Here are some ways on how to lighten dark brown hair to light brown naturally without the use of bleach or hair color.
When you’re trying to change your look, lightening your locks can go a long way without permanently changing you.
Way better than a random tattoo you’d regret for the rest of your life or a septum ring your parents would kick you out for, you know what I’m saying.
And who doesn’t love radiant golden-ish strands that just keep catching the sun rays – light coloured hair is definitely my go-to look be it summers or winters. But bleaching my hair is a big no-no.
Nobody wants dried-up frizzy hair. Also, it can cause hair fall, talk about your worst nightmare!
Although getting your hair coloured professionally is always the best way to change your look, it can be quite heavy on your pocket. Not to mention that you don’t always want a drastic colour change, just a simple shade change might be desired.
So, over the years, I’ve experimented with different ingredients that could help me lighten my dark brown hair to light brown naturally.
How To Lighten Dark Brown Hair To Light Brown Naturally
After many failures and some triumphs, in this article, I am going to mention all the methods that can give you that goldilocks look without any bleach.
The best part: you’d find most of these ingredients right in your kitchen. So, without further ado, here we go:
Lightening Hair with Honey, Cinnamon and Olive Oil
This is, hands down, the best method to lighten your hair naturally. Why? Because it is extremely gentle on your hair and deeply moisturises your hair even with its lightening properties.
Just FYI, you might not get your desired shade right away but this method is safe to use however many times you require it to work.
I had extremely dark brown hair and it took 3 – 4 applications to get my strands to look light chocolate brown.
Here’s what you need:
- ¼ cup of Honey
- ½ cup of distilled Water
- 1 tbsp of Cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
Thoroughly mix all these ingredients in one bowl and leave it for an hour, so that it can generate hydrogen peroxide – the component that would lighten your hair strand. To be frank, this mixture would not be pleasing to the eye because the water and the oil don’t
Your hair, your nose and even your skin, on the other hand, would thank you for choosing this over any kind of chemicals. You could also use this as a scar-fading face mask.
Once that hour is up, just apply the mixture to your head. You can go with covering your whole scalp and hair or just some strands that frame your face to create natural highlights.
Keep it in for an hour or two and then wash it off with water. Keep it overnight if you can to get the best results.
Natural highlights with Saltwater
Ever gone out for a beach day and came back with amazing highlights? That happens because the salty water of the ocean combined with the strong sunlight all day naturally bleaches your hair!
As much as all of us wish to spend all our days dozing off on beaches, real life doesn’t always allow you to.
Don’t worry though, with this method you’d get those beachy highlights right from the comfort of your home.
Here’s what you need:
- ½ cup of Water
- 2 tbsp of Salt
- A Spray Bottle (optional)
- A lot of Sunshine
Simply mix the water with the salt and apply it directly to your hair. Again, depending on the look you want, you can cover all your hair with this mixture or apply it to selected strands. I love to put this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it all over my head.
This way I’m getting those light-coloured highlights with a natural look rather than it looking too made-up.
Once this step is done, you would want to step out and spend some hours in the sun. Don’t miss this step because sun rays are essential to make this method work.
I’ve tried this method without stepping out in the sun and it just doesn’t work that well without those bright lights. Although completely natural, this method can be a bit drying for your hair, I’d advise you to deep condition your hair after this.
Get naturally light brown hair with Turmeric
I’m completely sure that you’ve never heard of this method before. This is one of those DIY hair colouring methods that only a select few people know but it works so well, I’m surprised it is not as popular as other ones like lemon juice, for example.
This spice works so well for lightening dark brown hair to light brown naturally because it contains a staining ingredient called Curcumin.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups of Distilled Water
- 2 tbsp of Turmeric
- A saucepan
- 1 cup of Unflavoured Full Fat Yoghurt (Optional)
- A spray bottle (optional)
- A pair of non-toxic reusable gloves (optional)
- A shower cap
- An old towel (optional)
The first thing you need to do is boil the water and add turmeric once it is boiling. Stir the mixture to fully dissolve the turmeric.
Once that is done, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool naturally. Now, you can either pour it into a spray bottle and spray it all over your hair or use gloves to apply the mixture.
You mustn’t skip the gloves if you’re choosing the latter because otherwise, you would find yourself with a pair of yellow hands.
Put on the shower cap afterwards. I also drape a towel around my shoulder whenever I try this method because this soupy mixture can drip over.
Whenever I want a dye-like mixture instead, I substitute half of the water with yoghurt.
This not only dries a bit faster (and doesn’t drip!) but also helps in moisturising the hair. I recommend this alternative for smooth shiny strands.
One thing that’s important to remember is that unlike the other methods in this list, this mixture is not going to lighten your hair colour but instead stain it. So, basically, a natural dye and the results would differ depending on your original hair colour and texture.
This method works for me since I have porous hair and the colour can get in easily but it might take you a few tries to get your desired light brown shade with this method.
I would also suggest you do a patch test before colouring all of your hair to see how it pans out for you.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar to lighten dark brown hair
Apple Cider Vinegar is one of those holy ingredients that almost every member of the DIY community knows. From skincare to wellness to haircare, this amazing ingredient fits in everywhere.
Even if you knew all that, I bet you didn’t know you could use it to lighten dark brown to light brown naturally!
Here’s what you need:
- One cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4 cups of Distilled Water
- A bowl
- A shower cap
Mix both the ingredients in the bowl together, pour it into a spray bottle and spritz away to get light brown hair! You can also just use your good ol’ hands to cover your hair with the mixture.
Keep it in your hair for an hour or so and cover it with a shower cap to avoid it dripping all over you! Just wash it off with plain old water and you’re good to go.
Apple Cider Vinegar is such a powerhouse and I recommend this method to get amazing healthcare benefits on top of your desired results.
Not only will it lighten your hair, but this method also promotes hair growth by cleaning the build-up on your scalp. My scalp always feels cleaner after I use this method. This is one of the gentlest methods to lighten your strands without any damage.
Since ACV is such a gentle ingredient, it might not give you extremely light hair in one go. The good news is you can use it frequently until you get the shade you want – it won’t harm your hair at all. It took me around 7 applications to get my desired ash brown hair colour.
Honourable Mention: Lemon Juice. Which self-respecting pro-natural method writer could go without mentioning the OG of the natural hair lightening niche?
The acid in Lemon Juice works amazingly to get light strands in just one application if combined with sunbathing. With this method, getting results is easy yet I don’t use this method personally because it dries out my hair.
If that is not a concern, give this method a go for awe-inspiring results.
Final Words on lightening dark brown hair to light brown hair naturally
If you’re new to using natural alternatives, you might believe these won’t work so well or harm your hair in some ways.
But these methods are personally tried and tested and all of them work wonders.
Don’t be a sceptic, give them a go and see for yourself!