Free Shipping on $49+ Orders

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Lighten Hair

4 mins

Mary Jones

Understand whether you should use apple cider vinegar to lighten dyed hair and how it works on your natural hair color.

When you want a gentler way to lighten your hair, your kitchen/pantry can be your hair coloring kit. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is among the usual suspects, a natural ingredient that's worth experimenting with to try and achieve a lighter hair color. Can apple cider vinegar lighten your natural hair color? Should you use apple cider vinegar to lighten dyed hair? Get the answers here.

Table of contents:

  • How can I lighten my hair fast naturally?
  • How to use apple cider vinegar on hair to lighten your hair?
  • Apple cider vinegar recipe to lighten hair - Recipe 1
  • Apple cider vinegar recipe to lighten hair - Recipe 2
  • How long does it take for apple cider vinegar to lighten hair?
  • Does apple cider vinegar get rid of yellow hair?
  • Can you use apple cider vinegar to lighten dyed hair?

How can I lighten my hair fast naturally?

There are many home remedies to lighten the hair. Just wait to expect results overnight or to the extent that bleaching offers. The attraction of natural ingredients for hair lightening is that they're gentle on your hair. For highly effective and fast results, you'd still need a colorist. Here's why.

Bleaching and oxidizing agents open up the cuticle layer of the hair shaft and react with pigment molecules. While bleaching breaks down the molecules and strips your hair color, the dye bonds with your natural hair color. These intense chemical processes do not occur when you use natural ingredients, which only make your hair 1-2 shades lighter, and do so gently.

How can I lighten my hair fast naturally

Now that you know what to expect from natural hair-lightening remedies, look at what those ingredients are - you may already know a few.

  • Lemon juice: The acidic profile of lemon juice affects the hair's pH levels. To maximize results, experts recommend letting hair sprayed with lemon juice dry in the sun, as the heat can help open hair cuticles.
  • Honey: Mixing honey with water releases a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. However, you may need to let the mixture sit on your hair for at least two hours to see results.
  • Sea salt: Swimming in the sea or pool daily has been known to alter the hair's natural keratin. Mixing sea salt and warm water is yet another way to achieve a lighter hair color.
    sea salt and hair lightening
  • Apple cider vinegar: ACV locks in hair color, a reason why it makes a good hair toner for colored tresses. But frequent or prolonged use can have the reverse effect, stripping hair of its natural color.

Now let's see how you can use the ingredient to achieve light highlights. By the end of the article, you'll know whether you should bank on apple cider vinegar to lighten dyed hair.

How to use apple cider vinegar on hair to lighten your hair?

First off, using apple cider vinegar every day can damage your hair. So, using it regularly for hair lightening is a no-no.

Also understand the lightening effect you can expect, depending on your hair color. If you're a brunette with warm or golden undertones, white vinegar may be preferable to apple cider vinegar to avoid brassiness and achieve cooler tones. This also applies if you're a blonde looking to go down one shade lighter. Apple cider vinegar will instead work better if you want to warm up your blonde locks.

How to use apple cider vinegar on hair to lighten your hair

Apple cider vinegar recipe to lighten hair - Recipe 1

What you'll need

  • Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

What to do

  1. Add apple cider vinegar and water to the spray bottle in a 1:6 ratio. Some suggest mixing equal parts of both ingredients.
  2. Shake the bottle and spray the mixture on your hair. For highlights, apply the mixture to the desired strands using a cotton ball.
    apple cider vinegar hair benefits, how to use apple cider vinegar for hair
  3. Sit out in the sun for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Wash it out.

On a hot day, avoid exposing your skin to the sun for a long. To enhance the potency of the natural lightening solution, consider adding a few more ingredients. Here's another recipe to try.

