There’s nothing quite as refreshing as the zest of a tall, cool glass of lemonade to beat the heat during the summer months. But giving us sweet, tangy drinks isn’t all lemon can do.
Lemons are a superfood in their own right, lending a hand for numerous tasks, from livening up a boring salad to cleaning your kitchen sink thoroughly to get rid of stubborn grime.
But one thing people overlook about these cute, yellow fruits is that they have a place in doing your hair too.
If you’ve been wanting to go blonder or get summer highlights to look extra bright and eye-catching for the season, lemons are the answer to your prayers.
They’re the secret weapon to lightening your hair strands with minimal damage to both your locks and wallet.
The best part? You can do it overnight.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to lighten hair with lemon juice overnight!
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Can Lemon Juice Really Lighten Your Hair Color?
While using bleach to achieve pretty highlights is an easy no-brainer for getting brighter-colored locks, it’s not always the best idea.
Using chemical treatments like dyes, toners, and bleach can break down your hair’s bonds and proteins, leaving you with dry and damaged hair.
So why not try a more natural and organic way to lighten up your hair color?
Lemons are more than just a zesty fruit you can grab for making spa water or a yummy salad dressing.
They also have bleaching qualities that can lighten your hair naturally for a glowy, sunny vibe to your locks.
See, lemons are rich in citric acid, a substance known for whitening clothes and even brightening dark spots and acne scars in the skincare world.
Citric acid is known for its bleaching properties, which become even more effective when activated by the sun’s UV rays.
It sounds crazy, but it’s actually genius!
Why shouldn’t citric acid be able to lighten up your hair strands too?
It’s a terrific option for getting quick and easy summer highlights without booking an appointment at an expensive salon.
Lemons are super cheap, so it’s great for anyone who can’t afford to burn cash.
Other Hair Benefits Lemons Have To Offer
It’s not just for lightening your hair.
Lemon juice also helps out in a bunch of other ways for keeping your hair and scalp healthy.
For one, lemons can add shine and gloss back to your hair since they’re acidic enough to purify the hair and get rid of excess oils and gunk that make it look dull.
Doing a quick lemon rinse every week or so can help add luminosity to your strands.
Helps With Dandruff
Lemons also help with getting rid of dandruff.
Lemon juice absorbs excess sebum on your scalp that can cause flakiness.
The acidity also improves your scalp’s pH balance, making it less susceptible to infections and other dreaded scalp problems.
Lemon is also known to have antibacterial properties.
This allows it to fight against seborrheic dermatitis, the skin condition that almost always leads to dandruff.
With all that said, it’s important to remember that lemons are highly acidic, and that’s not always good for your skin and hair.
So before doing any DIY solution with lemon for your hair and scalp, do a quick patch test on your arm to make sure you don’t develop allergies or harsh skin reactions.
How To Lighten Hair With Lemon Juice Overnight
Arguably the most popular hack for lightening your hair with lemon juice is the one that recommends sitting outside in the scorching heat so that the sun can activate the lemon’s bleaching properties.
People love it too – after all, it’s a great excuse to get a nice tan.
But this method is super tricky to nail.
One wrong move or miscalculation with the timing, and you can end up with a sunburn malfunction.
At best, you’ll have to deal with a lot of discomfort and sweating.
So if you’re not the type to let your lemon-soaked hair bask under the hot sun and want something comfier, you can try out the overnight method instead.
Here’s how you do it:
Squeeze Your Fresh Lemon Juice
Get a couple of lemons from your pantry and cut them in half.
Then, squeeze out all the delicious juices into a bowl.
You can add more lemons if you have long or thick hair.
Freshly squeezed juice is better than store-bought lemon juice because the latter can be laced with chemicals and sugars that can damage your hair.
Organic is best for this DIY technique.
Prepare Your Lemon Juice Mixture
Pour your lemon juice into a spray bottle.
At this point, you can get creative with other ingredients you want to include in your mixture.
You can go simple and add a bit of water to dilute the lemon juice’s acidity, but you can also add other hair-loving ingredients.
If you want to make sure your hair stays hydrated overnight, you can add a teaspoon of coconut oil or a dollop of your favorite conditioner into the juice.
Or if you want to enhance the bleaching properties of your juice, you can pour in some chamomile tea or cinnamon-both excellent for lightening hair.
Spray The Mixture Into Your Hair
If you want highlights, section off your hair and start spritzing your lemon juice mixture in the areas you want to lighten.
To brighten up all your hair, simply saturate your entire mane in the juice.
You can also take your leftover lemon wedges and rub them into your hair so you can maximize every last drop of citric acid in them.
Wrap Your Hair Up In A Plastic Shower Cap
Keep your plastic cap in place by wearing a bonnet or scarf over it as you sleep.
That way, you won’t have to worry about the lemon juice leaking or you feeling uncomfortable as you sleep.
Then, you can get your beauty sleep.
This is when the lemon really works its magic on your hair.
If you added a moisturizing oil or conditioner to your mixture, it will also work to hydrate your hair all night long.
Wash The Lemon Juice Away
Hop into the shower and use a gentle, hydrating shampoo to rinse the lemon away.
Be extra thorough when you massage your scalp during your wash to be sure you’re getting any lemon pulp out of your hair too.
Follow up your wash with a moisturizing conditioner to replenish your hair of hydration lost to the lemon juice’s high acidity levels.
This will also bring back shine and bounce to your hair.
At this point, you should see a noticeable change in your hair color.
It should be significantly lighter – one or two full shades up if you’re lucky.
Managing Expectations – It May Not Come Out Perfect!
Although lemons are effective at lightening your hair, you still need to manage your expectations about it.
You may not get the lighter color you want right on the first go.
Be patient – you might have to do it a couple more times before you finally get that light blonde shade you were envisioning.
Another thing to note is that this lightening process works the best on those with blonde or sandy brown hair who want to go lighter.
If you have darker hair, like red or black, you’ll need something stronger.
Lemon can only do so much.
If you’re committed to lightening your dark hair with lemon instead of bleaching it for health purposes, you need to be diligent.
You’ll likely need to do weekly sessions for a few months to get a significant change in your hair color.
It’s perfect if you’re willing to wait and lighten your hair gradually.
Although lemons are generally healthier on the hair than harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia, there’s no guarantee that your hair will be completely out of the woods when it comes to damage.
So if you’re gradually lightening your hair with multiple sessions, make sure to space them apart.
Do an overnight lightening lemon mask maybe every weekend or so instead of every day.
If your hair doesn’t deal with the lemon too well and slowly starts becoming dry and brittle, make sure you pamper it with moisturizing treatments to help it recover.
If you’re a fruit, salad, or lemonade lover like me, lemons are a staple in your kitchen.
What’s awesome is that when you feel like going a shade or two lighter for an extra summery blonde ‘do, you can simply grab your lemons and get to work.
This post will come in handy if you’ve been wanting to learn how to lighten hair with lemon juice overnight.
Lemons are an easy and convenient way to lighten up your hair strands or create glimmering highlights to frame your face.
They’re super affordable, too, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much money getting your hair bleached and colored at a pricey salon.
Next time you’re thinking about going lighter with your hair shade, try using lemons instead of harmful box bleach.
You’ll get gradual, natural-looking results without damaging your hair as much as you would with other harsh chemicals.
Experiment with your own DIY lemon coloring sesh and experience it for yourself.
When you’re done, you’ll be flaunting warmer, lighter hair with a healthy shine to match!