Lightening Hair Naturally

Category Coloring
There are a few ways to help your hair become somewhat lighter without the use chemical hair bleach. This page is about lightening hair naturally.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 30, 2009

Is there anything natural I can put in my hair to bring out the blonde in it?

By Melissa from Hendersonville, NC


November 30, 20090 found this helpful

I'm not sure about how good it is for your hair, but I've used sun-in for years, just on or near the ends of my long hair and it always looked great. Don't know that I'd use it all over my head, but if you're somewhat already blonde, go ahead. Just be sure & condition your hair well.

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December 1, 20090 found this helpful

Cassia is an herb that will provide a golden glow to hair that is already light.

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December 1, 20090 found this helpful

Like the other posters, I've used 1 lemon squeezed into a jug with strong camomile tea, this worked better than anything else I tried as the results are more natural looking than if you use peroxide. Ive tried that in the past and you can end up looking strange if you're not careful.

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December 2, 20090 found this helpful

Lots of time in saltwater and sunshine (like surfers), lemon juice and sunshine or heat, chamomile and sunshine or heat. Short of that you could use peroxide but unless your hair color is close to blonde the peroxide might make it look brassy.

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August 9, 20100 found this helpful

Any of you who are using the lemon juices, or vinegars, the reason your hair is drying out, is because these are an acid. - As is the Beer. The Chamomile is not. I am a Naturopath. Here's a suggestion:


Take your formulas:
half cup water
half or quarter cup hydrogen peroxide (9%)
two lemons

Then: Boil the half cup water on the stove and add 1-2T Chamomile - let boil on low 10 min (kills bacteria) turn off the heat and steep one hour.
Strain through cloth into your bottle. Then, add 1 and a 1/2 tsp avocado oil. Most health food stores carry this. The oil will nourish your hair.

I sometimes will use cornstarch and make a paste and comb the mixture through my hair because the cornstarch is inactive and will not do anything but provide a carrier. Let this sit on your hair for up to 45 min or until you like your tone. Wet in the shower and condition with coconut milk, rinse again. If you need to adjust your tone, follow below:
For a deeper brown-red, use a paste with black tea instead of water

For Deep Red- Substitute Logwood chips that have been decocted (boiled) in water for an hour.


To tone Red: Make a paste with black coffee instead of water. (This especially works if you accidentally turned yourself orange!)

If you want to go darker red, add 2 Tablespoons Cloves, (I added Cayenne) myself. I'll let you all know HOW that one turns out! You can also use red wine as well. (I do a lot of experimenting with color!)

You can use sage for brown. Make sure you infuse this as well in the water, and you can use 2 Tablespoons of cloves, I also added 1 tsp. of comfrey!

Walnut brown: Boil the walnut hulls in warm water until the water is a rich, dark brown. Make sure you strain the hulls. Use the infusion to mix your paste.

Auburn: You can use the Chamomile flower infusion for the water. Again, I mixed just a PINCH of cayenne and comfrey with this, and a touch of Oat Grass and Goldenseal to get a "natural" tone.


Remember that the Native American had to mix all of their colors from the plants around them. The same is true for us. We still have this available today. Have fun with it.

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

MaxiSpeaks, I need to clear up that acid on a PH scale regarding hair is not drying but rather it's the alkaline on the scale that is drying to hair. Hair is a dead appendage and does not react exactly the same as the living cells in our body. Your recipes are good though because the ingredients (alkaline, neutral (water) and acid) balance out PH values close to neutral. ;-)

Retired (after 35 years) Cosmetologist

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March 20, 2010

I have heard that chamomile tea will make you go blonder? Is that true? and if so how do I use it?

By Meghan


March 20, 20100 found this helpful

Yes, it's true. What you do is you buy an enamel or glass pot to make a rinse. (Metal pots will react with the chamomile and alter its lightening effect), then add 1 or 2 cups of the tea to heated water in the pot. Allow it to boil gently for 30 minutes. Let it cool to a comfortable, lukewarm temperature before you use it. This can take several hours, then strain the chamomile flowers through a plastic sieve and collect the liquid in a bowl.


Wash your hair as usual and use the chamomile lightening liquid as a final rinse. When you pour it through your hair, catch it into the bowl again and rinse it through your hair several times this way, then finally dry your hair in the sun if possible, as this strengthens the effect of the chamomile rinse. Use the tea often to keep your subtle highlights fresh or to attain the effect you desire.

