How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach: Best 6 DIYs Straight From Your Kitchen

How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach

Discover 6 colorist-approved ways on how to lighten hair without bleach and more.

Your desire to get lighter hair is an urge to look different, or you want a change in summers; it can be fun to lighten your hair. There are plenty of products readily available in the market that claims effective results –that is true.

Whether you’re a blonde looking for light-toned highlights or dark-haired trying to have blonde highlights – the process is the same. Hair lightening agents are used in different market products that surely give you the desired results.

But what about the damage caused?

Of course, that is unavoidable because instant results will cost you the health of your hair.

If you’re someone who does not want to damage their hair and still want to get light color highlights, there are many natural ways of doing it. However, you will not get instant results, but surely there will be no fear of permanent hair damaged by using natural lightening remedies.

In this blog, we’ve come up with 7 DIYs on how to lighten hair naturally from the ingredients present in your kitchen.

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6 Tips On How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach


The Most Common Method Used To Lighten Hair: Bleaching

When you’re finding a way on how to lighten dark hair or brown hair, the most common method used is bleaching. Hydrogen peroxide, commonly known as bleach, is typically used for lightening hair before dying or highlighting. Ammonia is also a popular chemical used for bleaching hair.

Bleach is a common name for all the chemical products used to remove colors from hair or fabric at the commercial or domestic level. Bleaching works in two simultaneous steps.

When ammonia is applied to the hair, it opens up the hair cuticle by swelling the hair shaft. It is a strong alkaline agent. At the same time, persulfates in bleach are absorbed in hair. As a result, melanin(gives pigmentation to hair) is permanently removed—the more oxygenated water used in bleach, the more hair damage.

Other methods are also used to lighten hair at a salon, including super lightening, balayage, and highlighting. All of these techniques involve bleaching in one way or another. For instance, balayage is a bleaching technique where bleach is applied on hair strands by brush or hand for lightening hair by one or two tones. Similarly, highlighting is a partial bleaching technique.

In short, apparently, no method on how to lighten hair without damage is available.

Why is bleaching a big NO when finding how to light brown hair?

Why Is Bleaching Not Recommended?

We’ve already seen how does bleaching destroys your hair. But here are some deeper damages caused to your hair that are irrevocable. A lot of research studies have highlighted the damage caused by bleach. A study published in The Journal of Dermatology found that hair bleaching with ammonia persulfate and hydrogen peroxide resulted in irregular and lifted cuticles. It also shows that tensile strength(resistance to hair breakage) was also affected.

Permanent Chemical Damage

The normal pH of healthy hair is 5, and the conventional hair treatments & dyes have a pH of 9. Wondering about bleaching? The chemicals in bleach have a pH of 11 which means a very aggressive formula to be handled by your hair. The application of these brutal chemicals on your hair deprives your hair of natural protective fibers and oils. The result is permanently damaged dry and brittle hair.

Hair Strands Get Weakened

If we talk about the present theory on bleaching, the hair cuticles are supposed to return to normal positions after bleaching. However, it does not exist in practice. After the loss of natural moisture from the inner parts of hair, the hair strands become weak and more prone to breakage.

Stable Pigmentation Molecules Are Broken

The color of our hair is due to melanin, pigmentation molecules, in our hair. When the bleach is applied to our hair, the oxidization process removes melanin from hair permanently by breaking the molecules. The stronger the bleach, the more damage caused.

Other side effects of bleaching your hair for lightening them include loss of natural shine, split ends, frequent tangling, frizzy hair, etc.

How to lighten hair without bleach and hair damage?

Let’s discover.

How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach?

Please take a deep breath because we have found some ways on how to lighten hair at home without bleach.

Method 1: Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar

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How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach Using Honey & Apple Cider Vinegar

Honey is a great solution if you’re looking for a way on how to lighten colored hair with natural ways. Honey gently strips off the hair shafts for removing the pigment and gives you one tone lighter color. It is safe, simple, and damage-free.

Similarly, apple cider vinegar is a detoxifier, and it also helps in discoloring your hair. It is not as strong in isolation as when combined with honey or cinnamon.

What Is Required?

You will need the following ingredients:

  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

How To:

  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to form a mixture with a smooth consistency.
  • You’ll apply the mixture of the ingredients on your hair –full coverage or saturation.
  • Cover your head with a towel and leave your hair with the mixture for a night.
  • Wash your hair with a good moisturizing shampoo the next morning.
  • Apply a good conditioner.

Since it is a natural way, the results will not be instant. You can use the method once a week until you get the hair tone you want. You can easily get one or two tones down with this method.

