(NaturalNews) Rising concerns about the harmful effects of hair color have drawn many back to the old-fashioned methods of hair-lightening. It is estimated that two out of every five American women color their hair, so there are no shortage of people who can benefit from utilizing more natural methods of hair color. Henna is one product that uses natural dyes to alter the color of your hair. While these are generally effective, they rarely provide the right results if you are trying to lighten your hair. Fortunately, there is a world of other options if you want to lighten your hair color naturally.
Lemon juice is by far the most popular method for lightening hair at home. Beware of commercial lighteners that claim to use lemon juice; they are often strong chemical products in disguise with very little lemon juice inside the bottle. Lemon juice in itself is strongly acidic, so diluting it will keep it from damaging your hair. It should be mixed with at least an equal amount of water, more if your hair is already damaged or if you are concerned with graying. This mixture can be rinsed through the hair by itself, or it can be combined with any of the ingredients below.
Olive oil contains lightening agents in addition to its undeniable ability to give hair a certain softness and sheen. It's excellent for counteracting any drying effects lemon juice may have on your hair. Mix a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a cup of water with one tablespoon of pure lemon juice. Massage mixture into hair and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Rinse well; two shampoos may be required to completely remove the olive oil.
Another old-fashioned method used for brightening hair is chamomile. Regular chamomile tea mixed with lemon juice can be rinsed through hair daily until the desired effect is achieved. Enhanced results can be seen if you boil the tea yourself using chamomile flowers. Using the natural flowers instead of tea bags seems to have a much stronger effect.
If you happen to be boiling chopped rhubarb, use the water leftover as a rinse to lighten hair. It can also give your hair a shiny gloss if used regularly.
Honey is a superb hair lightener because it naturally contains traces of hydrogen peroxide. You can mix a tablespoon of honey with a cup of water and let it sit for 30 minutes to allow the peroxide to develop. Then coat hair completely with the mixture and allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes. After applying the mixture, you can also cover hair with saran wrap and leave overnight. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the mix for an intense overnight moisture treatment.
After using any of these methods, you can enhance your results by sitting with your hair in the sun for about 20-30 minutes. The sun is known for its brightening effect on hair, and the items listed above will further activate the sun's lightening power.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...