FTC: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Even though the summer is almost over, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy light hair. I hate winter and one of my favorite ways to be a rebel against such a horrid season is to go against the grain. This means rocking my hair light even when “dark hair” is the go to in the shorter, colder, darker months.


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Even though I like to be rebellious, it doesn’t mean that I want to damage my hair. Bleaching your hair, especially when you have dark hair is quite a chemical process that can be really harsh on your strands. Add in the dry cold climate and your hair will have a very hard time surviving. But as always I have another way for you to lighten hair without using bleach, so you can still have the light strands you desire without the harsh processing.

lighten hair without bleach

How To Lighten Hair Without Using Bleach

1. Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is the most common natural way to lighten hair without using bleach. The process is pretty simple, as long as you are careful and don’t get lemon juice in your eye. I suggest adding a leave in conditioner or olive oil in your spray bottle filled with water and lemon juice. You spritz your hair with the lemon juice and go out into the sun. The heat from the sun will open up the cuticle of your hair and allow for the lemon juice to lift the color of your hair.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar: Using ACV in your natural hair regimen should be a already something you practice if you cleanse without using shampoo. ACV can also be used to lighten hair without using bleach. You can also use it for highlighting certain areas of your hair as well. using a 1/4 cup of ACV and a cup of water. Before using your ACV mix, make sure you condition your hair first to prevent it from drying out your hair. Rinse the conditioner out of your hair using the ACV mix you’ve just made, and leave it on your hair for 30 minutes for lightning purposes.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide: This method I never tried before, and didn’t even hear about before doing my research for this list. However many have had great luck using hydrogen peroxide as a method to lighten hair without using bleach. This method can be very tricky and damaging if done incorrectly, and can also lead you to having an orange outcome (no one wants that). It is best to use the 3% peroxide to ensure the least amount of damage and adding water to dilute the peroxide is also in your best interest. Do not leave the solution on your hair for more than 30 minutes, and once you’ve reached the shade you are going for, co wash your hair and rinse it out. This lightning method requires the most moisturizing after the fact, and do not wash your hair again for the next few days to allow for your hair to secrete its natural oils back.

4. Honey: Honey does have a an enzyme in it that acts/recreates the hydrogen peroxide bleaching process (not as quickly/ strongly as hydrogen peroxide). Use a 1/4 cup of honey and one cup of water (make sure you mix it throughly and allow it to sit for at least an hour). Apply the mixture onto damp hair and put a shower cap on to keep the mess at bay. Keep the mix on your hair for about an hour and rinse with your favorite conditioner. You can repeat this process as much as you’d like until you get to the desired shade that you’re going for.

5. Chamomile Tea: Use up to 4-6 bags of chamomile tea and place them into boiling water. Let the water cool down obviously (don’t burn your head). Add the water to a spritz bottle and spray it all over your hair. You don’t rinse this spritz out, but instead add it to your hair 2-3 times a day until you start to notice differences in the color of your hair.

6. Vodka: Say what? Yeah… you read that correctly. It’s the same reaction I had when I found out about beer being used to get rid of frizz on your natural hair. Vodka, just like the lemon will lighten your hair with the addition of the sun’s presence. Use 1/4 cup of Vodka, and one cup of seltzer water. Spritz the mix onto your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes while sitting in the sun. The vodka will also help to eliminate or reduce frizz.

7. Vitamin C: Vitamin C can be used for more than just boosting your immune system and keeping away a cold. While we have been seeing tons of Vitamin C products for the skin , you can also use it to lighten your hair naturally. Use regular vitamin C tablets with no flavor additives (about 5-9 vitamins should be enough). Crush up the vitamin C and pour it into your shampoo or conditioner. Coat your hair with the shampoo or conditioner, and put a shower cap on for about 30 minutes. Rinse your hair, condition, and air dry.

8. Cinnamon: Besides smelling amazing, and being a great spice used for cooking, cinnamon can be a great way to lighten hair without using bleach. Mix three tablespoons of cinnamon and a half a cup of conditioner to your damp hair. Twist your hair up or put it into a bun, leave on for 3-4 while going through  your every day routine.

9. Sunlight: The sun always has and always be a great way to lighten your hair naturally. You want to make sure that even though you are getting loads of vitamin D on your scalp and hair, that you are still protecting your strands from being scorched from the summer sun. Conditioner is always your best bet.