i could cry. People keep commenting on how healthy my hair looks. I’m going to do it again tonight! *u* I love happy hair//

  3. I know this post was from a few months ago, so don’t know if I’ll get answers…. Ok, so schools about to start and I wanted to lighten my hair (its like, a medium brown I guess), but I’m kinda afraid of what my hair will look like. I’m going to the beach, I guess ill try walking in the sun alot there, but I guess I’m really asking, is this going to look realm weird?

  4. I use honey with conditioner, on wet hair let sit as long as possible wrapped in grocery bag and towel. Lightens several shades at a time and makes hair super soft! Wish I could do it everyday 😉

  5. I’ve done the honey cinnamon and olive oil wrap and it’s been great! You should definitely use an old shirt and towel for bed since it’s messy but definitely worth it for the conditioning aspects! Great read!! 😊

  6. If you let your hair dry in the sun with the honey cinnamon lemon mix, do I still wrap in seran wrap? Also could it work on dark underarms?

  7. I’ve used hydrogen peroxide on my hair and it works awesome. Yes I have to use a lot more conditioner but I love the results. 😉

  8. Will the honey and cinnamon just lighten already naturally golden blondes, or does it leave a reddish tint? I’m a natural blonde who’s gotten a little darker over the years and trying out the honey and cinnamon route to lighten up my hair and just don’t want to wake up with reddish hair…

  9. i know this is an old post but was wondering if there’s a certain shelf life on the cinnamon, honey, & lemon mixture. 🙂

leave your comments and questions below -

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s