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How to Lighten Hair Naturally Overnight: 6 Tips

February 18, 2021

6 Min read

Don’t have time to spend hours basking in the sun but still want beautiful sun-kissed highlights? Surprisingly, you don’t need chemicals to get the job done. All you need is one of these amazing treatments and a good night’s sleep. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about natural ways to lighten your hair overnight. So, put down the bleach and get ready to try things out the natural way!

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Hair lightening the natural way

Believe it or not, people have been lightening their hair with natural ingredients for centuries. In fact, natural hair lightening can be traced all the way back to Ancient Greece. The Grecians would apply gold, pollen, and olive oil to their hair while spending hours luxuriating in the sun.

Nowadays, there are many options for lightening your hair, including a million different drug store bleaching kits that boast instant results. Yes, bleaching and highlights will give you that instant sun-kissed look—but there are some things to consider. Any time you bleach your hair, you’re risking your hair’s health. Here at Prose, we are all about cutting out chemicals and focusing on the endless benefits of natural ingredients. Try out some of these chemical-free techniques before reaching for the bleach.

Bring in the lemons

What you’ll need:

 

You’ve probably heard of the lemon juice hack. It’s incredibly popular and surprisingly easy to try. According to hair care professionals, the vitamin C in lemon juice can actually work to naturally lighten hair, sans chemicals. However, this tip will work best to lighten hair that is naturally blonde or a lighter shade to begin with.

Did you know that you’re not supposed to apply lemon juice straight to your hair?  Lemon juice is extremely acidic, so squeezing a lemon over your head before heading out for a day at the pool is actually not the right move. The acid in the lemon juice, combined with a day of chlorine water, is a recipe for a dry hair nightmare. 

The best way to use lemon juice as a natural hair lightening hack is to dilute it in one of two ways. First, you can try mixing lemon juice and water with a ratio of two tablespoons of lemon juice to one cup of water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle, apply to hair and let dry in the sun. For overnight effects, once your hair is dry, wrap it up and sleep with the solution in your hair overnight. 

If you are looking for a more hydrating option, you can mix the lemon juice with conditioner or coconut oil. Wrap your hair up in a shower cap—to prevent any overnight messes—and enjoy the lightening effects of the lemon juice paired with the reparative benefits of an overnight moisture treatment.

Vitamin C

What you’ll need:

  • Vitamin C tablets or powder
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle
  • Hair Wrap or Shower Cap

 

If you’re not a fan of that lemony fresh scent, you can skip the lemon juice and go straight for the active ingredient, vitamin C. Although vitamin C works similarly to lemon juice, it can also remove mineral build up in your hair as an added bonus! Crush up a vitamin C tablet (or any pre-ground vitamin C powder), add to water, and spritz onto your hair. Place your hair in a shower cap and let the natural, overnight lightening take place.

Chamomile tea with apple cider vinegar

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4th cup of strong chamomile tea
  • 1/4th cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • Spray Bottle
  • Hair Wrap or Shower Cap

 

If you have brunette hair, chamomile tea can work great as a lightening treatment. Combine a fourth cup of strong chamomile tea with one fourth cup apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spray the mixture to saturate your hair, let dry, and leave in overnight. This hack can also be used in the sun to increase its lightening effects.

Apple cider vinegar has many amazing benefits as a hair care product. It can balance the pH of your hair, remove oil buildup, and even help detangle and de-frizz your hair.

For a gentle approach, combine one part apple cider vinegar to six parts water. You can leave this in overnight and repeat until you get the lightening results you want. This method can take time and repetition to achieve the desired shade—so be patient. This approach is gentle and slow.

Raw honey

What you’ll need:

  • ¼ Cup Raw Honey
  • 1 tbs of Cinnamon
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • Hair Wrap or Shower Cap

 

This hack has worked to lighten hair up to two whole shades for some people, and it also smells fantastic. When combined, raw honey and cinnamon become a great natural hydrogen peroxide booster, leaving you with chemical-free, at-home highlights. It is important to use raw honey in this mask, as processed honey doesn’t contain the same level of active enzymes.

To create this hair mask, combine a fourth cup of raw honey, one tablespoon of cinnamon, and one tablespoon of olive oil (for a little added hydration). If your paste is too thick, you can also add one tablespoon of water to loosen things up. Combine the ingredients and let them sit for one hour before applying. If you have gorgeous, Rapunzel-length hair or an extra thick mane, you may need to double or even triple this recipe.

After applying, wrap your hair up for an overnight treatment. This natural lightening mask is hydrating, so you can repeat this process up to 10 times without damaging your hair—take that, bleach.

Cinnamon

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 Cup Conditioner
  • 2 tbs of Cinnamon

 

Cinnamon can also be used to lighten hair on its own. Simply combine a half cup of your favorite conditioner and two tablespoons of cinnamon. This hydrating mask can be left in overnight with the help of a shower cap and will leave your hair with natural highlights and a silky-smooth texture. Just rinse out with shampoo, follow up with conditioner, then dry and style as usual.

Sun-In is not natural

Sorry, guys. Unfortunately Sun-In is not the hair lightening miracle we hoped for as teens. In fact, it’s full of chemical ingredients that—depending on your hair color—could leave you with orange, crunchy locks.  

Sun-In creates a chemical reaction that changes the color of your hair and could even cause trouble if you decide to dye your hair later on. This one is less of a tip and more of a warning. With all these other techniques, you don’t need sun-in. So say goodbye to this ‘90s flop and opt for a more natural approach.

And that’s a wrap

Now you have the inside scoop on all the ways to naturally lighten your hair overnight in the comfort of your home. When it comes to healthy hair, natural ingredients are the way to go. With so many options, it’s definitely worth trying before resorting to chemicals like bleach. These natural lightening tips will have your hair looking sun-kissed and shiny, without all the damage and breakage caused by harsh chemicals. So cook up some of these hair recipes! You won’t regret it.

ONLY GOOD HAIR DAYS—

What goes into your Prose is just as good as what you get out of it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

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