Lightening Hair With Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is often recommended as a safe way to help lighten your hair color. This page offers advice about how to use lemon juice to lighten your hair.
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3 found this helpful
January 19, 2011 Flag

Can you lighten dirty blonde hair with lemon juice?

By Kena

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January 19, 20111 found this helpful
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First of all, yes lemon juice will work to lighten your hair. But, be aware that lemon juice will only work to highlight your natural hair color. What this means is, if you have dark hair, say dark brown, and you use lemon juice to lighten your hair, you will get a lighter brown highlight, not blonde. If you have black hair, you will most likely get a red-tinted highlight wherever you apply the lemon juice. That being said, lemon juice works best as a natural highlighter for blonde to dirty-blonde hair colors. Light brown hair usually returns good results when highlighted with lemon juice as well.

Lemon juice lightens your hair by working with the sun or UV rays. It will not work with a blow dryer. While the sun will lighten hair to a point on its own, the process is slow. The acid in lemon juice hurries the process along.

1. Do not wash your hair before starting the highlighting process. It is best to use unwashed (dirty) hair.

2. Apply lemon juice (not lemon flavored sweetener for drinks--but actual lemon juice. If you can't find lemon juice, get real lemons and squeeze them for this process) to the places you want highlighted. You can apply to your whole head to lighten color uniformly or you can apply it to strands as if you were getting highlights done.

3. After applying lemon juice to desired places to be lightened, head out into the sun. It is important to wear sunscreen as you will be spending at least 30 minutes in the sun. After 30 minutes come in, and wash lemon juice from hair. Repeat this process until desired lightening is achieved. *Note: It is sometimes necessary to perform this process once or twice a day for a few days instead of trying to achieve maximum highlights in one day.

4. Make sure to use a very good conditioner during the lemon juice highlighting process, as the juice and sun are harsh and will dry hair out. Use conditioner every day after highlighting. A deep conditioner is also a good idea to do every couple of days during the highlighting process to keep from damaging hair. Be extra careful of thin or brittle hair.

5. The highlights you achieve are as permanent as the ones you would get at the beauty salon and will not go away unless colored or grown out.

Using lemon juice is a good, natural alternative to getting chemical highlights. It does take a little patience, but the results can be very attractive with a little time.

Again, this method works best for people with blonde to dirty-blonde hair and usually works well on light brown hair as well.

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Anonymous Flag
January 20, 20110 found this helpful
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Lemon juice will indeed work but, having been a hairstylist for 35 years, here's a tip that would be easier than waiting for sunshine and just as safe of a choice for a natural sun kissed lightening for your hair. This formula lightens gradually, so it will not be an overnight shock change. Simply spray a 50/50 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide on your wet hair after getting out of the shower, comb it through, and dry. ;-)

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April 24, 2016 Flag

Can lemon juice lighten strawberry-blondish ginger to a blonde?

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April 25, 20160 found this helpful

With a great deal of sunshine and even more patience, yes. Please consider the other effects of spending time in the sun and use sunscreen?

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April 25, 20160 found this helpful

Lemon juice does have the ability to lighten the hair, however it's effect is so slight, it's hardly noticeable. It alone will not lighten strawberry hair to a true blond.

Many years ago, there was a lemon juice fad. Girls would mix equal parts lemon juice and peroxide and apply it to the hair. Then they would sit in the Sun til their hair dried. These girls did not end up with blond hair. Instead, they had gentle and quite pretty highlights.

This procedure will tend to bring out reddish tones in the hair as it lightens. The fact that you would be starting out with a strawberry color causes me to think you could end up with lighter and very attractive strawberry blond highlights. (It could take several treatments).

I just now noticed Rose Anne's answer. Please do follow her advice concerning sunscreen.

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October 17, 2011 Flag

Does lemon juice work on medium brown or light brown hair? I heard that lemon doesn't work on colored hair. I colored it before with henna. It didn't make it red, thank god, it just gave me little orange highlights not the full-on orange.

I know that what colour I'll get differs from one to another, but what suggested colors can I mix it with conditioner then apply it on my hair? I want to get dark blonde. I know it will take a time, but how many times should I put it on my hair over 2 to 3 weeks? Is the change noticeable?

Nadine

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful
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It works great if sit in the sun for 30-70 minutes. If you want great results put very strong chamomile tea in there too.

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful

Oh and the more times you put it in, the better color it will have.

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July 27, 2013 Flag

I want to have ombre hair, but I find it only looks good with light brown hair. I have dark brown hair and I want it to be a light brown! How long should I sit in the sun? How often should I put lemon juice in my hair? How long till I notice a difference?

