Natural Ways to Lighten Hair

Natural ways to lighten hair

A lot of people dream of having beautiful and vibrant locks that last not only during the summer but all year round. Certain manufacturers have taken note of this and filled the shelves of stores with products that may give the desired hue, but with the cost of drowning the hair with hard to pronounce and questionable chemicals.
Fortunately Mother Nature has provided us with the means to safely achieve the colors you have dreamed about, with a bonus of healthier hair and without the potential side-effects that will damage your flowing mane. From kitchen ingredients to drinks with surprising hair benefits, here are natural ways to lighten hair:

1.) Baking Soda

An ingredient commonly found in the kitchen that is also beneficial for your hair. Used as an alternative to chemical-filled shampoos, baking soda can both lighten your hair and remove unwanted chemicals that have built up in your mane. Simply sprinkle and rub some baking soda onto your hair on a weekly basis, but if you want faster results (as it takes around two months before you see the changes) you can use it daily.

2.) Beer

This may gross out some people, but a beer rinse actually gives a lot of amazing benefits for lighter and healthier hair. One of the key ingredients in beer is hops, which contains essential oils that make hair a lot stronger. It also has B vitamins that can repair damaged hair. Pour several bottles of light beer on a bucket and dip your hair in it for five minutes while massaging your hair so the beer will coat every strand. Dry it under the sun for an hour then rinse off. Use a conditioner after rinsing off so your hair won’t reek of booze when you head out.

3.) Berry Tea

Berry Tea

For the redheads, berry tea effectively brings out red highlights on the mane. Berries that become red when brewed will do the trick such as blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and pomegranates. Steep a couple of teabags in boiling water and let it cool. Pour it into a bottle and spray the mix all over your locks. Spend at least 30 minutes in sunlight to bring out the highlights.


4.) Black Tea

black-tea

Noted for having a stronger flavor than other variants of tea. Black tea contains tannin, a compound that strengthens hair and coats it with oils that will leave a healthier shine. Brew two to four bags of black tea, depending on the length and thickness of your hair, and steep it for a couple of hours or overnight. Pour the tea onto your hair once it has cooled down and wait for half an hour. Rinse it off with warm water and use a deep conditioner to moisturize your hair. Do keep in mind that black tea can stain clothes.

5.) Chamomile

The beautiful golden flower is packed with a potent chemical composition that works wonders in bringing about the hair’s blonde undertones. Steep around five bags of chamomile tea for an hour, let it cool, and then apply it to your hair. Dry your hair in sunlight for 30 minutes to help accelerate the brightening effects of chamomile. Continued use will gradually reveal lighter hair colors. The tea can also be put in a spray bottle for a quick squirt before heading out on a sunny day.

6.) Coffee

The favorite drink of many people around the globe can brighten natural highlights and promote healthier growth when used on hair, as verified in the International Journal of Dermatology’s January 2007 issue. You can use coffee in a few different ways, but be reminded that organic coffee is the preferred choice for this method (to avoid the chemicals in non organic variants):
Brew a strong cup of your chosen organic coffee and let it cool. Then mix two cups of a natural leave-in conditioner, two tablespoons of ground organic coffee, and the now cooled down cup of coffee. Apply the mix to your hair and let it sit for an hour. Rinse the mix off with warm water afterwards.
Shampoo first before pouring a cool cup of coffee on your hair. Wait for 20 minutes then wash it off using apple cider vinegar to maintain the color then with warm water afterwards.
Cool an extra-strong pot of coffee and fill a spray bottle with it. Spritz it on your hair and let the sun dry it out for 30 minutes.

7.) Honey

The sweet nectar is noted for its numerous medicinal benefits, and it also effectively lightens hair without harming it thanks to honey’s trace amounts of the enzyme hydrogen peroxide. Mix two tablespoons of raw honey into a cup of either vinegar or water, as honey is ridiculously sticky on the hair when used as is and will no doubt give you a hard time washing it off. Apply the mix to your hair and let it sit for thirty minutes, better if exposed to sunlight for better results. Alternatively you may apply the mix to your hair, put on a shower cap, and leave it overnight. Adding cinnamon or lemon juice to the mix can speed up the lightening.

