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Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice


Can you lighten dirty blonde hair with lemon juice?

By Kena


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By mcw 80 1,752 01/19/2011 Flag

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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01/20/2011 Flag

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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By BriJNicoleXOXO 1 06/15/2011 Flag

One thing everyone needs to keep in mind is everyones hair is different. For some it might work just as well as dye, and for some it may not. The truth is with anything youre doing to your hair there will always be some damage. Whether or not its a lot or if the different processes cause different damage is entirely according to the persons hair. I think that a lot of this is some good insight but ultimately it is up to you, and depends on what you think is good for your hair. Hope that you understand where i am coming from! Thanks. (:

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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Lighten Your Hair with Lemon Juice

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

Archive: Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

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. I used a spray bottle with 1/2 water and 1/2 bottled lemon juice. I sprayed down my unwashed hair with the water. I laid in the sun for a little over an hour and I took a shower and shampoo/conditioned as normal. I did not blow dry my hair afterward because that can be damaging.

I started out with light brown hair but I was blonde when I was young, and now I have dirty blonde hair. I will keep doing this until I get the color that I want. By using a mix of lemon and water, my hair is not dried out. It is softer than it has ever been and I love it. Not everyone has the same type of hair, but I suggest that you try it out.

By orange hair tie from Utica, MI


RE: Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

I recently heard about lightening your hair with lemon juice from a friend, and this website. I thought I would give it a shot, since when I was younger my hair was completely blonde, and then changed to light brown. Hearing that concentrated lemon juice can be damaging to your hair, I decided to buy fresh lemons and squeeze my own lemon juice, then mix it with water and a few drops of oil to keep my hair soft. I sprayed the mixture in my hair, laid in the sun for about an hour, then showered using Suave Damage Repair Conditioning Treatment. Once my hair dried, it was softer then ever and a sweet caramel colour. I love it. (My hair is fine, so this is sure to work with fine hair.) (06/27/2009)

By Adddie Ann

Archive: Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

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.

Archive: Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

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

By cuppy11cool from UK


RE: Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

As an ex-hairdresser do yourself a favor and do not use the lemon juice, it is way to acidic for hair, it will lighten it, but it will also cause it to become dry, frizzy and very dull as all oils and natural moisture will have been stripped from the hair. You can't replace what you have drawn out with the lemon juice and make it soft and supple to the touch again, and any natural shine is long gone until you grow out the new hair. You will have to cut off the damaged hair as even professional coloring will not work very well either so you can end up with "German Shepherd hair" referring to the color blotchiness, it is not a pretty sight. And no, a light bulb would not work as it needs more heat and the sun is what activates the lemon and the hair to basically counteract each other.

The warmth from the sun opens the cuticle of the hair allowing the lemon juice acids inside to strip out or "burn out" the color. A bad choice, but it is your hair. A better choice would be a Clairol Frost and Tip kit, easy and not harmful as the lemon juice would be. Good luck and hope it doesn't come out looking like you have tiger stripes as you also are not able to control where the lemon juice will spread to. With the professional frost kit you can control where it goes and what hair it will be acted on to lighten. (09/21/2009)

By Beau D

RE: Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice

I also was a hairstylist, retired after thirty years behind the chair. Knew my trade well enough to have worked full time in the studios and those actors and actresses certainly don't trust just anyone with their hair. Both my parents retired as hairstylists, too.

Back to the question at hand, if all you want is a "minimal amount of lightening" then by all means use it instead of the chemicals that are "ultra lift" in lightening kits and can dry your hair out if not used correctly. All you have to do is use it when your hair is dirty/oily. Those natural oils will help reduce the chances of the hair drying out. For even lightening, so you don't get strange streaks or missed spots, just spray hair very well with the juice and gently comb through.

Do not use a lightbulb. Just put a shower cap or plastic bag over your hair and sit under a hairdryer or use a blow dryer on low heat for a few minutes while moving it around evenly. The heat will open the cuticle layer allowing the lemon juice in. Afterward shampoo with a mild shampoo and condition.

If you want more than minimal lightening please be kind to yourself and find a good hairstylist. Best way to find one is ask people who's hair color you like and looks healthy and ask who does theirs. (09/22/2009)

By Deeli

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