Hair Stylist Bleaching Woman's Hair

For years now, people have been using bleach to lighten their hair. However, using bleach comes with a heavy toll.

Bleach can remove pigment molecules from your hair, making it lighter.

At the same time, it also strips your hair of some essential natural fatty acids, rendering it brittle and weakened.

Therefore, a lot of people want to know how to lighten their hair without bleach.

And in fact, there are various alternatives to how to do it.

Some might sound surreal or absolutely goofy, but it is better than using bleach on your hair and facing potential hair loss.

Benefits of Lightening Hair Without Bleach

Generally speaking, it is not advised for anyone to use bleach to lighten their hair. If you have to, you better leave it in the hands of a professional. Doing it yourself should be absolutely avoided at all costs.

A professional hair colorist is trained to handle these situations and should be the only one applying bleach to your hair. Bleach has the capacity to striping your hair of valuable fatty acids that are found in the root of hair strands.

Removing those will make your hair much weaker, as you are essentially removing some of the building blocks of your hair. Without those, the hair will start to become weak and brittle. It will be prone to breakage and will eventually fall out.

Which ultimately means that you might eventually start to lose your hair. Alternative methods to bleach can help you achieve dirty blonde hair without the risk of losing it.

Most methods involve using natural ingredients, meaning they will not harm your hair and only strip it of its color, not the essential parts that make up the hair strands.

8 Best Ways to Lighten Your Hair at Home

If you are planning to revitalize your style with some cool hair color ideas, start by throwing away the bleach and consider the alternatives that will help you lighten your hair in a natural way.


You probably noticed that your hair gets lighter after your summer break. That is because you are constantly exposing it to the sun, which tends to make our hair lighter.

The mixture of sun rays and the oxygen in the air can cause a chemical reaction in the melanin, making it lighter. Sunshine is completely natural and absolutely free to use to lighten your hair.

Put on some sunscreen and leave the hat off. Be sure to add some UV protection hairspray to keep it hydrated.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has excellent oxidizing properties and is similar to bleach in that way, but without strong effects. The acid found in lemon juice can chemically reduce the pigment in our hair. The citrus in lemon juice will activate in the presence of heat.

So after applying it to your hair and going out in the sun, it will activate your cuticles and start lightening your hair gradually. It is best to create a mixture that consists of one part lemon juice and two parts water. Soak the hair and then go out for a sunbathing session.

Lemon Juice


Chamomile tea is not only good and tasty for our bodies, but it also has hair-lighting effects as well. What it does is fade the color of your hair without breaking it.

The effects are a bit more gradual, but chamomile can also revive some of your dull hair and give it a fresh new and healthy glow. You can brew some chamomile tea and use it as a presoak for your hair before showering.

Or better yet, apply a bunch of it and then lie in the sun for a bit. That way, you will double down on the effects.


Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy that can help you ale almost everything around the house. What it can also do is balance the pH levels in our hair. The acid in vinegar can melt away all the dirt, oil, or any residue found in our hair, gently lightening it in the process.

Believe it or not, vinegar is also a natural detangler, allowing you to remove the frizz in your hair that you might not want. Create a mixture of apple cider vinegar and five times as much water.

Add it to your hair between shampooing and conditioning and leave it for about 30 minutes. You can even mix it in with your conditioner, which will do wonders for your scalp.

Saltwater Solution

Saltwater is also able to activate the lightening effect in our hair. It reacts to the keratin in our hair and, that way, starts to lighten it naturally. Saltwater also contains a lot of magnesium, potassium, and calcium, allowing for a healthier scalp and skin.

Take a single tablespoon of salt water and mix it with half a cup of warm water. Cover your hair with it evenly and let it soak for about 20 minutes. Rinse everything off while taking a bath.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can clean and whiten almost anything. In the same manner that it can help your teeth look pristine, it can do the same for your hair. You need to create a mixture of baking soda and warm water and mix it up until you get a paste-like substance.

Apply it to your hair and spread it evenly while massaging it into the strands. Allow it to set for about 15 minutes and then rinse it in a shower.

Baking soda removes any impurities in your hair, making it look fresh, clean, and voluminous. Be sure to thoroughly rinse any traces of baking soda from your hair, as it may leave you with a feeling of dryness in your hair.

Cinnamon and Honey Mask

Mixing honey and cinnamon does not only sound tasty, but it is also a natural way to lighten your hair as well. Adding cinnamon to honey will activate the hydrogen peroxide traces found in honey.