By Saidah

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December 3, 20130 found this helpful
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I really don't recommend using bleach or chemicals to try and lighten dark hair that has been coloured it's only going to go orange. Lemon juice can work well but you won't get a light blonde out of lemon juice unless you have light hair or never have chemically beached your hair and it is natural virgin hair. Using Paul Mitchell's clarifying shampoo three removes the build up of minerals and chlorine to make colour penetrate the best and makes hair a lush rich colour that will last longer.

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September 18, 20130 found this helpful

Lemon takes too long, I would recommend you hydrogen peroxide since your hair is dark brown. I did this and stayed in the sun like half an hour with the hydrogen in my hair and it lightened and it looked natural the only bad thing is that either with lemon or hydrogen if you have dark hair it will get an orangey color.

If you really want blonde hair at the tips you should use hair dye. I tried doing the ombre "naturally" and I ended up with lowlights, which I actually like since I'm a California girl. This is was taken like 8 months after you really have nothing to lose, your hair will look blonder only in the sun.

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April 12, 2010 Flag

Can you use lime juice to change your hair color?

By Seema from Milwaukee, WI

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Anonymous Flag
April 13, 20100 found this helpful
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Yes you can :-) It works the same as using lemon juice because of the citrus. Both needs either the sun or heat from a dryer to lift out color and it will very a very, very subtle change.

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

I don't know about lime juice but lemon juice will highlighten Sandy blonde hair when applied and you get out in the sun.(You need to have a lighter colored blonde not dark) A friend of mine used to do this to his hair every summer to keep his hair looking great.

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July 8, 2011 Flag

What is the best way to highlight brown hair with lemon juice but without it turning orange?

By Lindsay

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July 9, 20110 found this helpful
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I'd go out in the sun. I didn't find my hair turning orange. I think it's the commercial hair dyes that have this risk. Mine gradually got more blondish.

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July 9, 20110 found this helpful

Hydrogen peroxide produces the orangish color. It's great for me, a potential redhead. Lemon juice just lightens blonde hair & going out in the sun will intensify the effect. But I have found it's best to put lightening agents on dirty hair so the effect isn't too drying & after shampoo make sure you condition your hair.

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September 23, 2010 Flag

I have heard about dyeing (lightening) your hair with lemon juice, and I read a lot of comments saying that it works! It's awesome!, but the thing is, they are blonde/light brown haired people. My question is how would it turn out for very dark brown, almost black hair?

By Kristy

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September 23, 20100 found this helpful
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Hello, from my own experience of using lemon juice on my hair is, that with dark brown hair it usually will shade it with red tones and not blond.

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October 14, 20100 found this helpful

Yes you can! My hair is supper dark brown, it gave my hair lovely shine and in light deep red to auburn hues. If used regularly, it can bleach your hair way lighter. I would use it carefully though because you may end up with a shad you like then use it too much and lose it. My hair usually goes back darker but it depends on your hair type. It's awesome stuff! Good luck.

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August 9, 2016 Flag

I have med/dark blonde hair with a few bright blonde pieces. I want to go back lighter in a more natural way than actual hair dye. The past two days I've been spraying my hair with equal parts lemon juice/peroxide/water and now my hair has a slight slight tint of red/orange and is still darker blonde. I would say it's gotten the smallest bit lighter all around, but is still darker blonde. Should I keep going with this process or do something else?

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May 7, 2016 Flag

I have a few questions about lightening your hair with lemon juice. Will it turn you hair orange/yellow? Will it work on light brown hair? And I have read some places that you should use conditioner, how much conditioner should I use? Should I use conditioner?

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July 10, 2011 Flag

I have dark brown, shoulder length, thick hair and I want to dye my hair purple and blue with Kool-aid. I need to lighten it first. My mom said I can only lighten it with lemons/lemon juice. How long do I need to sit in the sun with it and all that? Do I need to wash it out afterwards? I need help.

By Jazmine

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July 12, 20110 found this helpful

Lemon juice will not lighten your hair enough to redye it.

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January 19, 2011 Flag

Use lemon or lime juice and a blow dryer or the summer sun for an all natural and cheap way to lighten your hair. Wet your hair with the lemon or lime juice, then blow it dry or sit in the sun. The heat will cause the juice to "bleach" your hair. Make sure you are wearing a light colored top when doing this. When I did it, I was wearing a dark purple shirt and it is now bleached out. Or at least it looks that way.

Source: My guardian Christina told me about this.

