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How to Lighten Hair Naturally: 16 DIY Tips to Lighten Dark and Brown Hair


As summer rolls around, my heart starts to pang with envy seeing the blonde-haired women having fun on the beach. It’s not the fun that makes me jealous, but their sun-kissed copper and gold hair. I know just like me, many of you also love light brown tresses. But, you know what? Even the thought of going to a colorist to dye my hair makes me feel squeamish. When such is the situation, I look for how to lighten hair naturally.

You may not get the platinum status. However, patience is the key here. As these methods involve natural ingredients, you may have to wait longer to golden tones to your mane.

How Light Can You Go?

Unfortunately, all types of hair colors cannot be lightened naturally. Natural hair dyes work best on fine and light colored hairs. If you’ve darker hair, you’ll get orange and red undertones at the first try. Blonde-haired women can get 2-3 lighter shades at the first try. Therefore, before proceeding, set realistic expectations so as to not get frustrated. This picture will give you a clear idea about how light will your hair look with the initial trials.

How to lighten hair naturally

Already colored your hair previously? Wait for at least 8-10 weeks before you lighten hair with homemade remedies.

Benefits of Using Natural Hair Lighteners

Lots of people avoid using chemical-packed hair lightening dyes available in the market. Definitely, for good reason too. Natural hair lighteners are loaded with benefits. Some of these are:

a) Improve your scalp and hair health

b) Cost-effective

c) Fewer chances of getting skin irritation

d) Less exposure to chemicals

On the other hand, artificial hair lightening kits contain harmful ingredients that can damage your hair. Many of these products are so harmful that they are potential enough to cause leukemia, bladder, and breast cancers. Therefore, read the ingredients before you shop for them.

1. Bleach Hair with Vinegar

Ingredients required 

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar 

Spray bottle

1/2 cup water

Time required: 2 minutes 

Processing time: 30 minutes 


1. Mix the Apple cider vinegar and water in the spray bottle and shake it properly. 

2. Spray the mixture all over your hair and let it absorb till it is fully saturated in the liquid.

3. Leave it or wait for 30 minutes. 

4. Rinse it with normal water.

How Often?

You can apply it once in a week to get the desired result.


Due to bleaching properties of apple cider vinegar your hair will get reddish color and you’ll get 2-3 shades light colored hair.

2. Bleach hair with cinnamon 

How to lighten hair naturally

Required ingredients 

Cinnamon: 1/2 cup

Conditioner: 1/2 cup

Time required: 2 minutes 

Processing time: 3-4 hours/ overnight 


1. Make a thick paste by mixing half cup conditioner with ½ cup cinnamon powder.

2. On your hair apply this paste and leave it for 3-4 hours or whole night. 

3. Wash your hair with shampoo the next morning.

How Often?

Do it for once in a week until you get better result. 


It contains antioxidants which can prevent and protect your hair from damages caused by sunrays. On the other hand, cinnamon helps in lightening your hair and makes it look rich and voluminous.

3. Bleach hair with lemon juice 

Supplies You Will Need

Fresh lemon juice: 1 cup

Warm water for normal hair: 1/2 cup

Conditioner for dry hair: 1/4 cup

Spray bottle: 1

Preparation time: 2 minutes 

Processing time: 2 hours 


1. In a spray bottle, pour all the ingredients (for normal hair) and mix the ingredients in a bowl. Girls having dry hair should make a smooth paste with the ingredients.

2. Now the next step is to apply or spray the lemon juice mixture onto your hair thoroughly until it is fully saturated. 

3. Sit for 1-2 hours in the sun with this mixture. 

4. After 1-2 hours wash your hair with shampoo and condition it.

How Often?

Do it once in a week.


Lemon juice helps to lighten your hair as it is one of the best sources of natural bleach. It also helps to lift your hair cuticle as long as it has enough warmth. It allow the lemon juice to penetrate your hair shaft.

4. Honey and Vinegar 

how to lighten hair naturally


Raw uncooked honey: 2 cup (you can get it from any food or health store).

Distilled vinegar: 1 cup

Extra virgin olive oil: 1 tablespoon 

Processing time: whole night. 

How to prepare 

1. Take all the ingredients and mix it well. 

2. Take a comb or brush to apply the mixture onto your damp hair so as to distribute it evenly. 

3. Cover your hair with swim cap or shower cap. Optionally you can also use plastic cap to wrap your hair. 

4. Leave it overnight.

5. Wash it in the morning. 


Extra virgin olive oil helps to boost the lightening. As honey has a small trace of hydrogen peroxide so it has the quality of lightening effect. 

