9 Amazing ways to naturally lighten hair at home

Bleaches available in the market can lighten hair colour but cause lots of hair damage. This article explains the use of various natural hair lighteners that can safely change the hair shade and can also be used to highlight hair.


We often keep experimenting with our hair colour. Sometimes we make it darker, other times, we lighten the shade. We like to play with different shades. Trying a different hair colour helps us to change our look. Some of us like to keep our hair colour light but do not want to use chemical bleach on hair. Bleaching agents available in the market can cause lots of ill-effects on hair and scalp. Consequently, repeated use of bleaches leaves hair vulnerable to lots of hair problems such as dryness, hair fall, hair damage and dandruff. Why use chemical bleaches on hair when we can lighten our hair colour at home using natural ingredients. Moreover, these ingredients are safe to use and do more good to hair, unlike chemical bleaches. There exists amazing ways to naturally colour hair at home. Below-mentioned is some natural ways to lighten the existing hair colour and make it one or more shades lighter.

Natural hair lighteners to lighten and highlight hair

  1. Lemon with natural bleaching properties-
    Lemon has bleaching properties due to the presence of citric acid in it. Thus, it can be used to lighten hair colour by fading the existing one. It is one of the best ingredients to naturally lighten hair colour. Moreover, the process is safe and inexpensive. It should not be repeated more than once a week. Too much use of lemon cause hair damage. After repeating the process for a couple of weeks one can see the change in hair colour. Dilute 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a cup of water. Slightly wet hair and apply the solution to it. Let hair dry naturally before rinsing with water. Sit in sunlight as it activates the lemon juice which in turn will enhance bleaching effects. Rinse hair with a mild shampoo. Follow it by a conditioner to prevent the hair dryness.

    Instead of lemon juice, lime juice and grapefruit can also be used. Choose any fruit that is rich in citric acid. Higher the concentration of citric acid quicker will be the result. However, do not apply concentrated citric acid on hair as it may damage them. To prepare a stronger solution, keep lemon and water ratio as 4:1. If maintaining this ratio, do not keep the solution on hair for more than 5 minutes.

  2. Hair lightening properties of sunlight-
    Instead of using harsh bleaches on hair and causing hair damage, why not head out in the sun. Sun's rays can naturally lighten hair colour. It does not mean that we need to be all the time out in the sun so that our hair colour lightens. Never step out without properly covering hair during peak hours when sun rays are of high intensity. Harmful UV rays can damage hair and cause lots of hair problems. Head out in the sun sensibly when sun rays are not that intense, and heat can be tolerated. Also, heading out in the sun after treating our hair with natural colouring agents enhance their effects. Thus, grab some sunlight and naturally lighten hair colour.

  3. Lighten hair using baking soda-
    Baking soda produces a whitening effect. It is the reason that it is used to naturally whiten teeth. It can therefore also be used as a natural hair lightener. Take some baking soda in a bowl depending on hair length and mix it with warm water. Mix it properly to create a thick paste. Apply this paste on hair and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it out. Alternatively, baking soda can also be applied to the hair by mixing in shampoo. Use it once a week. Repeated applications slowly and gradually show lightening effects on hair. Using too many hair products causes a build-up of chemicals around hair strands. It is responsible for hair darkening. Use of baking soda helps in getting rid of such build-up and lightens the hair shade.

  4. Naturally highlight hair with salt-
    There might not be a household where salt isn't available. Since it is so commonly available and hardly cost anything, why not use it to naturally highlight hair or lighten hair colour. Also, those who regularly hit beaches very well know the effect salty ocean water produce on their hair. Salty water combined with the effect of sun rays produces a bleaching effect on the hair. Why not create the same effect at home? Create a solution by mixing half a cup of lukewarm water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Apply this solution to hair. If the aim is to highlight hair, apply it to specific areas where change is desirable. Let the solution work for 15-20 minutes and rinse it out with water.

  5. Bleach hair using honey-
    Honey is known for its moisturizing properties. Thus, since ages, it has been used on hair to keep them soft and nourish them. Very few of us know that honey carries an enzyme that can produce a bleaching effect. Why not use it to naturally lighten hair? However, instead of using adulterated honey, use the purest form to see remarkable effects on hair. When repeatedly used on hair, it not only improves hair health but gradually changes its shade by lightening the colour. The enzyme present in it is responsible for producing hydrogen peroxide in a small amount which is, in turn, is responsible for producing bleaching effects. Hydrogen peroxide available in stores can also be used but repeated use of it can damage and cause hair breakage. Instead, go for a natural ingredient such as honey in which a trace amount of hydrogen peroxide safely brings the desirable change. Apply it directly to hair or combine it with olive oil or mix it with regular conditioner. In every possible way, it brings the desirable effects.

