How to Naturally Lighten Hair & Get a Sun-Kissed Glow

learn how to naturally lighten hair

Are you longing for naturally lighter hair without resorting to chemical treatments? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll explore the art of lightening hair, unlocking the secrets to achieving a luminous look—the natural way. Whether you’re after sun-kissed highlights or a brighter overall look, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to naturally lighten hair and transform your mane in the comfort of your home.

How Does Hair Lightening Work?

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Hair lightening is a process that involves lifting or removing a natural pigment called melaninOpens in a new tab., present in the hair shaft. Professional colorists use a lightening agent like hydrogen peroxide or bleach to break down this pigment, and the resulting chemical reaction causes lighter hair.

While hydrogen peroxide is extremely efficient in lightening your hair, it’s also quite harsh on your strands’ overall health. Excessive use of hydrogen peroxideOpens in a new tab. can lead to dryness, brittleness, and potential damage to the hair cuticle.

Luckily, there are many at-home methods to lighten your hair naturally without the use of hydrogen peroxide. We’ll go through them in this article.

Factors to Consider Before Lightening Your Hair

Before you lighten your hair naturally, you must be aware of a few things that’ll affect this process.

  • Hair Condition: Healthy, undamaged hair tends to respond better to natural hair lighteners, as opposed to broken hair strands.
  • Natural Hair Color: Blonde hair and other lighter tones generally achieve noticeable results more easily than dark hair.
  • Hair Texture: Coarsier hair might require more lightening sessions or a stronger lightening product to achieve the desired result.
  • Sensitivity and Allergies: Some ingredients commonly used in hair-lightening products can cause sensitivities and allergies, so consider performing a patch test before applying a lightening treatment to your hair.

Four Natural Methods to Lighten Hair

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If you’re looking to naturally lighten your hair, you’ll be happy to discover that there are many DIY recipes you can try. These methods are gentle on the hair and can provide a subtle lightening effect, giving you the sun-kissed look you crave. The four most famous methods of lightening hair naturally include:

Lemon Juice: Nature’s Lightener

Lemon juice is the most popular natural ingredient known to efficiently bleach hair. Thanks to its high citric acid and vitamin C content, lemon juice can help lighten hair with a little help from sun exposure.

To use this vitamin C mask, mix fresh lemon juice with water and apply it to your hair. Keep in mind that lemon juice can be drying, so it’s important to apply a deep conditioner or a hair mask afterward. Coconut oil is perfect for dry hair, so make sure to give it a go after your lemon juice treatment.

Honey: Sweeten Your Hair With Highlights

Honey is another natural ingredient that can lighten your hair while adding moisture and shine. This natural lightener also works as a deep-condition treatment, so you’ll be giving your hair double the love it deserves in one go.

All you have to do for this method is create a mixture of raw honey and warm water and apply it to your hair. Leave it on for a couple of hours or overnight for better results. Just bear in mind that honey is a milder lightener, so you may need multiple applications to reach the desired effect, especially if you have darker hair.

Chamomile Tea: Gentle Lightening Brew

Chamomile tea is a gentle and natural way to lighten your hair, particularly for those with lighter strands. These natural products go deep into the hair, relaxing the follicles and lightening hair with the utmost ease.

If you want to try this solution, simply brew a strong cup of chamomile tea with two tea bags, let it cool, and use it as a hair rinse after shampooing. Sit in the sun to enhance the process, and watch your hair get cool tones. Regular use of this natural method will gradually lighten your hair color, so be patient.

Cinnamon: Spice Up Your Hair Color

Cinnamon isn’t only a tasty spice, but it can also lighten hair naturally once applied correctly. Even though this method is more subtle and not ideal for dark brown or black hair, it’s still better than getting hydrogen peroxide traces after a hairdo.

Mix cinnamon powder with a color-depositing conditionerOpens in a new tab. or olive oil to create a paste. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it on for a few hours. Rinse thoroughly afterward with water and watch your natural highlights come to light under the sun. Cinnamon may not light hair dramatically, but it’ll add warm orange tones and highlights.

