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Does Lemon Juice Lighten Your Hair?


If you’re someone who has a knack for blonde colors and light shades but feels like skipping the whole salon visits and regular appointments with a colorist, then you’ve landed at the right place. Though we’ve all heard how spending time in the sun and basking in the sunlight can naturally help to lighten our dark locks, the truth is that it might not work for all of us. Also, spending long hours out in the sun might not be the greatest idea. Lemon juice is one natural hack that can work wonders for your hair color and leave you with a light shade without having to spend even a single penny (ok, maybe a few to buy those lemons) or long hours under the sun. Read on to learn all about how a spritz of lemon juice can lighten your hair and provide your tresses with a fresh look. 

Table of Contents

  • How Can Lemon Juice Lighten Your Locks
  • How To Use Lemon Juice To Lighten Hair 
  • Haircare Routine For Your Bleached Tresses 

    How Can Lemon Juice Lighten Your Locks

    The citric acid present in lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent that gets easily absorbed in your hair and reacts with the sun's UV rays to oxidize the melanin of your locks, further leading to lightening them. However, master colorist Gretta Monahan says that the acidity of lemon juice significantly damages the cuticle of your hair and substantially reduces the pigment of your hair color as well. She also states that for witnessing noticeable lightning of your tresses, it’s recommended to apply lemon juice to your hair at least 3-4 times.

    Expert stylists also say that different hair colors and textures will react differently to the application of lemon juice. For instance, according to Dominic Burg, Ph.D., a chief scientist, hair biologist, and trichologist, the effects of the citric acid found in lemon juice will be clearly visible only in light-colored and color-treated locks and not in dark-colored hair. 

    How To Use Lemon Juice To Lighten Hair 

    If you’ve set your mind on the process of lightening your hair with lemon juice and plan on skipping your appointment at the salon for this DIY hair lightening treatment, then here is a step-by-step brief guide for you. 

    Take a spray bottle and fill it with lemon juice. Mix the lemon juice with any conditioner of your choice in a 2:1 ratio. Shake the mixture well. You can also add honey to this mix. Spray the hair with the lemon juice and conditioner mix uniformly and wait for a couple of hours. If you expose your locks to sunlight during this time, you might obtain even better results, but this is not recommended (I’ll tell you why in a moment). Wash your hair with water and let it dry naturally afterward. 

    Though you might not observe much difference in one application, using lemon juice to lighten your hair could be that DIY recipe that yields visible results and becomes part of your routine.

    Haircare Routine For Your Bleached Tresses 

      Though the citric acid found in lemon juice is being actively used by beauty bloggers and hair enthusiasts across the globe for the lightening of locks and brightening highlights, it still has some ill effects.  Hairstylists warn that applying lemon juice to your hair can contract your hair cuticle severely and lead to damaged and brittle locks. Also, it might lead to hair breakage and strip your mane of its natural moisture. 

      A combination of lemon juice with exposure to the sun's harsh rays can further enhance the damage. Moreover, according to studies, using lemon juice on hair and scalp might cause phytophotodermatitis, a skin condition that can cause itchy blisters and inflamed skin. So maybe just skip on getting out in the sun after treating your hair with lemon juice.

      The damage to your tresses can be taken care of by simply adding a few hair care products to your arsenal. Here’s an effective hair care routine for your damage-prone bleached hair:

      • Hair oil to your rescue: Paying attention to your roots and scalp before it gets too late involves the addition of good old hair oil to your regimen. Take your time and massage your locks from root to tips with an effective hair oil. WOW Skin Science has an extensive range of all-natural and plant-powered hair oils, so coat every strand of your mane with the goodness of any of these oils. I’ve tried them and none of them have failed me so far.

      • Embrace a deep conditioner: Pamper your hair with all the love it deserves! Provide it with intense hydration with a deep conditioner after you tried to lighten your hair with lemon juice. Massage your locks with a premium quality conditioner after you’ve shampooed. 

      The moisturizing conditioners from WOW Skin Science are a great choice for your locks and suitable for all hair types. The ingredients used in these formulations are plant-based and 100% vegan. Also, they boost the volume of your locks and actively work to repair the damage caused to your tresses. 

      • Don’t skip on a hair mask: Amp up the shine and health of your locks after going through the citric acid treatment for lightening your hair with an effective hair mask that can boost the glow of your locks and keep your mane squeaky clean. 

      WOW Skin Science has created a luxurious range of hair masks that can help your locks face the light of the day with a vibrant glow and fresh scent. Make a routine of applying any of these hair masks to your locks once a week for enhanced effect. 

       Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      1. Can lemon juice lighten my hair without the sun?

      Yes, it can, but it will take longer.  

      2. Can lemon juice lighten hair overnight?

      According to hair experts, Vitamin C present in lemon juice effectively works to lighten your hair. However, you’ll need more than one application to really start noticing any results.  

      3. Does lemon juice make your hair longer?

      Lemon juice is enriched with the goodness of Vitamin C and other essential nutrients that work well to enhance collagen production and provide strength to your hair follicles as well. This can further lead to enhanced hair growth.


      While treating your hair with lemon juice may help bring some much-needed change to your tresses and create that perfect look, caring for your locks is equally important. Care well for your hair and add all the essential products to your routine to create that desirable hair color of your dreams, while also keeping your hair healthy. 

      Geetika Kapoor

      Deeply passionate about writing, I’m a freelancer and have been working on several writing projects for several domains across the globe since last three years. I love reviewing different products ranging from skin care products, perfumes, body lotions, feminine products, hygiene items and several others. An English teacher by profession, I love interacting with kids and discovering different personalities as well. When I’m not writing I spend most of time reading novels, listening to songs, solving tricky puzzles and travelling around the world to my favourite destinations. Collen Hoover and Nicholas Sparks are my all time favourite authors. Their writing leaves a deep impact and stays with me for long.

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