First of all, yes lemon juice will work to lighten your hair. But, be aware that lemon juice will only work to highlight your natural hair color. What this means is, if you have dark hair, say dark brown, and you use lemon juice to lighten your hair, you will get a lighter brown highlight, not blonde. If you have black hair, you will most likely get a red-tinted highlight wherever you apply the lemon juice. That being said, lemon juice works best as a natural highlighter for blonde to dirty-blonde hair colors. Light brown hair usually returns good results when highlighted with lemon juice as well.
Lemon juice lightens your hair by working with the sun or UV rays. It will not work with a blow dryer. While the sun will lighten hair to a point on its own, the process is slow. The acid in lemon juice hurries the process along.
- Do not wash your hair before starting the highlighting process. It is best to use unwashed (dirty) hair.
- Apply lemon juice (not lemon flavored sweetener for drinks--but actual lemon juice. If you can't find lemon juice, get real lemons and squeeze them for this process) to the places you want highlighted. You can apply to your whole head to lighten color uniformly or you can apply it to strands as if you were getting highlights done.
- After applying lemon juice to desired places to be lightened, head out into the sun. It is important to wear sunscreen as you will be spending at least 30 minutes in the sun. After 30 minutes come in, and wash lemon juice from hair. Repeat this process until desired lightening is achieved. *Note: It is sometimes necessary to perform this process once or twice a day for a few days instead of trying to achieve maximum highlights in one day.
- Make sure to use a very good conditioner during the lemon juice highlighting process, as the juice and sun are harsh and will dry hair out. Use conditioner every day after highlighting. A deep conditioner is also a good idea to do every couple of days during the highlighting process to keep from damaging hair. Be extra careful of thin or brittle hair.
- The highlights you achieve are as permanent as the ones you would get at the beauty salon and will not go away unless colored or grown out.
Using lemon juice is a good, natural alternative to getting chemical highlights. It does take a little patience, but the results can be very attractive with a little time.
Again, this method works best for people with blonde to dirty-blonde hair and usually works well on light brown hair as well.