With the help of honey, glucose will create a chemical reaction that will help your hair color change, making it even two tones lighter.

Create your hair mask by mixing in a tablespoon of honey, cinnamon, and olive oil. Mix it all up and then add some conditioner. Let it sit for a while before you apply it to your hair. Make a bun, put on a shower cap, and leave it there for about four hours, preferably overnight.

Cinnamon and Honey Mask

Super-Lightening Color Treatment

Using the super-lightening color treatment comes with all the advantages of bleach but without any actual bleach involved. This is very beneficial when you want to get some alt hairstyles fast and go for an ultra-blonde color.

This treatment will help to highlight your hair and make it look three to five levels lighter. The super-lightening treatment contains an alkaline agent, similar to ammonia, so it opens up your hair cuticles allowing colorants to seep inside.

The oxygenated water will then dissolve the hair pigmentation while making way for new dyes to settle in and replace it.

How to Avoid Damage

We explained several ways for you to lighten your hair without the use of bleach. Each one is entirely natural, but there is still a risk of damaging your hair without doing it correctly.

For instance, sunbathing your hair is natural but can be problematic if you do it too much for your hair and skin. Apply all the recipes in proper dosages and do not overdo them. If you are allergic to some ingredients, switch to a method that fits you better.

Be sure to research the method you want to use thoroughly before going ahead and doing it. However, some styles still require the use of bleach. Maybe you can’t get the right black hair with highlights without using a little bleach.

We advise that you never do it by yourself at home and go to somebody with experience. They will know how to dose the bleach without causing damage to your hair.

How to Maintain Color After Lightening Hair

After you get the hair hue just the way you like it and want it, you are probably going to apply some color to it. So there is no need to maintain the lightning effect as it will get covered with the desired color choice.

Step 1 – Don’t use strong shampoos

You cannot use strong shampoos and not shampoo them as much, so you don’t wash out the new color you’ve added. If you don’t add any color after lightening it, the hair will, at some point, revert to your standard color.

Step 2 – Reapply

It will either grow or the effects will start to wear off. What you can do is apply the method again as you notice that it is wearing off. Most of them are entirely natural and will not cause permanent damage to your hair.

However, you are going to need to make some short breaks in between either way.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Since your idea is to get your hair ready for a new color variant, you need to be sure to do everything as explained so you don’t end up damaging your hair.

So you better avoid the following:

  • Not adhering to the recipe as stated.
  • Using too much of the mixture than explained.
  • Mix some added ingredients, like using two different hair-lightening methods at once.
  • Staying too much in the sun can cause your hair to sustain heat damage. The right amount will lighten the hair, but too much is still not good.
  • If you still decide to use bleach, never use it by yourself. Visit a hairstylist who knows how to do it properly.


Will purple shampoo lighten dark hair?

Purple shampoo is not a toner or a hair dye. Its effects can be noticed over time and lighten dark hair, but it can’t work fast if that is something you are going for.

How can I lighten my hair without turning it orange?

You can use a blue shampoo to neutralize your hair’s orange effect.

How to lighten dark brown hair to light brown without bleach?

There are many ways to do so and you can do it with the help of a cinnamon and honey mixture or chamomile tea.

What is the best way to lighten hair without bleach?

The best way, which is also the most natural, is to use the effects of sunlight to lighten your hair.

How long does each method take?

Depending on the method you choose, the effects will vary. Some take longer, while others require you to wait at least overnight. These are not as instant and effective as bleach, but they also don’t damage your hair the same way.

Are there any risks associated with lightening hair without bleach?

There are some risks involved. Sun rays can damage you if you sit in high heat for too long. You also might be allergic to a specific substance which might cause a rash. Also, improper usage comes with its risks as well.


Bleach is effective when lightening your hair and preparing it to recolor it entirely differently. However, it does come with its risks, as bleach will also damage your hair, mainly if you are not skilled enough to apply it.

Luckily, DIY alternatives can help you surpass the challenges and allow you to lighten the hair, create a new style you want, and all that with minimal or almost no damage to your hair.

Vinnie - Barber

About the author: Vinnie – Barber

Vinnie is one of the members of the Beardoholic writers team. He’s also a barber and hairstylist for 15 years now and he has a kick-ass beard of his own, so he surely knows what makes a magnificent beard and hair and how to achieve them. He’s our go-to guy for all the latest beard and hairstyle trends and he always has a tip or two on how to grow and style a thick beard fast.

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