Method 2: Cinnamon

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How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach Using Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a lot of benefits for hair besides its hair-lightening properties. Many research studies have supported that cinnamon is excellent for hair loss, dandruff, and hair growth. Using cinnamon in combination with honey and lemon is an even more effective hair lightener. However, cinnamon alone can also be effective if you are looking for how to lighten hair without bleach naturally.

What Is Required?

All you need for this natural method is:

  • ½ cup of grounded cinnamon
  • ½ cup of a good hair conditioner

How To:

  • Combine both ingredients with enough cinnamon powder to get a thick and smooth consistency.
  • Apply it on your hair and leave it overnight or for about 4 hours.
  • After the prescribed time, wash your hair with the normal shampoo you use.
  • You can also apply good hair serum or conditioner after washing.

Cinnamon will also protect your hair from the UV  rays of the sun, and you can try this method once a week until you get the desired lightened tone of the hair.

Method 3: Lemon Juice

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How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach Using Lemon Juice

When everyone is making lemonade of lemons thrown by nature, you can apply it on your hair and get a lightened hair tone. Lemon juice has chemicals that whiten the hair by reducing pigmentation. Lemon juice is an excellent solution for blondes or people with lighter-tone hair. The citric acid present in the lemon juice naturally bleaches your hair without damaging them.

What Is Required?

Want to know how to lighten hair without bleach by using lemon? All you need is:

  • ¼ warm water. You can alternatively use conditioner if you’ve dry hair.
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 spray bottle if available

How To:

  • Mix the conditioner and lemon juice in a spray bottle if you’ve dry hair. For normal hair, the same procedure will be followed by replacing the conditioner with warm water.
  • Spray the mixture onto your hair until all hair is covered.
  • Leave your hair with the mixture for around 2 hours and let lemon juice do its magic.
  • After 2 hours, wash your hair with a good shampoo and well-condition it afterward.

This method can also be tried once a week until you can see your desired results.

Method 4: Chamomile Tea

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How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach Using Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is an effective way to know how to lighten dark hair, but it is a slower one. Chamomile has different antioxidants that work to lighten your hair. These chemical compounds work to control melanin production, hence, working as an enzyme for lightening the hair. This method is preferable for blondes or people having light-colored hair.

What Is Required?

A good hair conditioner

3 cups freshly made Chamomile tea

Spray bottle

How To:

  • You can use 5 tea bags to make 3 cups of chamomile tea. Once ready, allow it to cool down. Keep 5-7 tablespoons of chamomile tea aside.
  • Add remaining tea to a spray bottle.
  • The 5-7 tbsps you put aside should be added to your conditioner bottle(with conditioner).
  • Wash your hair with pure chamomile tea you kept in the spray bottle.
  • After hair wash, apply the tea-mixed conditioner. It is preferable to let your hair air dry after washing.

You can apply chamomile tea once or twice a week until your hair color is lightened.

Method 5: Olive Oil

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How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach Using Olive Oil

Olive oil is also a method for people searching for how to lighten hair without bleach. It can be used in combination with several other ingredients like cinnamon and honey. However, you can also use olive in isolation for lightening your hair color. There have been numerous research studies supporting the effectiveness of olive oil for improved hair texture and growth.

What Is Required?

  • 3-4 Tablespoons of olive oil

How To:

  • Apply the olive oil to your hair and leave it for an hour.
  • Shampoo your hair and apply a good conditioner afterward.
  • You can use olive twice or thrice a week to get the desired results.

Method 6: Sodium Bicarbonate(Baking Soda)

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How To Lighten Hair Without Bleach Using Sodium Bicarbonate

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is commonly found in our homes. It can also be used for lightening your hair naturally. Although baking soda is a chemical, it is less harmful than hydrogen peroxide and ammonia persulfate. However, this method is more useful if you’re looking for a solution to lighten your dyed hair.

What Is Required?

  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • Water

How To:

  • Take the baking soda and mix it with a small amount of water until a smooth & consistent paste is formed.
  • Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it for 5-10 minutes.
  • Rinse off your hair, and don’t use shampoo afterward.
  • Apply your hair conditioner for moisturizing.

Using baking soda weekly or twice a week is prescribed for getting desired hair color of a lighter shade.

In A Nutshell,

It is 100% possible to lighten your hair without bleach naturally. However, it will take a little bit more time than at the salon. But, the cost of time is worth it for the health of your hair. So you can say goodbye to bleaching and try our methods on how to lighten hair without bleach.

Please share your experience with us! We would love to hear from you.

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