9 DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - a woman giving another blonde woman a hair lightening treatment using a spray bottle filled with lemon juice.

Hey there! Ever thought about lightening your hair for a new look? Sure, bleach does the trick, but it can be harsh and even damage your hair.

So, why not try some natural methods? But remember, these 9 DIY tricks work best if you’ve got lighter hair to start with.

Here are a few things you can do:

Lemon Juice and ConditionerMix lemon juice with conditioner or coconut oil. Spray on hair and expose to the sun. Helps with oil control and dandruff.
Vitamin CMix crushed vitamin C tablets with water. Spritz on hair. Brightens hair and removes mineral buildup.
Saltwater SolutionApply saltwater to already colored hair and expose to the sun. Enhances hair lightening when in the sun.
Apple Cider VinegarMix apple cider vinegar with water. Apply to hair. Removes buildup, detangles, and reduces frizz.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen PeroxideMix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply carefully. Strong hair lightening, use with caution.
Cinnamon and Honey MaskMix cinnamon and honey with olive oil. Apply as a mask. Natural hair lightening with a pleasant scent.
Chamomile TeaBrew strong chamomile tea and spray on hair. Subtle lightening effect and natural highlights.
Beer or Vodka RinseRinse hair with beer or vodka. Adds shine and slight lightening effect.
Be Cautious with Sun-InBe cautious when using Sun-In as it may damage hair. Use with care, especially before coloring.

Remember, while these natural methods are less damaging than bleach, they can still affect your hair’s health. Always follow up with good conditioning, and don’t overdo it. Ready to try? Let’s get into more detail!

How to Lighten Hair Naturally (9 DIY Recipes)

Here’s how to do it safely and effectively, complete with step-by-step guides and tips to enhance your experience.

1. Lemon Juice and Conditioner

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A spray bottle filled with lemon juice and conditioner mixture, set against a sunny background with lemons and a bottle of conditioner nearby

Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent due to its citric acid content. When mixed with conditioner, it helps mitigate the drying effect of the acid while providing hydration to your hair.

This concoction, when applied and exposed to sunlight, can gradually lighten your hair, giving it natural, sun-kissed highlights.

Step by step guide:

  • Squeeze the juice of one fresh lemon into a spray bottle.
  • Dilute with a bit of water.
  • Add a dollop of conditioner or coconut oil for moisture.
  • Spray onto your hair, focusing on the areas you want to lighten.
  • Sit in the sun for 30-45 minutes.
  • Rinse out and apply a good conditioner.


  • Use a sunscreen to protect your skin while you’re in the sun.
  • The acidity of lemon can be drying, so don’t skip the conditioner.
  • Lemon juice also helps reduce dandruff, so it’s a win-win!

Usage Frequency: It’s safe to use this method once every 2 weeks. Overuse can lead to hair dryness, so it’s essential to nourish your hair with a deep conditioner after each application.

2. Vitamin C

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A spray bottle filled with fizzy light orange vitamin C solution, surrounded by crushed vitamin C tablets and citrus fruits on a bright background

Vitamin C’s natural acidity can subtly lift your hair color, especially when used consistently over time.

The ascorbic acid gently strips the hair of its pigment, offering a lighter shade without the harshness of chemical bleaches. It’s a convenient and readily available option for those looking for a gentle lightening effect.

Step by step guide:

  • Crush about 15 vitamin C tablets into a fine powder (or use vitamin C powder directly).
  • Mix into a paste with a little water.
  • Apply to your hair and leave for 1-2 hours.
  • Rinse out thoroughly.


  • Vitamin C can dry out your hair, so follow up with a deep conditioner.
  • This method works gradually, so repeat once a week for a few weeks for more noticeable results.

Usage Frequency: This method can be applied once a week for gradual lightening. It’s gentle on the hair but always ensure to follow up with a hydrating conditioner to maintain hair health.