Also Read

How to Grow High Porosity Hair

How Long Does Semi Permanent Hair Color Last

5. Henna Powder

Supplies You Will Need    

Henna powder: You can get it from any cosmetics store.

Chamomile: Get this from natural food store.

Boiling water

Processing Time: half an hour 


1. Take an equal amount of both the powder and use some boiling water to make a thick paste with it. 

2.  Let it cool.

3. Wet your hair and apply the mixture. 

4. Use plastic cap or shower cap to wrap your hair. 

5. Leave it for half an hour. 

6. Rinse it with normal water. 


It works as a great lightening agent when henna powder is added with chamomile powder.

Note: Leave the mixture onto your hair for 2 hours if you have darker hair.

6. Tea

how to lighten hair naturally

 Required ingredients 

Tea bag: 1


Processing Time: 15 minutes 

 How to Apply 

1. Steep the tea bag for 10 minutes in a boiling water. 

2. Let it be cool.

3. Rinse your hair with that.

4. Leave it for 15 minutes. 

5. Repeat it for 2 to 3 times and then wash your hair with shampoo. 

6. It will give your hair extra lightening power. 


This tea especially chamomile, keeps your hair sleek and healthy as it has lightening properties.

Note: You can use black tea also but chamomile tea is the best option. This method works especially for superdark haired women who want to give their hair a golden glow.

7. Baking soda 

Supplies You Will Need 

Baking soda: 4 tablespoons 

Honey: 1 tablespoon 

Hydrogen peroxide: 2 tablespoons 

Processing Time: 30 minutes 


1. Make a thick paste by mixing all the ingredients. 

2. Apply the paste all over your hair or wherever you want to lighten your hair. 

3. Use foil paper to wrap your hair. 

4. Leave it for 30 minutes. 

5. Shampoo and condition your hair with normal water.  


Baking soda helps to lighten your hair and hydrogen peroxide is present in your hair dyes.

Note: If you’ve got light color of hair, keep this pack for more than 30 minutes and check the shade of your hair.

8. Vodka 

Required ingredients 

Seltzer: 1 cup

Vodka: 1/4 cup

Spray bottle: 1

Processing Time: 30 minutes 


1. In a spray bottle pour the mixture of vodka and seltzer.

2. Now in your hair spritz the mixture with this spray bottle. 

3. Now use your hairdryer to dry up your hair. You can also stand under the sun.

4. It will take 30 minutes only to lighten your hair.   


To reduce the frizz of your hair, vodka is one of the best options. To achieve a lighter shade alcohol is the best as it lifts your hair pigments. 

9. Bleach hair with Vitamin C

Ingredients Required

1. Vitamin C tablets: 10 to 15

2. Conditioner

3. Anti-dandruff shampoo

Preparation time: 2 minutes 

Processing time: 5 minutes 


1. Take 10 to 15 crushed vitamin c tablets and add it with your anti dandruff shampoo. 

2. Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp thoroughly and rinse your hair.

3. After cleansing for 5 minutes rinse your hair and shampoo as well.

4. Now apply the conditioner onto your hair. 

How Often?

To get a desired result do it once in a week continuously. 


Vitamin C helps to lighten your hair as it has citric acid present in it. It also helps to grow your hair and make it healthy. 

10. Salt 

Ingredients Required 

Salt: 1 tablespoon 

Warm water: 1/2 cup

Spray bottle 

Preparation Time: 2 minutes 

Processing Time: 15 minutes 


1. In half cup warm water dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt.

2. Pour it in the spray bottle and spray it onto your hair till completely saturated. 

3. For 15 minutes just wait under the sun in order to get best results. 

4. Now at last wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner. 


The salt will help you to lighten your hair. 

11. Bleach hair with Rhubarb 

Required Ingredients 

Water: 2 cups 

Chopper rhubarb: 1/4 cup

Time Required: 15 minutes 

Processing Time: 10 minutes 

How to Apply

1. In 2 cups of water boil the rhubarb. 

2.  Let it be cool after straining the rhubarb infused liquid.

3. When it is cooled apply it on your hair and leave the solution for 10 minutes. 

4. Now using your shampoo wash hair and finish your bath with conditioner. 

How Often

Until you get a desired result do it once in a week. 


As rhubarb contains oxalic acid, it helps to maintain the color of your hair and lightens it for a longer period. 

Note: As rhubarb contains pectin it can make your hair sticky, so don’t leave it for long time.