Apple cider vinegar recipe to lighten hair - Recipe 2

What you'll need

  • 1/4 cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chamomile tea
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
    Apple cider vinegar recipe to lighten hair - Recipe
  • Spray bottle
  • A comb

What to do 

  • Fill the spray bottle with the ingredients.
  • Shake the bottle to allow the ingredients to combine
  • Douse your hair with the mixture
  • Comb through your hair to get the solution on all your strands. For highlights, apply the mixture to the desired strands using a cotton ball.
    diy apple cider vinegar hair mask
  • Sit outside in the sun for at least 15 minutes.
  • Rinse your hair with warm water (no shampoo or conditioner)

Wash your hair properly the next day or in 2-3 days. You may need to repeat the process several times until you see results.

How long does it take for apple cider vinegar to lighten hair?

As you may already guess, lightening hair using apple cider vinegar can take several days. Consistency is key. The advantage is that you can combine natural ingredients to hasten the process and achieve lighter shades. Observe how a particular blend reacts with your hair and determine the next steps accordingly. For example, if you find that the mixture is helping remove grease and excess oils from your hair, continue using it. But if it's drying out your hair, try something else to avoid possible breakage from continued use.

Does apple cider vinegar get rid of yellow hair?

Many reasons can cause blonde hair to turn yellow. Pollution, chlorine water from pools, smoke, and excessive exposure to the sun are some. Apple cider vinegar addresses yellowing in a few ways.

If you've had your hair colored, the color may fade over time and acquire a yellow tinge. Apple cider vinegar closes the hair cuticle to seal in color to help reduce the yellowness in your hair. It also removes minerals and metals from hard water, which is also to blame for yellow or brassy (orange and red) hair.

getting rid of yellow hair

Product build-up from coloring and other treatments can clog pores. Less sebum reduces your natural hair shine. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent hair-clarifying agent, helping improve luster and maximize the color's vibrancy.

Although clarifying shampoos' cleanse build-up, they shouldn't be used as frequently as regular shampoos as they can strip the natural oils of your hair and scalp. Apple cider vinegar is unique in cleansing without leaving your hair dry. You can see the difference with Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo from WOW Skin Science.

Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo WOW Science

If yellow strands remain despite using a DIY apple cider vinegar solution, contact your hairdresser or use a salon-style toner while continuing to protect your hair from UV radiation and hard water.

Can you use apple cider vinegar to lighten dyed hair?

If you've dyed your hair too dark and want to lighten it, there are better options than apple cider vinegar. Being only slightly acidic, it isn't effective in removing the dye. But since apple cider vinegar won't strip your salon color and is safe for color-treated/dyed hair, it should be used for other benefits, such as reducing fading, locking in moisture, eliminating build-up and excessive grime, and enhancing hair shine. A product you can try right away is Wow Skin Science's Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Mask, which detoxes and cleanses effectively, revitalizing dull hair.

Let's Share This:

Mary Jones

Mary Jones believes in making well-informed choices when it comes to health, beauty, and wellness. She also draws from her own experience as a style mentor and product reviewer to provide the most helpful and relevant content for readers. Get ready to be influenced!

Recommended Products

500 ml/bottle
11371 reviews
250 ml
151 reviews

Related Articles

Apple Cider Vinegar for Hair Frizz - Tame the Frizz with This Ingredient

Want to learn how apple cider vinegar can help you in taming your frizzy and unruly hair? Read this article for an in-depth exploration of...

Himani Bose

4 mins

What Is the Best Alternative for Onion Juice for Hair

Onion is a potent ingredient that can take care of your overall hair health. But what are some other plant-based alternatives that can provide similar...

Catherine Abel

4 mins

Apple Cider Vinegar - Ingrown Hair Treatment

Apple Cider Vinegar has emerged as a wonder ingredient for treating a variety of skin conditions. In this article, we take a look at apple...

Sarah Dickenson

3 mins

Mary Jones

Mary Jones believes in making well-informed choices when it comes to health, beauty, and wellness. She also draws from her own experience as a style mentor and product reviewer to provide the most helpful and relevant content for readers. Get ready to be influenced!
You have successfully subscribed!