Lemon juice is an alternative to using chemicals and commercial hair lightening systems. The acid in the lemon juice reacts with ultraviolet light from the sun to create a mild bleaching effect in the hair. The effect works best on hair that is dirty blond or light brown. On darker hair, the lightened hair may appear reddish or auburn.

Things You'll Need

Pour at least 1/4 cup of pure lemon juice into a spray bottle. More may be needed for long hair.

Add water to the spray bottle. Grandma’s Home Remedies recommends 1 gallon of water for every 1 tbsp. of lemon juice.

Spray the mixture liberally over the hair that is to be lightened. Be careful to add it evenly, as lemon juice can leave orange streaks in dark hair if not applied evenly.

Go out into the sun for three to five hours.

Wash and condition your hair to counteract the drying effect the lemon juice has. Repeat the process the following day to lighten the hair even more.


  • Protect your skin with sunblock when spending extended periods in the sun.

  • Try mixing lemon juice with olive oil and massaging into the scalp if you are unsure if you can apply it evenly with a spray bottle.