How to Lighten Hair Without Bleach in 6 Easy Steps

It is summer of 2021, and we are all getting a good soak of sun in. Everyone knows that is the time many start wanting to go a bit lighter with our hair color. Rightfully so. We need a look to show off our summer glows with! I, however, am not the biggest fan of bleaching my hair, and if possible, you shouldn’t either! 

Bleach takes away nourishment and damaged hair pretty heavily, especially if you have to bleach your hair repeatedly or already are prone to breakage or dry hair. Not to mention the botched at home bleach jobs that can go south very quickly if you aren’t careful! That is a no from me, baby!

However, there is still a way to get some lighter looks. I am going to go over the best and worst ways to lighten hair without bleach to give you all the information you need when deciding on methods! This is the summer of keeping our hair healthy and thriving while lightening it up! I’m holding you to it.

To keep it simple and sweet, I won’t waste any time. Here are 6 easy options for lightening your hair naturally rather than bleach. Keep in mind natural methods are a lot less harsh than bleach, so it is not going to be the over dramatic reveal you get with bleach jobs, but your hair will thank you for the slow transition!

  1. Sunshine: We have all heard of Sun In or similar products that utilize the sun to lighten your hair. However, the sunshine alone acts as a natural lightener by itself! However, while the sun does lighten your hair, it can also damage your hair, so make sure to incorporate a UV protector into your hair care routine before you start laying out for lightening purposes and for any outdoor activities for that matter. Your skin isn’t the only thing needing protection from those harsh UV waves!

  2. Honey: Another option that most of us already have in our house is honey. This natural sweetener also works as a natural lightener! Thank you, bees. Mix raw honey with your conditioner and incorporate it into your hair washing routine. The ratio of honey to conditioner should be 1 part honey and 3 parts conditioner. You can also add a dash of cinnamon into the honey mixture to give your hair a warm blonde tone. 

  3. Lemon Juice: Another common lightener is lemon juice. This relies on the sun. Mix lemon juice, water, and most likely a bit of hair oil to help protect and replenish your hair. Spray this concoction before a long day tanning outside or whatever you have planned outdoors for the day and watch the lemon juice work its magic.

    Even dark haired brunettes can see results after a few weeks of repetitive use! The lighter your hair is to begin with, the quicker it will lighten, so come into it with realistic expectations. Us dark brunettes have to have a bit of patience. 

  4. Apple Cider Vinegar: I am always amazed at how many things apple cider vinegar can be used for. I shouldn’t have been shocked when I discovered hair lightening can be added to the list. It is a more subtle option of the choices, though, so if you are wanting a dramatic change, it is probably best to look at the other choices.

    Mix the apple cider vinegar with equal parts water and cover your hair in the mixture for 30 minutes. Apple cider vinegar also adds nourishment to your hair making it soft and shiny. Win, win! 

  5. Baking Soda: This one is a tad bit deceiving. You actually need two ingredients for this option: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. This will create the lightning paste. Add this paste to your hair mildly. You can brush it through your hair by covering your brush and getting to work. This also can give the highlight effect in the process. Depending on your hair’s reaction to it, you can leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes, so consider a small test strip first to decide! 

  6. Saltwater: Ever wondered why surfer’s seem to always have gorgeous light blonde locks? Saltwater can actually work as a lightener for your hair! If you live by the ocean, you may already be aware of this, or if not, you now have an easy solution right around the corner.

    If you aren’t so lucky to spend your days laying in bliss by the sea, try adding sea salt to your next purchase, mix it with some water in a spray bottle and spray it on your hair! Doing this everyday will make a significant color difference over time. The only downside of this method is your hair may lean towards the more dry side, so mix this with a leave-in conditioner afterwards or frequent hair masks to be safe! 

Now that you know how to make your hair lighter without using bleach, we can start this summer off with healthy hair and end it that way, right? That’s what I thought. Now get out there and enjoy the sun with some free highlight action in the meantime!

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