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

I'm dark-haired, but I used to use a chamomile rinse simply because it left my hair feeling so nice. :-)

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March 26, 20100 found this helpful

I think you can achieve the same result using lemons too. Work lemon juice into your hair, go out into the sun for about an hour (not longer) and then rinse your hair out.


If you do this several times you will definitely start noticing a difference.

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April 28, 20130 found this helpful

I know this post is from 3 yrs ago, but the directions are not clear. You say to use 1 - 2 cups of "tea" when I think you meant to say 1 - 2 cups of chamomile flowers which creates the tea?

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June 13, 20130 found this helpful

I use chamomile to lighten my hair and love it. My method is to take a 12 oz. spray bottle and fill with very warm water and one chamomile tea bag. Let it sit until it cools down. Sometimes I spray it on my hair after washing or sometimes just on dry hair. Then you can either blow dry or go sit in the sun. I find that if I use more than one tea bag it dries out my hair slightly.

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To lighten my hair naturally and gradually what can I use and how should it be used? I know when I was a teenager we would use SUN IN but I am unable to locate here 50 years later. All suggestions are welcome!

Paula Jo from Mebane, NC


March 14, 20170 found this helpful

Brush on fresh lemon juice.

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March 15, 20170 found this helpful

Lemon juice will work better with some sort of heat source, like the sun or a heat lamp.

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July 15, 2017

Using coconut oil in your hair before chemically lightening it can help protect it against damage. This is a page about use coconut oil for hair lightening.

Coconut Oil for
Hair Lightening

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September 26, 2016

This is a page about lightening your hair with hydrogen peroxide. When you want to lighten your hair without going to the salon, you may consider using a hydrogen peroxide recipe.

Woman in towel combing wet blond hair

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

March 7, 2011

To lighten my hair naturally and gradually what can I use and how should it be used? I know when I was a teenager we would use SUN IN but I am unable to locate here 50 years later. All suggestions are welcome!

Paula Jo from Mebane, NC


Naturally Lightening My Hair

I googled it up and found it online, actually:

Search for Sun In

You can also try using some lemon in your hair and going outside in the sun for a while everyday. Hydrogen Peroxide too. (07/11/2006)

By Kaki

Naturally Lightening My Hair

I use lemon juice. I squeeze all the juice I can out of one lemon, then I take that and two big bowls to the bathroom. I put one bowl in the sink. I get my husband to help me pour the juice over my hair and catch whatever drips out in the bowl. Then we put the other bowl in the sink and pour the juice from the first bowl.

We keep going back and forth like that until all lemon juice is absorbed in my hair. I leave it in for an hour or so, and sometimes go out in the sun (but I am usually attacked by bees so I don't always do that) and then wash it out. My hair is usually a bit lighter, but nothing dramatic. (07/14/2006)

By Allison

Naturally Lightening My Hair

Walmart here in SC carries it, check that store. Or at least ask them to start carrying it. Since the neighboring state does.It can't be that hard for them if it is in the warehouse. (07/14/2006)

By Karen

Naturally Lightening My Hair

Our local Rite-Aid store still carries SUN-IN. My daughter checked on it just yesterday. It is $5.00 a bottle. It will lighten your hair gradually and in just the amounts that you desire. I hope the Rite-Aid in your area carries it as well. If not ask if they can order it for you. Hope this helps. (07/14/2006)

By Connie A.

Naturally Lightening My Hair

Dump a can of beer on your hair, sit in sun until hair is dry, not only will your hair be a bit lighter will also be soft as silk . Have been doing this for years, (sometimes I even drink some of the beer too) ;-) (07/15/2006)

By Rosa

Naturally Lightening My Hair

First of all id like to say .. lemon doesn't work very well . It dries out your hair and it gives you a little bit of a difference. Somewhat of a shade lighter.

2nd Hydrogen Peroxide does work if you sit in the sun with it for 2 hours! Long time unless your at the beach but it would be sort of awkward if your smelling funny.

3rd The one and only thing that actually works is the recipe I have been using for over a year. I have light brown hair, but its been medium blonde and I haven't dyed it with chemicals once. Natural products is the way to go.
It may dry your hair out a tiny bit but no biggy.