12. Soaking in the Sun

Needless to say, you don’t need any ingredients here. Just a bright, sunny day will do. Go outside in a warm and sunny day. Sit in the sun for 3-4 hours with your hair untied. Go back and take rest for at least 30 minutes. And, then shampoo your hair and condition it.

I personally don’t like to lighten my hair color with sunrays. It’s because the more you expose your hair to the sunrays, the drier it will become. So, don’t forget to apply the conditioner after shampooing. If you want quick result from it, damp your hair before going out in the sun by spraying lemon juice on it.

Note: Also, keep it in mind that the sunrays will change your hair color permanently over time. So, think about it before applying this trick.

13. Hydrogen Peroxide

Things You’ll Need

Hydrogen peroxide

Petroleum jelly

A cotton strip

A spray bottle

Preparation time: 3 minutes

How to Apply

1. Shampoo and condition your hair before applying to make sure that your hair is free from oils and grime.

2. Pat your hair dry with a towel while keeping it little bit wet. Hydrogen peroxide sits better on little wet hair.

3. Now, dilute hydrogen peroxide with water. For that, take equal quantities of water and hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and mix it well.

4. Cover your hair with a cotton strip and petroleum jelly. Wear your gloves.

5. Cover your neck and shoulders with a clean towel.

6. Apply the mixture from the spray bottle on those parts where you want to get highlights. However, you can spray the mixture on all over your hair.

7. Leave it for 30 minutes to an hour.

8. Wash it off with cold water and then apply conditioner.

How Often?

Go for it once in a week to prevent your hair from damaging. Only one application can give you 1-2 lighter shades.

Note: Some people are allergic to hydrogen peroxide. If you’re not sure about it, first apply the mixture to some of your strand and wait for 30 minutes. Then wash it off. If within an hour or two, you don’t develop any allergy due to it, apply it on the remaining hair.

14. Beetroot

Required Things

1 beetroot

2 tablespoon coconut oil

Preparation time: 5-6 minutes

Method of Applying

1. Cut the beetroot into small pieces and put them in your mixer grinder.

2. Now, use a cheesecloth to strain the mixture.

3. Pour 7-8 drops of coconut oil to it.

4. Now wet your hair a little.

5. Dip your hair in the juice.

6. Cover the hair with a shower cap and wait for 3 hours.

7. Rinse the hair with cold water.

You’ll see slightly red shade on your hair. It works instantly.


Beetroot is rich in calcium, vitamin A, and protein. All these nutrients are essential for healthy growth of hair. Plus, you can prevent hair loss by applying beetroot juice daily on your hair.

15. Carrot Juice

Required Ingredients

1 carrot

Olive oil: 7-8 drops

Apple Cider Vinegar

Processing Time: 3-4 minutes

How to Apply

1. First of all, extract the carrot juice.

2. Take a bowl and mix the juice with olive oil.

3. Apply it on your hair liberally.

4. Wrap your hair with a plastic. Keep it as it is for at least an hour.

5. Rinse the hair using apple cider vinegar.

How Often?

Apply it on two consecutive days to get your much craved orange tint. The color of your hair will decide how long this orange shade will last. Generally, it lasts for few weeks.


Vitamins in carrots combat hair loss, and make the hair strong, long, and shining.

16. Cardamom

Ingredients Required

Grounded cardamom


Distilled water

Processing time: 5-6 minutes

How to Apply

1. Mix 2 tbsp of ground cardamom with 1 tbsp of honey and 4 tbsp of distilled water.

2. Apply the mixture on your hair and wait for at least an hour.

3. Wash your hair thoroughly.

How Often?

Apply it 2 days back to back to get your desired color.


Cardamom contains peroxide that boosts the lightening effect. The moisturizing properties of honey will lock the moisture in your hair. And, distilled water has a pH value of 7 that enables the peroxide in cardamom to decompose more effectively.

Tips for Applying

The tips discussed below will help you maintain the color of your naturally dyed hair for a long time. Check out the tips.

a) Stay away from chlorine

b) Avoid using sulfate-free shampoos

c) Apply heat on your hair less frequently

d) Opt for a healthy diet

e) Use purple shampoos and conditioners to enhance the blonde color

f) Skip taking hot shower and using hair styling equipment and products

How Long These Natural Hair Colors Last?

You may have to wait for a week or more to get the intense color on your hair. If you apply the coloring ingredients quite often, you’ll get the desired color within a short time.

As you go on applying these natural hair lighteners, your hair color will start to lighten gradually. Being natural, they tend to change the color of your hair permanently. Unless the new hair grows, the hair on which you’ve applied the color will not fade. To keep the highlights bright and healthy, condition your hair once in a week with coconut oil or honey.

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