By Noria from TN

Answers:

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

This method does work, but it dries your hair out something shocking. So if you have coarse, frizzy or flyaway hair, I wouldn't recommend it. I did it one summer and it took me months to get my hair back to it's normal healthy condition (08/31/2010)

By Spanish Girl

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

I must warn you this is like sun damage to the hair. I certainly do not recommend this. I am a retired hair stylist and I had to repair many heads of hair from doing this. You might as well get it professionally done in the first place and save yourself the damaged hair. (01/06/2011)

By Toebeanie

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August 31, 2010 Flag

I have really dark brown hair (almost black) and I was wondering if I can use lemon juice to high light my hair? And is it okay if you use lemon juice from the store that's prepackaged or does it have to be directly from lemons?

By Jessica from Little Rock, AR

Answers:

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

Unfortunately lemon juice won't lighten your hair, at best it will just leave you with a bit of orange or brassiness. If you have really dark hair and want to go lighter, your best bet is to get it done professionally. Even at-home hair colors should only be used to lighten hair three shades, tops. (06/14/2010)

By mollyring

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

Mollyring is right, lemon juice may work on blondes but for darker hair it doesn't do anything. The sun may bring out some highlights but if you want lighter ones, a beauty salon is the place to go so you don't end up with brassy colorations. (06/15/2010)

By Amy3e

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

With the feedback attached, I would say it is cheaper to go to walmart for at $8 box of dye/lightener than to use kitchen supplies that when you skrew up, you have no help on the phone for questions. Remember, many skrew ups have to be cut off or wait for it to grow out and then cut off. Which is worth your nickel? (06/16/2010)

By TandT Grandma

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

Sun-In is a terrible product! Never use it! I personally use a mixture of bottled Lemon Juice and Moroccan Oil (can be bought from professional Hairdressers). It Works Great! While Moroccan Oil is quite pricey ($40 AUST) it is well worth it. I usually start with dry hair, make a mixture of Lemon Juice and Moroccan Oil (90/10) and saturate my hair with it. It is not necessary to go outside, but it may help if you want to go blonder. :) (08/14/2010)

By jimmys123

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June 14, 2010 Flag

If I bleach my hair with lemon, will a blow dryer have the same affect as the sun? Does it have to do with heat or light?

By Katie

Answers:

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

You do need light to bleach your hair. The sun is probably most effective, because the sun has natural bleaching power (I bet if you've left something plastic and colored outside, the color fades over time). I don't know about heat, but for sure light. (02/23/2010)

By annie.ann123wang

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

I used to go tanning in a tanning booth, and before I went it, I would spray my entire head with Sun-In, and after probably 4 or 5 times, my hair was completely blonde. A very nice color. My natural color is dark blonde/light brown with natural blonde highlights, so my hair does well with Sun-In. If your hair is darker, beware: Sun-In turns it very orange! (05/19/2010)

By JoMama1

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February 23, 2010 Flag

My hair is naturally light brown. I want it to be blonde, but I really do not want to use hair bleach or hair color. This summer I tried sitting in the sun for 30 minutes with the juice of a lemon and a spoonful of water combed into my hair.

This did do some lightening and added a few streaks of golden brown, but I was wondering if there is any way you can get lemon juice to work better, so that I could get dark blonde hair all over? Thank you.

By Cara from Firefield

Answers:

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

Hi! I have used a (roughly) 50/50 mix of lemon juice and hydrogen peroxide to spray on my hair. Seems to work better if I go out in the sun, but works without it anyway. It did a nice job, just not a quick, extreme change, more like subtle and gradual, but it worked nicely. Oh, I also did that for a couple of days that I didn't need to shampoo right away, then put coconut oil in my hair to condition over the spray, then shampooed it out. Very soft, shiny hair! Also, make sure and refrigerate the spray if you don't use it up right away. Good luck! (11/07/2009)

By Gina J.

Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

I personally use a large bottle of peroxide mixed with water half and half (50% peroxide and 50% water) and no lemon. You can apply it to your hair while it is dry or right after you shampoo it and let "makeup lights" or the sun dry your hair. This I know will work and it will look natural (or so mine does at 55 years old). Good luck! And let us know how you turn out. (11/07/2009)

By Paula Jo Carr

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November 5, 2009 Flag

Will a light bulb work just as well as the sun when I'm highlighting my hair with lemon juice?

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September 19, 2009 Flag

My hair is a very dark brown. It is not thin, but not thick. I am thinking of dying my hair with 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 water in a spray bottle.

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July 1, 2009 Flag

I recently heard that lemon juice can lighten your hair. I know that not everyone's hair is the same, but I thought I would try it out.

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May 14, 2009 Flag

I've hear you can use lemon juice to lighten you hair. Which works better, lemon juice in a bottle, or fresh squeezed?

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August 21, 2008 Flag
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