Other DIY Mixtures to Lighten Hair Naturally

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While not as potent as some of the other methods, there are a few extra DIY tricks you can try to lighten hair naturally. Here are a few options worth exploring:

Vinegar: A Natural Hair Clarifier

Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, is known for its clarifying properties. Apple cider vinegar can help remove product buildup and enhance the natural highlights in your hair, giving you beautiful locks without hair dye.

Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water, and put the mixture into a spray bottle. After you shower and condition your hair, use the mixture as a final rinse. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with lukewarm water.

Baking Soda: A Soft Cleaning Agent

Baking soda is often used as a natural cleaning agent, but it can also help lighten your hair gradually. It works best on damp hair, so you should consider using it along with your shower cap in your self-care routine.

To use this DIY method, make a paste by combining baking soda and water till it forms a thick consistency. Apply the baking soda paste to damp hair, focusing on the areas you want to lighten. Leave it for about 15-20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Rhubarb: A Lesser Known Magic Maker

Rhubarb may not be as commonly known for its hair-modifying properties, but it’s worth a shot. For this recipe, you’ll need a spray bottle and a shower cap, so get ready to pamper yourself salon-style.

Begin by simmering chopped rhubarb in water for about 20 minutes, then strain the liquid and let it cool. Afterward, pour the liquid into a spray bottle, and use it to rinse your hair after shampooing. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing with water, and repeat the process as needed to lighten hair gradually.

Maintenance Tips for Naturally Lighter Hair

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As you naturally lighten your hair, there are some things you should do to protect your strands and minimize damage.

Hair treatments can strip the hair of its natural moisture, so prioritize moisturizing products like deep conditioning masks or leave-in conditioners to restore hydration and prevent dryness. Olive oil is a great natural conditioner, but any hair oilOpens in a new tab. will also do wonders.

After you undergo a hair treatment, especially with hydrogen peroxide, minimize the use of heat-styling tools like flat irons or curling irons, as they can further damage already lightened hair.

Six Tricks to Enhance Your Hair Color

To help enhance your newly-discovered light locks, remember to:

  1. Trim Regularly: Schedule regular trims to remove any split ends or damaged sections, keeping your hair healthy and preventing breakage.
  2. Protect from UV Rays: Shield your hair from harmful UV sun rays by wearing hats or using products with UV protection.
  3. Rinse With Salt Water: Make your trips to the beach worth the while by rinsing your hair in salt water, creating natural highlights and a sun-kissed look.
  4. Use Purple Shampoo: If your hair has lightened to a blonde or brassy tone, use a purple shampoo to neutralize unwanted yellow or orange undertones.
  5. Try Gloss Treatments: Enhance your hair color by using gloss treatments that add shine, refresh your color, and improve hair health.
  6. Avoid Hot Water: Wash your hair with lukewarm or cool water instead of hot water, as the latter can strip hair of its natural oils and contribute to color fading.


Natural lightening methods offer a chemical-free alternative to achieve sun-kissed hair. Whether you opt for lemon juice, honey, chamomile tea, or other DIY mixtures, remember to consider your hair type, natural color, and desired results.

While these methods may not provide drastic changes, they can gradually lighten your locks for a more natural and subtle effect. Additionally, proper maintenance and care, such as using color-safe products and protecting your hair from harmful exposure, will help maintain your newly lightened hair.

Embrace the beauty of naturally treated hair and enjoy the radiant and effortless look that it brings. And if you need more help with taking care of your locks, check out our website for more resources on hairOpens in a new tab..

Paulina Romain

Paulina Romain is an entrepreneur and artist in the beauty industry. She is the founder and owner of The Art of Ink Studio, where she provides services such as permanent cosmetics, microblading, and artistic ink, focusing on personalized body art. Additionally, she owns Mill Pond Salon, through which she aims to deliver big-city salon services in the comfort of a small town. Apart from her hands-on work in her studios, Paulina Romain is also active on social media platforms like TikTok, where she showcases her fine line and cosmetic tattoo work. Furthermore, she's been in the salon and beauty industry for over 14 years and operates Team True Beauty with Sam Romain. This platform includes a blog on various beauty-related topics and marks the opening of two beauty brands by the couple.

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