Natural Ways to Lighten your Hair
Hair dyeing is extremely popular especially among women. Surveys suggest that as many as 50% of women dye their hair on a regular basis. According to another study, 69% of those women say it helps them to feel more attractive immediately after dyeing their hair.
Hair dying is not only popular with women. A number of men like to dye their hair especially when the gray is starting to show through.
While many older people are simply trying to reverse the gray and achieve their natural color, younger people with no such concerns often strive for lighter colored or blond hair.
How your Hair Gets its Color
Your hair is made of keratin which is the same substance that your fingernails are made of. The hair starts to grow from inside a tiny hair follicle located just beneath tour skin’s surface. This is where a pigment gets added.
Our hair derives its natural color from two specific pigments – eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is found in darker haired people while pheomelanin is more abundant in red colored hair. The lighter, blonde hair colors mean that there are less of these pigments while gray hair occurs when the production of these pigments stops altogether or decreases significantly.
Conventional Hair Lightening Methods
The most common method of lightening the hair is to bleach it more often than not with hydrogen peroxide. By bleaching your hair, you are removing its natural pigments responsible for your natural hair color.
Hydrogen peroxide works by releasing oxygen into the hair shafts which breaks down the natural pigments. This allows other color products to be used at the same time as hydrogen peroxide so people can achieve the hair color they desire. Effectively, the bleach strips down the hair preparing it for another color but it is definitely not good for your hair’s health.
Most hair dye products that are available from the shelves are full of dangerous chemicals including formaldehyde which can bring plenty of other risks to your health. In some cases, these chemically laden hair products can also cause allergic reaction upon making contact with your skin. They can cause itchiness to the scalp and forehead, redness, headaches and even conjunctivitis.
If you are one of the millions of people dissatisfied with their dark hair, then it would be better to look at some more natural and safer alternatives. There are plenty of more natural ways that you can achieve that fairer look without having to worry about damaging your hair or exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Natural Hair Lightening Methods
1) Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is one of the most popular natural treatments for people that want to lighten their hair as it contains natural bleaching properties. Lemons contain citric acid which helps to lighten your hair especially when you are out under the sun. Lemon juice works better on people with lighter colored hair to begin with than those with darker shades.
To use this method, you only need to follow a few very simple steps.
- Add a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice to half a gallon of water and mix it up well. If you are trying to attain a lighter color, use a different dilution. Try adding two or three tablespoons of your lemon juice to the water instead and see how you go.
- Instead of using lemon juice, you could use lemon essential oil instead. Combining 5 or 6 drops of lemon juice essential oil with a few cups of water will work equally well.
- Apply your lemon juice or oil mixture to your hair and massage it evenly. Let it sit for up to an hour before rinsing it out.
- If you are looking for a lighter result, sit outside in the sun for an hour or so after applying it to your hair.
- You can repeat the process every week or so until you achieve the desired color.
Chamomile makes for a delicious tea with some excellent health effects. The tea is especially well-known for its calming effects and helping people to get over their sleep difficulties. But did you know that chamomile tea could also be used to lighten your hair?
- All you need to do is add a few teaspoons of dried chamomile to a pot or a mug and brew up the tea as normal.
- Allow the tea to cool down sufficiently before you slowly pour it over your hair.
- Massage the tea into the hair making sure that it is well distributed all over.
- Now for the best bit. Just hang about under the summer sun for an hour or so and relax while your hair dries.
- Condition your hair and shampoo as normal.
- Repeat every week or so until you get the desired result.
Henna is most often used to make the hair darker but for those with very dark natural hair, it can actually have the opposite effect. A dark brunette using henna can achieve some reddish colored highlights.
- Combine 3 tablespoons or so of powdered henna with a half cup of boiled water.
- Allow the mixture to sit for a good few hours, preferably overnight.
- The following morning, apply your henna mixture to your hair and massage it in evenly.
- Let it work for a few hours before rinsing and washing as normal.
4) Baking Soda
Good old baking soda is well known for its ability to brighten your teeth but it also represents a very simple and convenient way to lighten your hair. Try it out by following these simple instructions:
- First up add a third of a cup for your baking soda to some warm water.
- Mix it into a nice smooth paste adding water or baking soda to get the right consistency.
- Once the paste is sufficiently thick and smooth, apply it directly to your hair making sure the distribution is even.
- Let it sit in place for 20 minutes or so before rinsing and washing as normal.
5) Sea Salt
You have doubtless noticed that when you are on vacation and spending your time in the ocean that your hair tends to lighten. This happens because of the actions of the salt sea water combined with the sunshine.
For those of us not lucky enough to get to the ocean, you can try to replicate the effects at home.
- Add a tablespoon or so of your sea salt to half a mug of lukewarm water.
- Let the salt dissolve thoroughly and give it a stir.
- Apply the mixture to the hair and let it work for between 20 and 30 minutes.
- Rinse the hair out and wash as normal.
6) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar which is used for everything from acne to weight loss is also good for your hair. It can help improve the gloss and shine of your locks but that is not all. It can also help to lighten your hair naturally.
- Add half a cup of raw apple cider vinegar to half a cup of warm, distilled water.
- Mix well.
- Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it onto your hair trying to get an even distribution.
- Let it sit for 30 minutes or so before rinsing and washing well.
If you have ever used any of these methods to lighten your hair, let us know how effective you found them. If you have any other natural ways to achieve that fairer look, please let us know and we can add it to our list.