Peak-summer UV rays and chlorine exposure can cause your hair colour to get dull in the summertime, but using some key natural ingredients can help to lighten and brighten it back up without spending anything at all. Freshen up your hair sans appointment in just an hour or two with these six natural-ingredient solutions.
Salt water opens the hair cuticle slightly and exposes it to the sun, which allows the colour to be lifted naturally, giving you a just-back-from-beach-vacay effect. Mix one part salt with about five parts water, pour into a spritz bottle and mist all over freshly rinsed hair, and let sit for 15 minutes to an hour in the sun before rinsing clean. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner or moisturizing hair mask as salt can be drying.
Chamomile is said to cause a more gradual lightening effect than lemon juice, and therefore better for brunettes. To add a more golden tinge to your hair, boil a cup of water and steep a bag of chamomile tea for about 15 minutes. Once the tea is cooled, rinse hair with it and leave it to soak for about 20 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this two or three times over a few days to get the cumulative lightening effects.
Apple cider vinegar and herbs
Apple cider vinegar is a classic multi-purpose folk remedy for health and beauty. Using it as a post-shampoo clarifying rinse can help remove residue from product buildup, making hair brighter and shinier. By infusing herbs into the vinegar, you can amp up the highlights. Yarrow, chamomile leaves or marigold are a few options that have lightening properties. Combine one tablespoon of one of them loose with two cups of water, bring to a boil, then allow to cool. Add two to four tablespoons of cider vinegar and pour on freshly washed hair, massaging into your scalp. Rinse it out with fresh water, or leave it in and let hair air dry.
This most classic of DIY hair-lightening tactics works by allowing the hair cuticle to be opened and the pigment to be lifted via the sun and the heated citric acid. To put the process to work for you, mix about a cup of water with about two tablespoons or so of lemon juice, (adda couple drops of heated-up coconut oil if you want to prevent hair from drying out), and pour into a spritz bottle and apply to hair. Let it bask in the sun for up to two hours.
Dying your hair with henna will give your hair an overall brighter, rosier tint that’ll last up to 4 months and fade gradually and evenly. Henna is also said to seals in the natural oils, leaving it feeling conditioned and shiny. This treatment is far from quick and it ain’t tidy—see our step-by-step Henna-dye how-to—but it will brighten up your locks in a more noticeable way than most other natural ingredients.