How to Lighten Hair Without Bleach: 9 Easy & Effective Ways

Ever wondered how your hair would look if it was a few shades lighter?

Most of us tend to think about how our hair would look in a completely different hairstyle or shade, but don’t tend to go through with such a major hair treatment for many reasons.

One of the reasons of course is the cost but the biggest concern is how the use of harsh chemical treatments may affect our hair, scalp and our overall health. Today, we will focus on lightening the shade of our hair without the use of harsh chemicals, and abrasives such as bleach.

Bleaching treatment for hair is not just damaging for hair, it also means expensive salon trips. This is why we will look at some of the safest and natural ways to lighten hair effectively without using bleach, ammonia or other abrasive bleaching agents.

No need to sacrifice the perfect health of your hair to lighten it.

How to Lighten Up Your Hair A Bit… Without Bleaching!

The following are some safe and natural ways of how to lighten hair without bleach and prevent damage from the use of other harmful chemicals:

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a gift of nature which is useful in various ways and whether you find it difficult to believe or not, it is also an effective method to lighten your hair. As an added bonus, your hair and scalp will smell great after using lemon juice. Using lemon juice on your hair will give you visibly lighter shades if it is done correctly.

Lemon Juice

Interestingly, just like lemon juice itself being an easy to find ingredient, using it for lightening your hair is also very simple. No extra hassles of mixing it with other ingredients to make a solution. Simply, squeeze yourself some fresh lemon juice and pour into a spray bottle.

You must wash your head, hair and scalp thoroughly and make sure it is completely dry. It works best if you let natural sunlight and heat open up the cuticles on your head. After spending some time outdoors under the sun, you should spray the lemon juice on your hair. Heat from the sun humidifies your hair and the lemon juice is able to strip some color out of your hair.

Make sure to not let your hair dry out too much and wash it after 20 to 30 minutes. You must remember to use conditioner or other essential oils to moisturize your hair and scalp to avoid dryness.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is another method which works with the same level of effectiveness as lemon juice. But as an added bonus, it has the potential to give your hair natural highlights.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The number one quality of apple cider vinegar is that it cleanses your hair. For applying it, a mixture must be made using one cup of warm water and half a cup of apple cider vinegar. Remember to use a shampoo or a conditioner to thoroughly clean your head and hair. Then, use the mixture thoroughly to get rid of all the harmful naturally occurring chemical buildup in your scalp. Leave the mixture in your hair for approximately 30 minutes and then rinse with warm water. It is best to use warmer water as it is more effective in getting rid of color from hair.

At the end of it all, you will notice your hair to be lighter in shade and potentially, you will notice some natural highlights as well.

3. Honey

Honey is an excellent miracle of nature. Other than bleach, you will surely know hydrogen peroxide as a chemical which is nature’s very own bleaching agent. Honey contains glucose oxidase and this enzyme produces hydrogen peroxide. And voila… honey becomes an effective method of getting lighter shades for your hair.


Firstly, a mixture must be made with a quarter cup of honey mixed with a cup of warm water. Of course, if you have longer hair then you can use proportionately larger amounts of both. Mix them well in an empty shampoo bottle to avoid making a mess. Then, the mixture must be left to sit for at least an hour or as long as possible. The results depend on how well the mixture settles.

When you are ready to apply the mixture, make sure your hair is damp and not fully dry. Apply the mixture on your hair and use a shower cap to seal the mixture within your head. Leave it on for at least one hour or longer if possible, allowing it to completely be absorbed by your hair and scalp. After this, you are ready to rinse your hair but use conditioner only – not shampoo!

You can repeat the process until you get your desired shade and you will notice extremely smooth and moisturized hair.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

We have just discussed the natural bleaching properties of Hydrogen Peroxide which makes honey an effective hair lightening method. Hydrogen Peroxide is a common household item and if used correctly, then it can give you salon quality shades for your hair.

Hydrogen Peroxide

As a precaution, you must take extreme care in dealing with hydrogen peroxide as it may have serious consequences if used incorrectly or handled without proper safety measures.

Hydrogen peroxide is advised for use by those with perfectly healthy hair. So, you must ensure that your hair is not suffering from malnutrition, dryness, weakness or otherwise unhealthy condition.

To make a mixture out of hydrogen peroxide, only the 3% solution must be used. Anything which is concentrated more than that will likely cause serious damage to your hair. You should dilute it with water to create a light, runny mix. Spray onto your hair and leave it in for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Do not leave longer than 30 minutes as this will drastically harm your hair.

You are likely to see the quickest results with this method compared to the rest of the methods we discuss here. After you see the shade that you like, rinse your hair with cold water and follow it up with conditioner.

After using hydrogen peroxide, refrain from washing your hair too often for at least a week to allow your hair and scalp to recover.

5. Chamomile Tea

A cup of tea? Yes, that’s right!

Well, maybe not prepared exactly in the same way but chamomile tea is a great home remedy for getting lighter hair shades.

Chamomile Tea

You must use anywhere between 4 or 5 bags of chamomile tea and brew them well. Then, let the tea cool down to room temperature. Once that is done, you can apply it on your hair using a spray bottle. Use repeatedly by spraying twice a day for a few weeks and you will notice subtle change in the shade of your hair.

Just sipping tea two times a day, with some sprayed on your hair is an easy, affordable and simple way to lighten your hair.

