I have dark brown hair and I’ve been wanting a lighter hair shade for a long time. The idea of using some harmful substances on my head was not appealing so I started looking for less harmful ways of lightening my hair. I discovered that it is very possible to lighten hair with minimal risks at the comfort of my home.
How to lighten hair shade naturally (or almost naturally) at home? You can choose one of the options described below. Personally, I used the 3% Hydrogen Peroxide method with great results. If your hair is too dark these methods may not work but they worked for me with my dark brown hair.
1. How to lighten hair with Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is very effective for hair lightening purposes however some precautions are needed as it can irritate the scalp if applied for too long and makes the hair dry. A 6% peroxide solution is required for best results, however 3% will also lighten hair over time. Peroxide naturally occurs in lower percentages in some natural products like honey and cinnamon too.
Some tips when using Hydrogen Peroxide for hair lightening purposes:
- Always use distilled water if you mix Hydrogen Peroxide with water. Distilled water will not alter the pH of Hydrogen Peroxide and will result in better hair lightening.
- Cover your head with dark towel or a dark shower cap after applying a mixture with Hydrogen Peroxide for best hair lightening results.
- Do not use a peroxide solution stronger than 6%.
Hydrogen Peroxide Hair lightening Recipe
You will need:
- Hydrogen Peroxide 3% (about 2-3 Tbsp)
- Baking soda (about 100 gr)
- Any hair conditioner (about 2-4 Tbsp)
- Any shampoo (about 2 squirts)
- Make a hair test first. Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, hair conditioner and a tiny amount of shampoo. Make the consistency same as you would use for the entire hair for lightening purposes. Collect some hair from your brush and make a hair ball, or use a lock of hair. Apply the above mixture to the hair and leave in room temperature. Hold for 30-60 minutes and see the results. Apply the mixture again and leave for 30-60 minutes more. Repeat the process until you have a desired results. This test will help you to determine what color will result after the procedure. I just placed the small amount of my hair to the mixture for 6 hours and saw a very noticeable lightening effect – the shade what I exactly wanted to have. Please, remember, it is not recommended to keep the hydrogen peroxide mixture on the head for more than 1 hour at a time to avoid damage to the hair.
- Mix the above ingredients. The proportions do not need to be precise. Make it less runny as possible and apply to the whole hair. Cover with a shower cap and wrap a dark towel over it (or put on another dark shower cap or a hat). Do not wrap your hair too tightly, cover loosely as peroxide needs oxygen to work. Leave the mixture on your hair for 30-60 minutes. Rinse off. You can repeat the process every day until you get a desired shade. Nourishing hair masks are highly recommended after each procedure. Tip: If you use a brush to mix, it helps to foam the added shampoo making the mixture less runny. I used Diane hair coloring brush in a kit.
Get the shine back! The above method is very effective for lightening hair, however it dries the hair a LOT in my experience. I would recommend using a good hair mask immediately after washing off the hydrogen peroxide mixture from your hair. Wash the hair with a shampoo, damp dry with a towel, and apply a nourishing mask. I used Pura D’or Hair Mask which I really like myself for the purity of the ingredients. You can use any homemade nourishing hair mask of your choice. After you wash off the mask, pat dry your hair and apply any good leave-in hair treatment balm that you like. I used La-Brasiliana Dieci All-In-One Instant Hair Treatment, which removes the dryness instantly giving a nice shine to the hair. This stuff is actually amazing, and I highly recommend it if you have tangly or dry hair.
Useful tip: Use aluminium foil to avoid leaks and the mess. Wrap each treated lock of hair with a piece of aluminium foil. By the way, I try to avoid using aluminium in cooking, but it helps a lot to avoid drips when you apply the hydrogen peroxide mixture to your hair.
2. How to lighten hair with Lemon juice and Chamomile
Lemon juice contains citric acid which works like a very weak version of peroxide and chamomile mitigates the dryness the lemon juice may cause.
Lemon juice and Chamomile Hair lightening Spray
You will need:
- Chamomile flowers (use enough amount to make 1 cup of very strong chamomile tea) – about 1/3 cup
- Water 1 cup
- Lemon juice – 1/4 cup
- Essential oil – 8-10 drops (Use one of these: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Ginger, Grapefruit, Bergamot or Tangerine essential oils)
- Make a cup of a very strong chamomile tea by steeping chamomile flowers in hot water for about 15-20 minutes and straining. Add more water to the strained amount to make it one full cup.
- Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 8-10 drops of essential oil to the chamomile tea.
- Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray on towel dried hair. Follow with a hair drier or get a sunlight to enhance the effect. Wash your hair after a few hours.
- Repeat the process on next few days until the desired result achieved.
3. How to lighten hair with Honey and Cinnamon
Honey and cinnamon when mixed together will lighten hair over the course of several treatments. This happens due to a weak form of peroxide which is released when honey and cinnamon are mixed together.
Honey and Cinnamon Hair lightening Recipe
You will need:
- 80 gr Water (distilled is best)
- 20 gr Honey
- 2 Tbsp of Ceylon Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp of Olive oil
Apply the mixture to clean hair. The process can be messy, so plan ahead by covering your shoulders with a thick towel or applying the mixture in a bathtub. Do not let the hair dry out for about one hour, but do not wrap your hair tightly too. Use a loose shower cap to cover your hair. Rinse after one hour, do not use a shampoo. You can rinse your hair with Apple cider vinegar and water mixture to close the hair cuticle (mix 1/2 cup of Apple cider vinegar with 1 quart of water).