How to use lemon juice for lightening hair

Updated February 21, 2017

It's a scientific fact that lemon juice can lighten your hair. As an acid, the lemon juice slowly strips your hair of its color, producing golden highlights on many blonds and brunettes. Sitting in the sun with lemon juice in your hair will accelerate the process of the sun lightening your hair.

Make a lemon juice lightening rinse by squeezing the juice out of two lemons. Add it to 1 qt. water and rinse your hair with it after shampooing. Sit in the sun for 2 or more hours and allow the UV rays and lemon juice to work their magic.

Squeeze two lemons directly on to your dry hair before you sit in the sun. You can use a wide-toothed comb to distribute the lemon juice more evenly or create natural-looking highlights by leaving the juice where it falls. Again, sit in the sun to allow the lemon juice to mix with the UV rays.

Mix lemon juice into a mixture of dried chamomile flowers, honey and dried rhubarb root to enhance hair that is already blond. This may darken very pale blonds or add a yellow brightness to medium and dirty blonds. It will also add golden tones to light-brown hair.

Create orange streaks in your hair when you use undiluted lemon juice on medium- to dark-brown hair. You will not get the blond highlights that fairer-haired people will get, but the effect is definitely unique. If you want to avoid a look this drastic, try using henna to add red tones to your brunette locks.


Lightening your hair with lemon juice and the sun works best during summer, when the sun is stronger and more direct. You will probably have to repeat the lightening process several times before you achieve the look you want. Once you reach a suitable shade, you can use the lemon juice less often to maintain the look without bleaching your hair further.


Lemon juice is drying to your hair. Avoid overuse if you wish to keep your lightened hair in good condition. To condition your hair after lightening it with lemon juice, comb olive oil through your hair using a wide-toothed comb. Make sure to cover your hair thoroughly. For additional lightening benefits, sit in the sun for about 1 hour before washing the olive oil out with gentle baby shampoo.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh lemons
  • Water
  • Sun exposure
  • Dried chamomile flowers
  • Honey
  • Dried rhubarb root
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