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is an excellent food seasoning and has an attractive smell that anyone can recognize. It has properties which make it effective for lightening the natural color of hair.


Simply add three spoons of cinnamon powder to your normal hair conditioner to make a mixture. Apply on your hair as you would normally and leave it on for approximately 3 to 4 hours. You can even leave the cinnamon mixture overnight using a shower cap for better results.

Cinnamon has a large number of antioxidants which allows it to be a natural sunscreen. Your hair will be protected from harmful UV rays, hair texture will be softer and silkier and of course, you will lose a couple of shades from your hair color.

You will be pleasantly impressed by the lighter shades and healthier feel of your hair.

7. Vitamin C

I am sure you have heard of all the wonderful benefits of Vitamin C for a healthy immune system. But its ability to give you lighter hair shades, is an unheard-of natural home remedy. It helps by increasing the buildup of collagen which improves hair growth.

Vitamin C

But how does it lighten the shade of your hair?

Purchase regular Vitamin C tablets, not flavored sweet-like ones but actual vitamin C tablets. They must be crushed to form a powder and mixed with cleansing shampoo. Then apply and lather it on your head. Make sure every strand is nicely mixed and leave it on for at least one hour, preferably using a shower cap.

After a few hours, wash with warm water and use a hair conditioner and let your hair dry naturally without using a hair blow dryer. You will notice a change in shade of your hair color and some highlights.

You will also be relieved to know that your hair is healthier than ever!

8. Baking Soda

Another common household item is the Baking soda. Not just for baking cakes, but a great looking hairstyle can also be achieved using baking soda!

Baking Soda

Use half a cup of baking soda with a cup of warm water to create a paste with some consistency. Do not make it too thin or runny. Apply it all over your hair and leave it on for around 20 to 30 minutes. Add this routine to your weekly or bi-weekly hair treatment and you will get excellent results.

Rinse, wash and reapply until you get the color you desire. Remember to apply oil to keep your hair moisturized after repeated use over a few weeks.

9. Sunlight

Lastly, the superpower of nature – sunlight!

Simply strolling around under the hot sunlight will lighten your hair at least by one shade. There is a lot of melanin in our hair and the sunlight naturally bleaches our hair to get a lighter color. Those with darker hair will get reddish shades after increased exposure to sunlight. Be careful and use sunscreen so as not to harm your skin.


Slowly, but surely you will notice the gradual change in shade of your hair color. So, this is an excellent way for those who live in climates with a lot of sunlight to naturally bleach your hair.

Regardless of which method or combination of methods you add to your regular hair care routine, be sure to keep your hair and scalp properly moisturized to keep your hair healthy and minimize any damage such as the development of hair loss, breakage, dryness, etc.

Yes, these methods may not be an instant solution or the most impactful, but before you start using bleach to lighten your precious hair, let’s be reminded of all the harmful effects of using bleach for styling your hair.

How Bleaching Harms Your Hair

Well, you will agree without a shadow of doubt that bleach has harmful effects on your hair, but what are the harms and how harmful is it really?

Let’s find out the facts!

Bleach removes any artificial or permanent color that is on your hair through a process called oxidization. Your hair strands disassociate from the color particles or molecules and with proper washing, the color is removed. But what happens when you don’t have color in your hair, or you bleach for too long? Your actual hair is affected!

The bleach will attack the individual hair strands and your natural color pigments, causing your hair to discolor and may turn completely white if the bleach is left on for too long. Also, if you frequently bleach your hair, you will notice deterioration in not just the color but also the texture and the overall health of your hair.

The following are some of the most harmful effects of using bleach on your hair:

  • Bleaching causes your scalp pores to be raised and penetrates easily
  • Frequent bleaching can cause your hair follicles to continually lose natural oils & moisture
  • The loss of natural oils, minerals and moisture in hair causes hair to get extremely dry
  • Dry hair can result in brittleness and a high number of split ends and hair breakage
  • The exposure of your scalp to bleach can burn the skin and cause hair loss
  • Damage from bleaching on your scalp can result in permanent and irreversible hair loss

The warning to refrain from using bleach is not to scare you away, rather to recommend safer alternatives to getting your desired hairstyles such as lighter shades. You can even go for hair lightening products or hair color removers which do not use bleaching agents, ammonia, and other harmful chemicals.

Regardless of whether you use bleach or not, be sure to treat your hair with care through proper moisturizing, conditioning and oiling etc. after any and every hairstyling treatment. This will allow your hair to recover and get stronger in handling future treatments.


Are you now ready to get your hair lightened?

You can do so without going for expensive trips to the salon or using harmful treatments like bleaching. We have shared some of the most natural, safe and best ways of how to lighten your hair without bleach or other harmful chemical alternatives.

Now, you must be well aware that every method will vary based on your exact type of hair and your hair styling history. The hair on our heads differ from person to person not just in looks, but in texture and other factors. So, be wary of using just any product to lighten your hair.

We have discussed some of the harms of bleaching and how it can lead to serious and permanent damage. So, it is best to stick to some proven, tried and tested, natural and better ways for getting lighter colored hair without bleaching.

Do you have your own natural home remedy for lightening your hair? How do you do it?

Share it with us!

Enjoy the process of trying new and exciting methods, and have fun while experimenting with your hair. Let us know which method worked the best for you in the comments!

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