8.) Lemon

One of the most popular hair lightening ingredients, natural lemon juice can bring about vibrant hair tones without the harmful chemicals found in hair products that claim to be “100% natural lemon juice”. Simply squeeze four lemons (don’t forget to strain to get rid of the pulp and seeds) to come up with a whole cup of lemon juice and mix it with around ¼ cup of water. Spray the mix on your hair and let it dry in sunlight, as the citric acid helps open hair cuticles when exposed to the sun. This method may take one to two weeks of daily use before the effects take place, depending on how dark the hair’s initial hue is.

9.) Marigold Flowers

Marigold

Marigolds can bring out beautiful red and golden highlights on hair, depending on the hue. In a pot, mix one cup of water, one cup of apple cider vinegar, and either crushed or dried marigold flowers. Boil it, don’t forget to remove the flowers, and let the mix cool before applying to your hair either by pouring it or spritzing with a spray bottle. Don’t leave it on your hair for too long in your first attempt with marigolds at it can give your hair slight yellow tinges.

10.) Olive Oil

Another kitchen staple that is best known for its moisturizing capabilities, but it also has lightening agents that gently work on hair. Smear some on your hair and let it dry for at least half an hour, or one hour if you are under the sun. Rinse as usual and say hello to a crown with much brighter strands.

11.) Rhubarb

Rhubarb

For more than 3,000 years, rhubarb has been used for its cosmetic and medicinal properties, and scientists today are still studying the potential of other rhubarb species. The root of this plant is also used to brighten hair, specifically blond and light brown ones, and its oxalic acid content ensures the lightening will last longer. In a pot boil three to four tablespoons of dried rhubarb root, or a half cup of chopped root, in four cups of water for at least 20 minutes. Do not breathe the steam emanating from the pot, and do keep children away from it. Steep it overnight and in the morning test it first on a single lock to determine if the color is satisfactory. Apply it to your entire crown for up to three times if you like the color then air dry.

12.) Salt with Coconut Oil

Saltwater naturally lightens hair, but unfortunately it dries out the hair fast including essential oils. To avoid this, a teaspoon of salt mixed with three teaspoons of coconut oil in a cup of water will do the trick. Pour the mix in a spray bottle for use then dry your hair under the sun to reap its lightening benefits.

13.) Vinegar

Discovered by people who follow the “no poo” trend (washing hair without shampoo), vinegar has become a well-known ingredient that lightens hair and washes off buildup accumulated from hair styling products. There are different ways to utilize vinegar in lightening your hair:
Directly apply vinegar to your hair when you shower.
Add two tablespoons of vinegar into two cups of water and boil it. Let it cool and apply it to your hair after rinsing out your shampoo.
In a spray bottle mix vinegar and lemon juice in equal amounts. Pull out specific sections of your hair and spray on them if you want highlighted streaks, or soak your entire crown for total lightening. Dry in sunlight for at least ten minutes.
One half cup of vinegar mixed into a half cup of soy sauce, rinsed to hair after shampooing, will delicately add colors to your dark locks.
White vinegar effectively brings lighter hair and lively blond highlights, and apple cider vinegar amplifies reddish-brown tones.

14.) Vitamin C

Exceptional on the inside and on the outside, vitamin C brings about a lot of healthy benefits for the body including your hair. Crush five to 20 tablets (again depending on your hair’s length and thickness) in a zip lock bag and mix it with your favorite shampoo. Massage it into your hair then cover it with a shower cap and let it sit for an hour or two. Afterwards thoroughly rinse off the mix from your hair and use a deep conditioner to moisturize hair as the vitamin C content of the mix will dry your locks.




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Bridget Rogers
Bridget Rogers is an independent freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Bridget's work can be found on a variety of sources in both online and print media.