How to Lighten Brown Hair Gradually and Naturally


Here’s how to lighten brown hair naturally and gradually at home using simple ingredients. This guide will help you bleach dyed brown hair or even lighten medium brown hair to blonde in a gradual manner  using natural remedies such as hydrogen peroxide, honey and others.

How can I lighten my brown hair naturally? Is it possible to lighten my dyed brown hair at home? Can I lighten my brown hair to blonde? Here, you’ll learn handy tips on lightening brown hair using natural ingredients found at home.

Laurens lightened brown hair to lighte brown shade
Lauren’s lightened brown hair to light brown shade

Lighten Brown Hair Naturally

So, how can you lighten hair naturally and gradually at home? Here are a few options that you may want to consider.

Using Honey to Lighten Brown Hair Naturally

If you are a fun of natural remedies to lighten hair, then Honey should be your first choice. Honey is without doubt one of the most popular hair lightening techniques and is ideal for use on any shade of hair color.

Honey produces some little hydrogen peroxide which is responsible for lightening hair. The idea is to treat your hair with honey but because honey is typically thick and difficult to work around your hair, you may want to dilute it a bit with some water.

Once you have prepared the honey, apply it on your hair and leave it on for 30 to 60 minutes. The longer the better so if you can, spend the entire night with the honey on your hair. Be sure to cover your hair with a plastic wrap or shower cap as the honey sets in to provide heat which is a great way to enhance the lightening effect of honey.

This method works gradually and if you want a drastic change in hair color, you may have to repeat it several times.

Using Chamomile to Lighten Brown Hair Naturally

Rinsing the hair with chamomile is a popular hair lightening technique. Chamomile gives a nice golden hue to the hair and if you have brown hair, this will make your hair a few shades lighter.

Steps to Follow

  • Add 2 cups of water into a small pot
  • Drop 2 to 3 chamomile tea bags and boil
  • Allow the water to cool down and then use it to rinse your hair after shampooing and conditioning your hair
  • Pat the hair gently with a towel to remove excess water

Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Lighten Brown Hair

You can also use hydrogen peroxide to lighten hair, but there is a general controversy as to whether this method is really natural. Without getting caught so much in the argument about being natural or not, the idea is to use hydrogen peroxide to rinse your hair with hydrogen peroxide and leaving it on for 15 to 20 minutes (not longer than that) before washing it off with cold water.

It is always advisable to test hydrogen peroxide on a few strands first as it is known to give an orange or brassy hue to the hair especially when used for dark hair. As matter of fact, hydrogen peroxide is not the most preferred hair lightening option for very dark brown and black hair.

When you bleach brown hair, you get nice highlights
When you bleach brown hair, you get nice highlights

Other ways to lighten brown hair naturally that you may want to try are:

  • Apple cider vinegar: Rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar after shower everyday
  • Baking soda:  After shower sprinkle some baking soda on your hair and rinse with cold water

How to Lighten Dyed Brown Hair with Vitamin C

If you have dyed your hair dark brown and would like to lighten it to a lighter shade or back to its natural lighter shade, you may consider using vitamin C. Yes, the vitamin C that you know only as an important body requirement can also be used to give your hair lighter shades.

In fact a vitamin C treatment is your best bet if you feel your hair has been dyed too dark brown and would like it lightened a bit, but would not like to use harsh chemical treatments such as clarifying shampoos and hair color removers.

The following is a brief guideline on how to lighten dyed brown hair with vitamin C.

  • Buy a bottle of uncoated vitamin C tablets from your local drugstore
  • Crush 15 to 20 tablets depending on how long and thick your hair is
  • Add the powder into a small basin and mix it with enough anti-dandruff shampoo (e.g. Head and Shoulders) to make a paste that can be worked into your hair
  • Apply the paste and rub it all through your hair or on specific hair areas where highlights are desired
  • Rinse it off with cold water
  • Repeat the process if necessary to lighten the hair to your preferred shade

Although using vitamin C to lighten brown hair is usually very effective and noticeable results can be realistically expected in just one treatment, you may have to use it a couple times or so to get the exact shade of hair color you desire.

How to Lighten Medium Brown Hair

How do you lighten medium brown hair? Well, the options depend on whether your hair is naturally medium brown or has been dyed medium brown.

If you have dyed your hair medium brown but would like to lighten it a few shades, you may want to consider the following options:

How to lighten brown hair to blonde
Before and after
  • Vitamin C: Wash the hair with a vitamin C-antidandruff shampoo mixture to strip off the hair dye (discussed above). This method doesn’t work for people whose natural hair color is black since the vitamin C treatment will revert their hair close to their natural color; black.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Although not the exact fit for natural ingredients, hydrogen peroxide can also be used to lighten medium brown hair.

What if you have natural medium brown hair but would like to lighten it a few shades? What options do you have? You may want to try the following:

  • Honey (see the above section to learn how to lighten hair with honey)
  • Hydrogen peroxide (also discussed above)
  • Chamomile tea
  • Apple cider vinegar rinse
  • Baking soda: Sprinkle some baking soda on wet hair and rinse off with cold water everyday

Gradually Lighten Brown Hair

What if you want to gradually lighten brown hair naturally as to achieve subtle results that don’t shout to the whole world that you have had some changes to your hair? Well, most of the above natural hair lightening treatments (chamomile, black tea, honey and baking soda) work gradually and only lighten your hair a shade or two on each application. The only natural hair lightening treatment that you may want to avoid if you absolutely want gradual results is hydrogen peroxide as it can give relatively drastic results.

How to Lighten Brown Hair to Blonde

What if your hair is a light shade of brown and would like to lighten it to blonde or give it some blonde highlights naturally?

How to lighten brown hair gradually
How to lighten brown hair gradually

Well, you will delight to know that you can use lemon juice to lighten hair. Lemon juice is in fact a very popular choice for people looking to go blonde or get blonde highlights.  It might however not achieve the blonde results you desire if your hair is too dark brown

There you go! If you are not for the idea of using chemical dyes to lighten your hair, then you will delight in the above techniques that lighten your hair naturally and gradually. Have fun trying them out.

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