Bad Color Job? 6 Ways to Naturally Lighten Dyed Hair

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lightenhair naturally It’s a familiar beauty story for many women. We get adventurous and want to try a darker hair color.

When the results are darker than anticipated or we simply tire of the dark hue, what can be done? Going to the salon and stripping the color could be damaging. Trying another box of color from the grocery store might compound the problem. Thankfully, there are many ways to naturally lighten dyed hair without additional damage or expense.

[Read: Want non-toxic natural hair color? Try henna!]

1. Vitamin C

The citric acid in vitamin C can help lighten hair. One of the simplest natural remedies to get brighten your strands is to make this treatment. Crush 15-20 vitamin C tablets into a fine powder and combine with a small amount of anti-dandruff shampoo to make a paste. Then, gently massage the paste through damp hair. Leave the mixture in for 1-2 hours by using a shower cap to cover it. Rinse gently and use a deep conditioner to avoid dry-out.

2. Lemon juicenaturally lighten dyed hair

Another simple and practical way to lighten your locks is by using lemon juice. Simply add some lemon juice to a spray bottle, thoroughly spritz your tresses, and spend some time outdoors in the sun. Because it’s made of citric acid, the warmth of the sun causes the hair cuticle to open. This begins to lift some of the pigment. The result is gradually lighter hair each time. It may take a week or two of daily use for your hair to appear lighter, depending on how dark it was to begin with.

3. Chamomile Tea

A strong batch of this mellow tea can soften and lighten your overworked strands. First, steep several tea bags for 30-60 minutes. Once the tea cools, add a few tablespoons to your conditioner. (Save the rest in an empty container for future use or add to shampoo to pack a bit more punch.) When you shower, let the chamomile conditioner sit for several minutes and rinse. If possible, sit in the sun to air dry. It won’t happen overnight, but continued use of chamomile will gradually lighten your hair color.

ever have a hair coloring disaster? here are a few natural fixes that might help. #natural #hair Click To Tweet

4. Cinnamon

Long known for its medicinal properties, cinnamon also provides a sweet way to lighten your hair. Mix 3-4 tablespoons of cinnamon powder with your conditioner to make a thick paste. Cover damp hair thoroughly with the paste and comb through. Secure hair with a clip and cover head with a shower cap. Leave on overnight to lighten hair. Repeat as often as you like since this method will not damage the follicle. Your hair will smell and look delicious!



5. Sea Salt

There’s a reason those surfer girls have sun-kissed hair–sea salt. You can mimic these results over time by making your own sea salt mixture. Take 1/2 cup sea salt and mix a little bit of water with it to make a paste. Apply to damp hair and spend some time in the sun. Rinse thoroughly following your sun session. This is a great way to slowly lighten hair and enjoy some outdoor time in the process.

6. Honey

How sweet! Honey naturally contains a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, making it a great natural remedy to lighten hair without damaging it. (Note: Do not apply hydrogen peroxide directly to hair as it can be very irritating and may turn hair orange.) Simply mix 1/3 cup of honey with 1/4 cup of conditioner. Dampen your hair and thoroughly apply. Comb through to ensure it’s evenly coated. Use a shower cap and leave mixture on hair for eight hours. To speed the lightening process, add cinnamon or lemon juice to the paste each time.

So the next time you’re having a hair color conundrum, don’t run to the salon and risk completely ruining your hair with chemical treatments. Take the natural route to correct, brighten, and soften your color.

Want more ways to naturally lighten dyed hair? Click here.

Great reasons to consider ditching chemical hair dyes . . . Click here.

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About the author / 

Green Diva Paisley

Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, beauty and fashion. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

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    Lisa May 1, 2014 at 8:28 am -  Reply

    Thanks for the post!

    Kate J May 6, 2014 at 9:24 am -  Reply

    Love the tips, I didn’t know that you can you honey to lighten hair. I trying my best to use only natural products on my hair.

    :* Kate

    Rachael July 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm -  Reply

    I tried the honey and the lemon (separate and together) it didn’t work for black dyed hair along with the vitamin c and dandruff shampoo.
    It did lighten the blonde highlights I have and the washed/faded 3rv (deep purple). Just didn’t do anything to black unfortunately. But will use these tricks in the future for a natural way to lighten my hair once I rid this black

    Leo Sigh July 12, 2015 at 8:21 am -  Reply

    Thanks for this. I’m going to try the cinnamon tonight to see if that has any effect, as the lemon juice didn’t do very much. Bound to be something out there that works though 🙂 Thanks!

