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Get Summer Hair Highlights the Natural Way

DIY a Natural Highlight Spray With Products You Already Own

Summer is almost over, but that doesn't mean you can't get the beach-blond hair of your dreams! Instead of getting professional highlights, which require pricey upkeep and dry out your hair, try this natural alternative. It'll give you sun-kissed, natural-looking highlights that won't leave your hair brittle — all with ingredients lying around your kitchen.

Lemon Hair Lightener

What you'll need:

  • 4 lemons or 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 chamomile tea bag
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A spray bottle and/or toothbrush (depending on whether you want allover lightening or more individuated highlights)


  1. Squeeze your lemons: Juice the lemons into a small bowl, or just pour the lemon juice in.
  2. Brew your mixture: Pour the warm water into the bowl as well, and dunk the chamomile tea bag in. Let the mixture steep for four minutes.
  3. Decide how you want to look: Once your "tea" has brewed, either pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake it up, or stir it with a spoon before you dip your toothbrush in. If you want gradual lightening all over, use the spray bottle. If you want individual highlights, dip your toothbrush in the solution and streak it that way.
  4. Apply: Either spritz or streak the mixture onto your hair, making sure to soak strands from root to tip. Remember that going lighter around your face is usually a little more flattering, and if you don't want highlights that show, just clip up the top layer of your hair and highlight underneath for more subtle dimensional color.
  5. Dry, then moisturize: Either let your hair dry naturally in the sun or, if you don't have a bunch of time to sit outside, use a hairdryer to blow it dry. Then, to keep dryness at bay, rub your tablespoon of olive oil in, massaging it into your hair and scalp for five minutes or so before rinsing it and then styling your hair as usual (feel free to use shampoo after if your hair feels greasy).
  6. Repeat: To achieve lots of lightening, you'll want to repeat the process a few times. You can refrigerate your mixture in the meantime. The more often you use it, the faster you'll lighten up. Just remember not to overdo it; even lemon can dry hair out if you do it too often, so wait at least a few days between treatments.
Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
kewlkiwis99 kewlkiwis99 4 years
does lemon juice make brown hair red?? my hair is light brown, some people say it's ash blonde. but i want to know b/c i've heard so many different things about it.
Icequeen81 Icequeen81 6 years
My hair is really dark is a light shade of black (soft black ) I think in my case I need something stronger I just want one streak
Icequeen81 Icequeen81 6 years
Im gonna try it
Miriam-Lacey Miriam-Lacey 6 years
Audrey, this recipe is pretty gentle. You might not even see results until you've done it a couple times. Sandhyal, It will lighten your hair, but the color you'll get will be a warmer, lighter brown instead of a blonde, probably. This formula is best for lighter brown hair, dark blonde hair, and medium blonde hair. If you have very dark hair and you want to go blonde, you'll need something stronger. Junebrug, I'm so sorry—what'd you get done?
junebrug junebrug 6 years
As someone who just spent half a month's rent going back to blonde yesterday, I wish to god I had tried this.
sandhyal sandhyal 6 years
Does this work on brunettes or darker hair?
audrey87 audrey87 6 years
How much does this recipe lighten the hair?, I'm a little afraid of getting too blond
Miriam-Lacey Miriam-Lacey 6 years
Ahles, that's a good point. Because lemon juice has lots of citric acid in it, it exfoliates skin, which does make it more photosensitive. If you're wearing your daily sunscreen I don't think it'll have much of an effect, but combing your hair back instead of parting it down the middle to expose your scalp would be a good precaution.
ahles ahles 6 years
Does lemon juice greatly increase the UV sensitivity of skin? Have some recollection that this method works, but you need to be quite careful about not getting lemon juice on your scalp or face if you're going to sit in the sun.
Miriam-Lacey Miriam-Lacey 6 years
Thanks for the info, Happysurfer! The Grape, you can definitely use this recipe without the chamomile—it will still lighten hair. Chamomile just helps lighten and adds pretty gold tones. Twiggy, you can do it either way, although your results will show up faster if you do it on dry hair, since the mixture won't be further diluted by water that's already in your hair. Alice, removing pigment, as Happysurfer said, always changes hair structure a bit. No matter what you use—even if it's just sunlight—there will be a little damage. Lemon is a great deal more gentle than chemical lighteners, so if you're looking to do the least damage possible, it's a good method. Plus, the olive oil should help keep your hair from any real harm, especially if you use it right afterwards. If you're still worried about hair weakening, try using a hair reconstructor like Nexxus Emergencee.
twiggytc twiggytc 6 years
Are you supposed to apply this on dry hair or wet hair??
Happysurfer Happysurfer 6 years
@TheGrape no, chamomile is used purely because it is very good at ligtening hair, maybe you could try without the tea and if that works? and @Alice073 to get lighter hair you will have to 'damage' your hair in someway for it to change colour. As long you deep condition it to bring it back to health then it's fine :)
thegrape thegrape 6 years
is there any kind of tea besides chamomile i could use? im allergic to it :( but i really want to try this!
alice073 alice073 6 years
or damage it in a way? i really want lighter hair but i'm kid of afraid to use the lemon recipe
alice073 alice073 6 years
doesn't lemon kid of burns your hair? ;s
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