1) Take lemon juice and an egg and beat them together until they are soft and fluffy.

2) In The shower put this hair mask into your hair and leave it on for 15 minutes , BEFORE shampooing

3)Wash your hair out with warm water, not hot though. Shampoo

4) Then condition. After this spritz lemon juice evenly all over your hair. Then rinse out.

And voila, you have 3 shades lighter of hair and you don't need to go in the sun for this one!

Yes, you use a lot of lemons which dries out your hair ... but the egg is a moisturizer (which by the way, you can use as a conditioner. It's very healthy for your hair ) so the egg will help your hair from drying out =]
Use this, trust me, it works! (07/23/2006)

By Alis.

Naturally Lightening My Hair

After having fun swimming with your friends and your hair is still wet, get out of the pool, and sit under the sun for like an hour. If you have dark brown hair it will be a pretty light brown. I did this on accident and then discovered that my hair was lighter! Try it because it worked for m.e (03/12/2007)

By Sal

Naturally Lightening My Hair

If you use lemon juice on your hair when it's dirty the oils on your un-washed hair will help protect it from the acidic damage. Good luck! (07/25/2007)

Naturally Lightening My Hair

okay well, I hope this helps! I just tried using lemon juice and I had medium brown hair, but it made my hair orange. Then I tried some store bought Sun in, and I got even more orange hair.. Then i was a carrot top. So I rushed to the hair salon and got it done. Natural stuff does not work, and do not buy store bought hair dye if you have dark hair seeking to lighten. Just get it done :] (08/04/2007)

By Hanna

Naturally Lightening My Hair

Lemon juice will actually damage your hair :( If you have dishwasher blond hair then you should use a teaspoon of lemon juice with a gallon of water. Rinse in this solution daily. As it isn't concentrate, it wont damage it much and you wont' have dry hair.

If you have brown/ black or red hair lemon juice isn't recommended as you may just end up with orange hair or worse! There is a herbal remedy for red hair, but I am unsure of it. Sorry

but for brunettes, chemicals are the best way to avoid disappointment!
hope it helps.(01/02/2008)

By Shaheena

Naturally Lightening My Hair

So. I have medium-brown hair. Let me tell you, lemon juice definitely does dry out your hair. . But... What I do is use a moisture rich shampoo and conditioner. (iIuse herbal essence, the blue one) and that way, when I use lemon juice, or blow dry and straighten my hair, I am reducing the risk of getting split ends. Split ends and other hair damaging things happen from drying out your hair.

A lot of people don't do that, use the hydrating or moisture rich shampoo's/conditioners, because they think that it leaves their hair greasy, but it doesn't for me, because I balance it out by blow drying, straightening, ect. Even when I don't it doesn't get greasy or yuk-ish. Just thought I would throw in my 2 cents :) hope you guys find the thing that works best for you :D (04/18/2008)

By Stephanie

Naturally lightening your hair

I used sun in and my hair was light brown and it turned my hair bright orange! If you are a brunette do not use sun in! (04/30/2008)

By Mae

Naturally Lightening My Hair

So all you natural blondes out there, you know how when you're younger your hair is so blonde, but as you get older, it gets slightly darker. Mine is a light golden brown or dark honey blonde. I use chamomile extract in my hair and it doesn't make it noticeably lighter but it keeps it from getting darker. (05/12/2008)

By Sarah

lighten your hair with lemon juice (without becoming orange)

OK so I've been using this for a little bit and it works so well! All you do is get lemon juice, any kind, you then pour on a brush and brush parts of your hair which you want lightened. Or just tip your hair in it if you want the whole thing lighter. Then go in the sun for 30 minutes (roughly.) rinse your hair, and put some fresh lemon juice in. Go in the sun for about another 30 minutes. This makes your hair lighter without becoming orange.

The reason it usually becomes orange is because people leave it in without rinsing and adding fresh lemon juice. This just keeps coating the hair with dirty lemon juice and the sun reacts turning it orange. If you do it my way, you'll get results you love :]] hope it works for you too! good luck! (06/09/2008)

By Sarah H<3</p>

Naturally Lightening My Hair

I have chemically straightened hair, so any kind of harsh chemical is out for me. My hair is a black-brown color, and I once bleached it and dyed it. I was hoping for a chestnut brown, but instead got fire engine red! For those that have processed hair or dark, bleaching, peroxide, and lemon juice are all bad options (they'll turn your hair clownish-red and give you killer split-ends).