Also Read: 15 Fruit Juices for Skin Whitening and Lightening

3. Saltwater Solution

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A beach scene with a spray bottle filled with clear saltwater solution, grains of sea salt scattered around, and the ocean in the background

Saltwater acts like a natural bleach and is especially effective when combined with sun exposure.

It opens up the hair cuticle slightly, allowing the sun to naturally lighten the hair. It’s a popular choice for those seeking a beachy, summer look without visiting the salon.

Step by step guide:

  • Mix 1 part salt with 5 parts water in a spray bottle.
  • Spritz on your hair before you head out to the beach or pool.
  • The sun will enhance the lightening effect.


  • This method is particularly effective on hair already lightened or colored.
  • Always rinse your hair after a day out to remove salt which can dry out your hair.

Usage Frequency: This method is safe to use once every 2-3 weeks during the sunny months. Overuse can dry out your hair, so conditioning is crucial.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - Bottle of apple cider vinegar with a golden hue, alongside a spray bottle containing a diluted solution, set against a backdrop of shiny, healthy hair

Apple cider vinegar is known for its ability to cleanse and clarify hair. When diluted and applied, it can also gently lighten the hair over time.

Its acidic nature helps in removing residue and enhancing your hair’s natural shine while providing a subtle lightening effect.

Step by step guide:

  • Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 6 parts water.
  • Apply to your hair and leave for 15-30 minutes.
  • Rinse out thoroughly.


  • Apple cider vinegar is also excellent for removing product buildup and making your hair shine.
  • Don’t use this method more than once a week to avoid drying out your hair.

Usage Frequency: Use this method once a week for gradual lightening and to maintain a clean, residue-free scalp.

5. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A small bowl containing a foamy, white paste made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, with a brush beside it ready to apply the mixture

When combined, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide create a powerful lightening paste.

This mixture can lift your hair color by one to two shades, acting as a homemade bleach. It’s a more robust option for those looking for noticeable results.

Step by step guide:

  • Mix 1 cup of baking soda with 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to form a paste.
  • Apply to your hair and leave for 30-45 minutes.
  • Rinse out thoroughly and follow with a deep conditioner.


  • Conduct a patch test first to ensure your scalp isn’t too sensitive to this mixture.
  • Use this method sparingly, as it’s more potent and can be drying.

Usage Frequency: Due to its potency, limit this method to once a month and always follow up with intensive conditioning to maintain hair health and moisture.

6. Cinnamon and Honey Mask

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A honey jar pouring a golden, viscous liquid into a bowl mixed with ground cinnamon, representing the sweet and spicy concoction for hair lightening

Honey contains traces of hydrogen peroxide, and when mixed with cinnamon, it activates the lightening effect.

This mask not only lightens your hair but also conditions and adds a beautiful fragrance. It’s a delightful treatment that feels more like pampering than a hair routine.

Step by step guide:

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of raw honey, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Add some conditioner if the mixture is too thick.
  • Apply to your hair and cover with a shower cap.
  • Leave on for at least 4 hours or overnight for a more significant effect.
  • Rinse out thoroughly.


  • This mask smells delightful and is less drying than other methods.
  • Cinnamon can cause irritation for some, so do a patch test first.

Usage Frequency: This gentle mask can be used once every 2 weeks. Its natural ingredients are less likely to cause damage, but always remember to hydrate your hair afterward.

7. Chamomile Tea

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A bright, soothing cup of chamomile tea with a few loose flowers around it, next to a spray bottle filled with the brewed tea, set against a calm, sun

Chamomile tea is famous for its lightening properties. Regular use can gradually lighten your hair and give it a beautiful, subtle glow. It’s one of the gentlest methods available, making it suitable for regular use.

Step by step guide:

  • Brew a strong pot of chamomile tea (about 5-7 bags).
  • Let it cool and transfer to a spray bottle.
  • Spray onto your hair and sit in the sun for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Rinse out thoroughly.


  • Chamomile is very gentle, making it suitable for frequent use.
  • Mix in a bit of honey for added lightening and moisturizing benefits.

