How To Lighten Dark Brown Hair Without Bleach

Written by Anjali Sayee

If you have dark brown hair, you might know the difficulty of lightening it. It usually takes more than two bleach applications to lighten your dark tresses. But bleaching also makes your hair dry, lifeless, and dull, and it ends up looking straggly and weak. To prevent this, opt for natural methods to lighten dark brown hair without using bleaching agents. This article lists a few ways to dye dark brown hair with organic ingredients. Scroll down for more information!

Lightening Dark Hair At Home

You can dye your hair a shade lighter, like gray or blonde, but the color might not look ideal since bleach is not used. It will be lighter than the hair color obtained with professional help. The natural remedies to lighten dark hair require constant use until the desired lightness is achieved.

Can black hair be lightened without using bleach? Yes. Check out the following section to know how.

How To Lighten Black Hair To Brown Without Bleach

It is difficult to lighten black hair without any bleaching agents. Natural remedies like green tea, coffee, and other organic lighteners have to be used regularly. You can also try swimming and stay under the sun to lighten your hair naturally.

Another option to lighten black hair is by using henna and pair it with a lighter shade. You can also buy lighter dye-at-home kits like blonde or ginger to lighten black hair. But these kits might contain oxidizing agents like hydrogen peroxide. It is best to take professional help as salon stylists can help achieve the right shade.

Dark brown hair might be difficult to lighten naturally at home. But you can opt for homemade sprays and masks with organic ingredients like honey, coffee, chamomile, mulberry, and olive oil. These elements are well-known skin lightening agents, and anecdotal evidence supports using these ingredients to lighten the hair at home.

How To Lighten Dark Brown Hair At Home Without Bleach

Here are a few ingredients that you can use to lighten your dark brown hair naturally:

  • Dye-At-Home Kits: Buy over-the-counter dyes and apply them at home. But the color might not come out the way you expect with these dye-at-home kits. First, opt for light brown or deep blonde shades, and then, you can progress to light blonde and ginger shades.
  • Chlorine: The chlorine used in swimming pools makes hair color lighter (1). Hence, you can try swimming to lighten your hair without bleach.
  • Sunlight: UVA rays increase the production of free radicals and lighten the hair color (2). Hence, the more you spend outside, underneath the sun, the lighter your hair will become.
  • Natural Ingredients: Many natural ingredients help lighten your hair from the comfort of your home. But they take time to work and require constant maintenance for any substantial results.
    • Salt: The chloride in salt can help lighten hair color.
    • Baking Soda: Baking soda or toothpaste containing baking soda can help lighten the hair.
    • Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains vitamins A and C, which are used as lightening agents (3), (4).
    • Honey: Diluted honey contains glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide, an oxidizing agent used in bleach (5). This suggests that honey can be used to lighten your hair color.
    • Lemon: Lemon juice acts as a natural hair lightener, which reduces melanin production (6).
    • Vitamin C: Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is used in many hair products like dyes to lighten the hair color.
    • Vinegar: You can use vinegar with honey, lemon, or chamomile to lighten the hair and turn it yellow or blonde (7)
    • Rhubarb: Rhubarb root contains oxalic acid that turns the hair light brown or blonde (8). It also helps prolong the life of your hair color. Rhubarb with honey and chamomile imparts a golden hue to your hair (9).
    • Chamomile: Chamomile flowers contain an active ingredient called apigenin (10). Chamomile imparts a yellow shade to your hair and boosts light reflection.
    • Coffee: Coffee is used in hair masks to make dark hair a shade lighter or two. You can achieve shades like reddish-brown and blackish-brown using coffee (11).
    • Henna: Henna imparts a reddish-brown tint to dark hair. Using henna on dark brown hair can make it a shade lighter.
    • Green Tea: Green tea contains EGCG that inhibits tyrosinase activity (12). This makes your dark brown hair lighter.
    • Licorice Extract: Licorice root extract contains glabridin that helps reduce melanin pigmentation in the skin (12). Hence, it can also help lighten dark brown hair.
    • Aloe Vera: Aloe vera contains aloesin, which limits melanin production (12). This helps lighten your hair color.
    • Grapeseed: Grapeseed contains proanthocyanidins and procyanidins that help reduce melanin production (12).

Note: If you want to try dye-at-home kits, opt for balayage. Lighten your hair at a salon, as professionals will create the exact shade you like without using bleach.

These natural ingredients need to be kept on the hair for a few hours to lighten it. Wondering how to color your hair with these remedies? Here are a few tips to achieve it.

Color Options For Darker Hair Shades

  • A convenient option for women with dark brown hair is to change the hair tone. Opt for a shade lighter than your natural hair color and gradually reduce the shade with further applications.
  • You can also change your hair color to a bright cool-toned shade like blue, purple, or green.
  • Stick to your natural undertone when picking a hair color. Choose a lighter brunette shade as it will look more natural.
  • Use henna, which helps lighten dark hair by imparting a reddish tint.
  • To make your lightened hair color look natural, try an ombre effect using the balayage technique. Pair your natural hair color with a lighter shade of the same color.

Follow these safety tips while lightening your hair at home.

Is It Safe To Lighten Your Hair At Home?

Yes, lightening your hair at home is safe since bleach is not used. But without proper care, it may cause adverse reactions like burning or itching. Here are a few things to keep in mind while lightening your hair at home:

  • Even natural ingredients for dyeing your hair may cause allergic reactions like itching, redness, or swelling. If this happens, avoid further contact with the component and consult a doctor.
  • The chemicals in hair dyes may cause a burning sensation on the scalp. Do not use hair dyes if you have any bruising or inflammation on the scalp.
  • The major setback of using dyes at home is that you might not achieve the desired results. Take professional help to color your hair as the stylist knows what can lighten your hair properly without using bleach.

Summing It Up

Lightening dark brown hair without bleach might sound impossible, but there are ways to do it. Use the ingredients mentioned above to lighten your dark brown hair naturally. Unlike bleach, these at-home methods do not dry or damage your hair.And last but not least, take proper care of your lightened hair to maintain its color and health.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.
Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.