My suggestion is to use cinnamon to lighten your hair; it's not harsh and it's easy to make. You may have to use it more than once to see a significant difference; I noticed a slight lightening after my first try. You can search for recipes on Google. (06/17/2008)

By Antoinette

Naturally Lightening My Hair

I have dirty blonde hair and it used to be BLEACH blonde. I would like it to be lighter so I tried the lemon, vinegar, and water trick today and it didn't seem to help much. I'm probably going to try lemon juice, and egg tomorrow and see what happens. If nothing, the beer trick may be the next thing I try. (06/22/2008)

By Eile

Naturally Lightening My Hair

You should try mixing lemon juice with conditioner and then going outside! Supposed to work :) (06/23/2008)

By Dirty Blonde

Naturally Lightening My Hair

Try olive oil and lemon juice it works fast and doesn't damage your hair

Just mix it together and put it on then go out in the sun for as long as you like. (07/24/2008)

By Will

Naturally Lightening My Hair

I have dark brown hair and I tried using Sun-In to lighten up my hair just a little bit. It really didn't work very well. I suggest leaving the Sun-In for the lighter brunettes and blonds. (07/30/2008)

By Leah

Naturally Lightening My Hair

My hair is naturally dark blonde, almost like a caramel color. I mixed half conditioner half lemon juice (from an actual lemon) and brushed it all over and through my unwashed hair and sat in the sun for 20 min. Then I washed my hair as usual. it worked wonderfully! So natural looking but also noticeably lighter. Great trick. (08/05/2008)

By oxjx3

Naturally Lightening My Hair

I put concentrate lemon juice in a spray bottle. For about a week on vacation and after I swam I sprayed the juice in and let it dry in the sun. My hair is considerably lighter, just make sure your hair dries completely and then jump into the water again and repeat! You also get a good tan! :-) But remember I had sandy blonde hair (now it's beach blonde!) I don't know if it will work for other colors, sorry! (08/15/2008)

By Bella

Naturally Lightening My Hair

To the person with the four-point plan: the nourishing part of the egg is the yolk, there aren't many nutrients in the white. It's so much easier if you just use the yolks to condition your hair, since it doesn't congeal. You can just stir one into a bit of conditioner. (09/15/2008)

By Rebs

Naturally Lightening My Hair

I use a mixture of pure chamomile tea and lemon juice, and it makes hair lighter, although the lemon juice causes split ends. I think washing hair with beer and chamomile repeatedly will make hair lighter. Chamomile is probably the best bet. :) (11/22/2008)

By Elena

Naturally Lightening My Hair

What you can do is you can put lemon juice (any kind like fresh squeezed or from the little bottles) and put it into a spray bottle then spray it onto the areas you want to lighten and sit in the sun for about and hour or so. Repeat a couple of times and you should be good to go! :) (02/15/2009)

By Blondie wannabe

Naturally Lightening My Hair

I know everyone says not to use lemon juice with dark brown hair, but I have very dark hair, almost black and I used lemon juice. I sprayed it in my hair when it was diluted with water, then I blow dried my hair. Then I sprayed more in, let it sit for 10 minutes. then I took a shower, but I put lemon juice in an extremely moisturizing conditioner and my hair is noticeably lighter, and no orange! :) Hope it works for you too. (02/26/2009)

By emma

Naturally Lightening My Hair

Sun In. can be found at Wal-mart for about $3-5. :) (07/01/2010)

By Laura

Naturally Lightening My Hair

If you go to Walmart u can get Clearisil the face wipes. If you lighten the area every night before you go to bed it gets noticeably lighter. I have dark brown hair and my bangs are gold now. :) I might try the lemon juice for streaks in my hair though. Hope this helps! (09/28/2010)

By elisha

Naturally Lightening My Hair

If you try lemon juice and the sun it works! But if you try lemon juice and egg in the shower trust me it doesn't work! I have black hair, so now I have brown highlights! (12/28/2010)

By ashmi

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November 30, 2009

I'm looking for a home recipe for lightening my dishwater blonde hair. I used to buy "Touch of Sun" by Clairol...

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June 6, 2006
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