Usage Frequency: This method is gentle enough to be used once a week. It provides a subtle lightening effect while maintaining the health of your hair.

8. Beer or Vodka Rinse

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A frothy glass of beer and a clear shot of vodka next to a shower, symbolizing the hair lightening method that also adds shine and volume

The alcohol in beer and vodka can slightly lighten your hair while also adding shine and volume. It’s a quirky method that’s surprisingly effective, offering a dual benefit of lightening and conditioning.

Debbie Williams is a trusted expert in the field of hair and scalp care, and her innovative approach to hair health has garnered attention from people of all hair types and textures.

In this engaging video, she shares her knowledge and expertise, demonstrating how beer can work wonders for your hair.

Step by step guide:

  • Let 2-3 bottles of beer go flat.
  • Shampoo your hair as usual, then pour the flat beer or a cup of vodka over your hair.
  • Sit in the sun for about 30 minutes.
  • Rinse out thoroughly and condition well.


  • Beer is not just for drinking; the malt and hops are great for your hair!
  • Vodka can help remove product buildup and add shine.

Usage Frequency: Limit this method to once a month. While it can add shine and volume, the alcohol can be drying if used too frequently.

Also Read: 6 Hair Treatments with Vodka for Healthy Hair

9. Lighten with Coconut Oil

DIY Tips For How to Lighten Hair Naturally - A jar of rich, creamy coconut oil with a few coconut halves nearby, and the oil being applied to a strand of hair, illustrating its use in preparing a

Coconut oil is not only a fantastic natural conditioner but also a supportive agent in the hair lightening process. Its fatty acids penetrate the hair shaft, protecting your hair from protein loss and damage.

When applied before using natural lighteners or even mild bleach, it can reduce the potential harm caused by the bleaching process.

Coconut oil helps in lightening the hair by keeping it healthy and resilient, allowing it to endure and respond better to the lightening treatment.

Step by step guide:

Prepare the Coconut Oil: Ensure your coconut oil is in a liquid state. If it’s solid, gently warm it by placing the jar in warm water. Do not microwave, as this can destroy some beneficial properties.

Apply to Hair: Use your fingers or a brush to apply the coconut oil to your dry hair. Concentrate on the ends and work your way up, ensuring every strand is coated. For lightening, you don’t need to saturate your hair completely as you would for a deep conditioning treatment, but ensure it’s well covered where you want the lightening to occur.

Leave it On: For best results, leave the coconut oil in your hair for at least an hour, though leaving it overnight is optimal. Cover your hair with a shower cap to avoid staining your clothes or bedding.

Wash Out: Coconut oil can be quite heavy, so you may need to shampoo your hair a couple of times to remove all the oil. Finish with a light conditioner, even if your hair feels soft, to ensure it retains moisture after the shampooing.

Apply Lightener: After washing out the coconut oil, you can then apply your chosen natural lightener, such as lemon juice or honey and cinnamon.


  • Patch Test: Always do a patch test first to ensure you’re not allergic to coconut oil.
  • Quality Matters: Use virgin, unrefined coconut oil for the best results, as it retains more of the natural properties beneficial to hair.
  • Warm It Up: If the oil is too thick to work with, warm it slightly, but avoid making it hot, as this can damage your hair and scalp.
  • Comb Through: Use a wide-tooth comb to ensure even distribution of the oil.

Usage Frequency: You can safely apply coconut oil to your hair 1-2 times a week as a pre-treatment before other lightening methods. For best results, leave it in your hair overnight as a deep conditioning treatment before washing and applying lighteners.

Also Read: How to Use Coconut Oil for Healthy & Nourished Hair


Lightening your hair naturally is a fun and safe way to change your look. Whether you want subtle highlights or a few shades, these natural ingredients can gradually lighten your hair while also providing nourishment.

However, it’s important to remember that results can vary based on your original hair color and the method you choose. Patience is key, as natural lightening is a gradual process.

Always conduct a patch test to ensure you don’t have any allergic reactions and consider consulting with a professional if you’re unsure.

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