How to… Lighten Hair with Lemon

Whether you’re just looking for some highlights while you’re hanging out in the sun, or want to lighten your overall color, lemon is a great, easy, natural way. Even better, it’s super cheap. This is a tip my mom taught me a long, long time ago when I was barely a teen, and it’s perfect for summer.

  1. Grab a lemon or two. Depending how much you want to lighten or how long your hair is, grab as much lemons as you think you will need. Usually one lemon will be enough, unless you have super long hair.
  2. Cut it in half. If you’re just doing simple highlights, your work here is done – now, use that half cut lemon and rub it on the crown area of your hair, making such to get as much lemon juice out as possible. Now skip to #5.
  3. Squeeze the juice. If you’re looking for overall color, after cutting the lemons in half, squeeze the juice out and into a cup.
  4. Grab a tool of your choice. This can be a hairbrush, a wide-tooth comb, a toothbrush, a mascara wand (make sure it’s clean, obviously). Dip it into the juice. Apply it on your hair until all your hair is soaked with lemon juice.
  5. Lastly, find some sun! It will only “activate” with sunshine, so get out there and make sure your hair gets some sun. The longer your hair is in the sun, the lighter it will get, although 20 minutes is more than enough to get a little bit of difference.

The method above will lighten your hair by perhaps half a shade – yes, it’s a small difference, but that’s why it looks so natural. If you want to keep going lighter and lighter, do this several times. I once did this over summer in high school 5 different times, and my dark brown hair looked golden.

After doing the steps above, remember to wash your hair and condition it throughly. Do not let the lemon juice stay on your hair for long (it will dry it out and can damage it) and do not get it in your eyes or too close to your scalp, as it will sting!

And that’s it, really. Lemon juice + sunshine = an awesome, natural way to lighten your hair.

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  • Mark Robert Lillington

    I do it everyday and it does lighten it my hair was a mousey brown and even the hairdressers ask if its a natural colour ie done by being out in the sun

    • Renee / Beautifille

      That’s so cool – and yep, it gives a really natural color which is what I like!

  • Tanya Alvarez

    Who knew how much of a benefit lemons are for the body! They aren’t used just to make really good lemonade! These are really cool step-by-step ways to lighten your hair and the FAQs are super helpful for people with different types of hair. Check out these other step-by-step tools to naturally lighten hair! Of course there are lemons in this one too! :)