How to Rock Sun-Kissed Hair Without Using Bleach

When summer arrives, will your hair be ready? It's not about cute hair accessories, sunscreen protection, or how to prevent frizz on a hot, humid day. We're talking blonde hair—without the bleach!

There's something about summer that makes a girl want to go blonde, blonder, or blondest. You can rock sun-kissed hair without spending a fortune on salon colour.

Here's how a few kitchen staples combined with the right hair products help you create stunning summer highlights with minimum fuss. You may even fool your stylist!


Lemons Are Not Just for Making Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade, or do you squeeze the juice on your hair in hopes you get a few subtle, sun-kissed highlights? While a splash of real lemon juice can lighten your hair, there are a few caveats.

  • Lemon juice only works as a natural hair lightener if you have fair, fine-textured hair.
  • Natural blonde hair will get blonder, but light brown hair may end up with dark blonde highlights.
  • Red hair could turn to a delightful strawberry blonde.
  • Red and orange undertones in darker hair will not magically turn to blonde.

Serve up your lemon juice with a shot of conditioner to protect your strands. Lemons are high in acidity, which can damage hair. Mixing in a dollop of conditioner or coconut oil ensure your hair has plenty of hydration to counteract the acidity.


Sun-Kissed Hair for Brunettes

Lemon juice (and most other DIY lighteners) do not work for girls blessed with dark brown or black hair. Instead, try using a mineral-removing shampoo. While you can't go blonde with it, you can make your dark hair look softer and lighter overall.

The key is finding a shampoo that removes build-up without stripping your hair of its natural oils.

You could walk the hair product aisles for hours, reading the tiny printed labels. Or, you could make your own mineral-removing shampoo. All you need is ¼ cup of your favourite hydrating shampoo, ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, a cup, and a fork to mix it up.

Whip until blended, wash, rinse, and follow with conditioner. You'll have cleaner, softer, lighter hair in minutes.



A Cuppa Chamomile Tea

Didn't Peter Rabbit's mother give him chamomile tea after his romp in Mr McGreagor's garden? The famous medicinal tea soothes colds and a rumbly tummy, but it's also fantastic as a natural hair lightener.

Chamomile contains the flavonoid quercetin, which lightens hair.

Grab a tea bag steep in hot water, let it cool while you shampoo and condition. Apply the chamomile rinse to your hair and let it air dry. Let your hair dry in the sun for even more lightening benefits.

You can also make a chamomile hair mask:

Add plain yoghurt to your chamomile rinse. Mix it up and apply it to clean damp hair. Leave it on for 30-60 minutes, and voila, you're on the way to having well-hydrated, sun-kissed hair.


That Little Box of Soda

If you love to bake, you likely have a box of bicarb soda hanging out in the cupboard. Some people use it to whiten teeth too, but did you know bicarb soda can also lighten your hair?

All you need is a bit of warm water mixed with about 1/3 cup of bicarb soda. Make a thick paste and apply it to your hair for about 15 minutes: rinse, shampoo, and condition. If you have long hair, you may need to double the recipe.


Get a Little Help from the Sea

If you've ever wondered how mermaids get their beautiful mermaid hair (yes, it's a thing), think about where they live. Under the sea!

The salt from the sea can lighten your hair, especially on a sunny day. If you can't get to the ocean, you can simulate the effect of saltwater on your hair.

Dissolve one tablespoon of sea salt in ½ cup of warm water. Spritz on your hair and hang out in the sun for about 20 minutes. Rinse it out, wash, and prepare to make a beachy statement with your hair.



No Need to Wait for Summer

Even though summer isn't quite here yet, you can start working on your summer hair colour now! Start early with our DIY hair lighteners, and by the time June 21st rolls around, you'll look like you've already been at the beach.