By Angela Sassoon, with insights from New York City Hairstylist Anita Sun

That’s true—everyone’s hair is different and will absorb or lose color at different rates. Even the ingredients and the type of water we use vary, resulting in slightly different outcomes. Isn’t it true that when summer rolls around, the urge to lighten our hair often strikes in our minds? But have you ever thought of experimenting with effective ways to lighten your hair naturally? So, why not give it a try this time? If you’re thinking of dyeing your hair with chemicals to maintain its color, be careful. They may damage your hair and result in excess hair loss.

If you’re looking for a subtle way to change your hair color from dark to light, balayage hair color ideas are a great hit! Further, check out our gallery for inspiration!

To lighten hair naturally, there are actually plenty of ways to get some added brightness without making a single trip to a salon or professional hair stylist. Try any of these remedies once or twice a week to get a noticeable difference in your hair color with a healthy shine.

Why Go Natural?

Natural Ways to Lighten Without Chemicals
7 Natural Techniques for Lighter Hair

Chemicals in hair dyes can lead to hair damage and even hair loss. Stephanie Brown, master hair colorist at IGK Salon in New York City, explains, “Natural methods not only prevent damage but often come with added benefits of nourishing the hair.” Mix one part apple cider vinegar and six parts water to take off build-up (for example, chlorine). This is a gentle way to lighten hair.”

Effective Ways To Lighten Your Hair Color Naturally

Apply Chamomile Tea

Effective Ways To Lighten Your Hair Color Naturally: Apply Chamomile Tea

My grandmother used to swear on the properties of chamomile tea because it acts as a great lightening agent and keeps our hair sleek and healthy. It’s easy!

  • The Science: Chamomile contains compounds that can amplify the sun’s lightening effects on hair.
  • How-to: Steep a chamomile tea bag for 10 minutes, pour it over your hair, and leave it overnight. Rinse in the morning for a natural glow.
  • Testimonial: “I was urged to consider a chamomile tea rinse as a lightener.” – Nicole Viola Bennett

Spray on some Lemon Juice

Spray on some Lemon Juice

Interestingly, lemon juice is one of the oldest and most effective ways to lighten your hair color naturally.

  • The Science: Lemon juice’s acidity can gently strip your hair of its color, especially when exposed to sunlight.
  • How-to: Pour lemon juice into a spray bottle, coat your strands, and sunbathe for optimal results. Rinse and shampoo after.

Cinnamon Powder and Honey

Cinnamon Powder and Honey

Very few people know that cinnamon and honey can lighten hair naturally. Simply mix a tablespoon of cinnamon powder and two tablespoons of honey in a small amount of conditioner and apply it to your damp hair. Rinse out after 30 minutes and dry your hair in the sun. Result: Both honey and cinnamon soften and moisturize the hair.

  • The Science: Both ingredients have natural enzymes that can lighten hair when activated by heat.
  • How-to: Mix a tablespoon of cinnamon powder and two tablespoons of honey with conditioner. Apply on damp hair, rinse after 30 minutes, and sundry.

Mix Baking Soda with Shampoo

Mix Baking Soda with Shampoo

Give it a try! Combine a teaspoon of baking soda with water and rinse after your shampoo to help brighten up your dry hair. The alkaline nature of the baking soda will lift your hair’s cuticle. Moreover, it’s safe to use on already-colored hair.

  • The Science: Baking soda’s alkalinity can lift the hair cuticle, making it more porous and allowing it to absorb sunlight more effectively.
  • How-to: Combine a teaspoon of baking soda with water and use it as a rinse post-shampoo.

Try out Beet Juice

Easy Ways to Lighten Your Hair at Home Naturally: Try out Beet Juice

How many of you know how potent the staining ability of beet juice is? Bring out the natural red color in your hair as one of the top ways to lighten your hair color naturally by letting some beet juice work its magic.

  • The Science: Beet juice contains natural pigments that can add a reddish tint to hair.
  • How-to: Mix beet juice with distilled water and apply to strands.

Rub on some Olive Oil

MasterClass Stainless Steel Oil Drizzler/Vinegar Pourer Pouring Oil into a Bowl

Not only does olive oil nourish your hair by moisturizing it, but it also brings out your natural highlights.

  • The Science: Olive oil’s reflective properties can enhance the natural highlights in your hair.
  • How-to: Apply olive oil generously and leave it on for 30 minutes. Rinse for instantly brighter strands.

Use Vitamin C

Person pouring a glass of water over oranges to Lighten Your Hair

Vitamin C can easily bring out lighter hues in your locks as well. Get your hands on a bottle of Vitamin C tablets and use them on your hair.

  • The Science: Vitamin C’s acidity can reduce the melanin in hair, making it lighter.
  • How-to: Crush 5-10 Vitamin C tablets, mix with shampoo, and wash your hair. The results? Naturally lighter locks!


With these scientifically-backed natural methods, you can achieve lighter hair without the drawbacks of chemical treatments. Rachel Bodt, a senior colorist at Cutler/Redken salon, suggests using Vitamin C to lighten hair. “You crush up some vitamin C, add it to a spray bottle, and spritz it on. It brightens hair and removes mineral build-up.”

This spring season, if you want to go a few shades lighter without hitting the salon and are looking for natural hair lightning methods that are safe to use, we bet these seven ways to lighten your hair color naturally will help you skip the salon this summer. So wave goodbye to all harsh chemicals and welcome natural methods to enhance your beautiful trees.

Video TutorialWatch the step-by-step guide on how to apply these methods.

Note: Always perform a patch test before trying any new method to ensure there’s no adverse reaction.

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