    Lynne-marie Chandler August 24, 2015 at 12:05 pm -  Reply

    I am very impressed with this site. I had chemo few years ago and when my hair grew back I had a large strip of grey hair in front of my hair… I couldnt aford to go to my hair dresser this month and the Grey looked so bad. I put a light brown colour in my hair and don’t know why but my hair came out jet black. I’m 50 years old and it makes me look like a witch lol….I am going to try the vitamin c one, so hope it work as I am going into hospital for yet another operation and as rough as it can be, just having my hair look nice makes me feel a little more human… Thankyou so much for your effort to help people, it means a lot xxxxxx

    Laeeka December 28, 2015 at 7:21 am -  Reply

    Most natural remedies do not work with just one treatment. you have to keep doing it until you reach your desired result.

    Kasia January 6, 2016 at 5:16 pm -  Reply

    I had badly dyed hair . Next day I tried lemon juice +honey +cinanon ( only if you want lightly reddish effect ) + conditioner and it worked . I left it over the night . I was nicely surprise .
    The hair got lighter and looking warmer , a bit of reddish though but reddish looks good on me. So I’m happy , I will repeat it again . Thanks a lot !!

    Meredith January 24, 2016 at 12:47 pm -  Reply

    I have a lot of dye in my hair right now. Mixes of reds and purples and blacks. Trying not to bleach my hair again but I do want it lighter so I can dye it purple once more. I am going to try the honey in my hair next weekend to see if it works. Thanks!

    Chucha March 29, 2016 at 1:07 am -  Reply

    I did the vitamin C with dandruff shampoo and worked incredibly! It went from dark violet to a nice light purple in 1 hr. There was no damage but the hair got thicker and stiff so be prepare to moisturize frequently.

    Michelle April 18, 2016 at 1:19 am -  Reply

    I combined, vitamin c, cinnamon, lemon juice and dandruff shampoo to a runny paste, coated my hair and left it for two hours. The result was a lighter shade of red brown, a bit brassy but I can live with it. So much better than the dark brown I started with. Deep conditioner and argon oil was a definite must as another person pointed out. Overall I am thrilled I did not have to use another chemical bleach to fix the color.

    JetC April 26, 2016 at 9:50 pm -  Reply

    I have tried Vitamin C 1000mg supplement packet (already crushed) with just ordinary (Cheep) shampoo, 2 hour….. I had dyed auburn Lt brown that turned a DARK BROWN, very dark, I tried the Vitamin C, now I have a wonderful soft light reddish brown. I have been dying hair for 10 years, and this was a great fix to bad hair dye. I get complements all the time. I am turning white as I am aging, and plan to lighten hair to match my aging “grays/silvers”, this is working great for me.

    ** Another suggestion ** you can add crushed Vitamin C pills or supplement packet (already crushed) to your shampoo and have your hair lighten gradually on a weekly (as you shampoo) basis.

    Amanda May 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm -  Reply

    I have a question: I’m going to use the Vitamin C and conditioner to try to lighten my dyed dark brown hair. Say it actually does work, and my hair gets lighter, would it then be safe to try dying it a slightly lighter color?

    Alesha June 8, 2016 at 12:09 am -  Reply

    Hi! Thanks for the post! I just tried out the cinnamon mixed with conditioner, and I mixed in a little water to make it a better consistency. I didn’t really consider that cinnamon is a spice, and now my head is quite warm. Any thoughts? Opinions? It says in the post that I’m to leave it on all night.

    Denise February 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm -  Reply

    I have red hair going grey and dyed it way too dark. I used the vitamin c with shampoo then mixed honey, cinnamon and conditioner left in over night. washed and conditioned my hair when I woke up and it looks absolutely beautiful like my natural red used to be. This amazing how it works!

    Huii March 19, 2017 at 10:02 am -  Reply

    I just dyed from black to brown. Can I use honey to further lighten the effects of the dye?

    Cindy Rolston July 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    I am thrilled! My hair color turned very dark brown , even with only leaving the coloring on for less than half the time . It looked as if I was trying too hard to look young. I used the vitamin C with a generic dandruff shampoo, left it on for over an hour and now my hair is a beautiful light ash brown. One hint though, don’t buy the chewable Vitamin C.

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