  6. Golden plant chamomile-
    Apigenin pigment present in its petal is responsible for producing a golden dye. With regular use of chamomile, hair strands naturally lighten in colour and also turn smooth and shiny. Flavonoids present in them are responsible for bringing the change. It is a wonderful ingredient and thus, it should be made a part of a beauty regimen to reap all the amazing benefits from it. Prepare a decoction by brewing some chamomile tea. Stronger the decoction better will be the lightening effects. Let the solution cool down for some time. Apply it on hair and let it dry. After half an hour, rinse it out by shampooing and conditioning hair. It is a safe and natural ingredient. Thus, this process can be repeated daily. After a few applications, one can start noticing a change in hair colour. Also, mixing it with lemon or lime juice accelerates the hair lightening process. It can also be mixed with almond or coconut oil and applied to hair.

  7. Cinnamon spice-
    It not only makes food taste better but also can be used to lighten hair colour naturally and highlight hair strands. Powder cinnamon sticks. Mix the powder with leave-in hair conditioner. Apply it to hair. Make sure it evenly coats the hair. Run a comb through hair to spread the mix evenly. Use a shower cap to cover hair. For better results, leave it on hair overnight and rinse with shampoo the next morning. Alternatively, one can also prepare a tea by boiling cinnamon stick or cinnamon powder in water. Apply this to hair and let the solution dry naturally. Rinse it with water or wash it with shampoo. Cinnamon tea is a safe method to bring desirable change in hair colour. Hence, it can be repeated frequently.

  8. Apple cider vinegar-
    Any vinegar works as an excellent hair lightening agent. However, apple cider vinegar is best. While in the shower, apply apple cider vinegar to the entire length of hair. With regular use, one can see a gradual lightening of hair colour. Instead of using vinegar alone, use it in combination with raw honey. Prepare a mixture by combining one part of honey with two parts of vinegar. We can also add some cinnamon powder to it to enhance the effect. Before applying this paste, make sure hair is wet. Evenly apply the paste covering hair strands from roots to tips. Secure hair using a shower cap. This paste can be left on hair overnight, and rinsed with water the next day.

  9. Extra virgin olive oil-
    We all know the wonderful benefits of olive oil. Do we know how healthy it is for our hair? Apart from keeping hair well moisturized and healthy, it also can slowly lighten hair shade. Presence of lightening agents in it makes it a good natural hair lightening ingredient. We often believe in oiling our hair before shampooing it. Why not use olive oil for oiling? Regularly using it will gradually bring change in hair colour. It boosts our hair health by repairing damaged and dry hair and naturally lighten the colour. Apply it on hair before shampooing and let it remain on hair for at least an hour. For better results, leave it overnight and rinse with shampoo the next morning.


Author: Sophie Wilson22 Apr 2020 Member Level: Silver   Points : 4

Great read Reena!

Have a few queries:

-I wondered if you have tried any of the nine options shared in this article to naturally bleach hair (with home-based remedies) yourself? I'm a big fan of trying new experiences but tend to rely on another's personal-trial-based experiences, as a safer approach. Therefore, I am interested in knowing what your experiences have been.
-Are these methods for overall hair bleaching only? Or can it be applied to bleaching streaks and bits also?
-I'm guessing that some of the suggested, natural ingredients you've shared in this article, would work swifter or have stronger results, as compared to other options. It would be great to gain further insight from you as to which are the most effective or work the best towards achieving the desired result.

Author: Reena Upadhya01 May 2020 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Thank you, Sophie. All the above-mentioned ways are natural remedies to lighten hair colour. Thus, you need not worry about any side effects. I have personally tried lemon. I do feel it is the best and the most effective way to naturally lighten our hair colour.

It is up to you whether you want to lighten hair colour or use these ingredients to highlight hair. If you wish to highlight hair, divide hair into sections and then apply these ingredients on sections.

Lemon will have stronger action. If you want the instant result, apply lemon and sit in the sunlight for an hour before rinsing hair. Apply cinnamon or olive oil for mild effects.

I would suggest running a test to know the actual effects. Take a few hair strands from the back of the head. Apply any of the above-mentioned ingredients. Wait for some time. If you love the results, you can apply it all over your hair.

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