Use Lemon Juice to Lighten Hair

If you're looking for a natural way to lighten your hair without nasty chemicals or expensive trips to the salon, then you can lighten your hair with something you probably have in your kitchen: lemon juice. Lemon juice will lighten your hair gradually; even when your roots grow out, they will just add depth to the new color instead of looking unnatural. And if you want to try dying your kids' hair, a natural ingredient like lemon juice is the way to go.


For Normal Hair

  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water

For Dry Hair

  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 4 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup conditioner


To Lighten Normal Hair

  1. Mix the lemon juice and the warm water together in a measuring cup. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the mixture onto your hair until your hair is damp. You'll get the best results if you spray the lemon juice on unwashed hair.[1]
  3. Sit out in the sun for 1 to 2 hours. Make sure that you wear sunscreen on your skin to protect yourself from getting a sunburn.
  4. Take a shower and apply a deep conditioner to your hair. The citric acid in lemons is very drying, so you'll need to rejuvenate your hair after lightening it with lemon juice.
  5. Repeat the process weekly until your hair turns the color that you want. You may have to spray the lemon juice on your hair up to 4 times before you notice a significant difference.

To Lighten Dry Hair

  1. Combine the lemon juice and the conditioner in a small bowl. You may want to use a whisk to mix the ingredients together.
  2. Place a towel around your shoulders. Scoop the mixture out with your hand and rub it over your hair. Then, use a wide-tooth comb to comb the lemon juice and conditioner through your hair.
  3. Sit in the sun for 1 to 2 hours. Slather on some sunscreen to keep yourself from getting a sunburn.
  4. Rinse the lemon juice and conditioner off in the shower. Shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would.
  5. Repeat the regimen once per week until you notice a difference. Then, keep repeating the lightening process until you get the color that you want.
  6. Finished.


  • Make sure to wash your hair thoroughly because lemon juice dries out hair very easily.
  • Don't skip the step of going out into the sun. Blow drying your hair will not activate the lightening process because the lemon juice isn't activated by heat; it's activated by UV rays.
  • Don't do this every day of the week, you can damage your hair!
  • Keep in mind that lemon juice may dry out your hair. Best to wash it out after you have sat in the sun with it for a while.
  • Works best in summer when the sun is stronger!
  • You can also use lime juice if you don't have lemon juice on hand. It has about the same concentration of citric acid as lemon juice.
  • Combine cinnamon, paprika, lemon juice and honey, leave in the conditioner for lighter hair with subtle red hints!
  • Lemon juice also dries out hair, so don't skip conditioning when you wash it!
  • Make sure it doesn't go in your eyes or it will burn!
  • If your hair is mostly dark, you will almost certainly have to repeat the lightening procedure once weekly for three or four times to accomplish the look you want.
  • Rinse your hair with a blend of lemon juice and chamomile tea for a mild bleaching effect.
  • If you add cinnamon, lemon, and honey to the mixture, try not to apply the cinnamon to your roots. It can burn your scalp!
  • Add oil or honey to the mixture to keep your hair from drying out.
  • Make sure that you have the sun so you can get that light color that you want.


  • Lightening hair with lemon juice is unpredictable. You can't be sure what shade you're going to get. Also, the change is permanent, so you'll either have to wait until it grows out or dye your hair to cover up any damage.
  • Avoid jumping into the pool right after you spray lemon juice onto your hair. You don't want to end up with green hair.
  • It's tough to tell how lemon juice will affect dark hair. You may notice a minimal effect, or your hair may turn slightly orange. Just be aware of the possibilities before you spray lemon juice into black or brown hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Deep conditioner
  • Lemon juice
  • Water
  • A sunny day

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Sources and Citations