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Lightening Hair With Lemon Juice

Category Coloring
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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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.

By 3 found this helpful
January 19, 2011

Can you lighten dirty blonde hair with lemon juice?

By Kena

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January 19, 20112 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.

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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.

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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
January 20, 20111 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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October 17, 20111 found this helpful

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.

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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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By 0 found this helpful
April 24, 2016

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

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April 25, 20160 found this helpful
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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.

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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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By 0 found this helpful
April 12, 2010

Can you use lime juice to change your hair color?

By seema from Milwaukee, WI

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Anonymous
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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July 27, 20130 found this helpful

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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July 8, 20110 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
September 23, 2010

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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By 0 found this helpful
August 9, 2016

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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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

YOu can keep going with it though in my personal experience (my hair is very black) it doesn't work as well as more aggressive chemical methods

you can try spending more time in the sun to activate the lemon, etc

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

To do much lighter you need a two step process and that is better left to professionals.

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