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More and more consumers are straying away from chemical hair dyes and looking to less harmful solutions that will lighten or darken their hair. While the more natural methods may not produce immediate noticeable colors like traditional dyes, they do work well overtime.

Here are some ways to lighten/darken your hair without having to worry about consistent damage to your hair…


Henna is one of the most popular alternatives used to color hair. If your hair is dark, henna isn’t going to do much to lift your color, but it will add light brown/reddish tints that will be noticeable in sunlight (for jet black, use indigo with henna). Henna also contains protein, so if you are protein sensitive, it may leave your hair feeling crunchy and dry.

Here is a detailed three-part YouTube tutorial you can reference on using henna.

Carrot and Beet Juice

Don’t want to go the henna route for that reddish tint? Try mixing half a cup of beet juice with half a cup of carrot juice for similar results. Pour this over damp hair and sit under the dryer for about 30 minutes before rinsing. If you’re not satisfied with your results, repeat the application weekly.


Touted for its moisturizing properties, honey also works to gradually lighten hair because of the peroxide it releases. Add some honey to your conditioner every time you deep condition and you will notice results in a matter of weeks!

Black Tea/Coffee

To darken your hair for that healthy and thick look, brew a pot of black tea or coffee (amount will depend on your length) and let it cool. Pour it over dry hair and repeat the process 15-20 times before rinsing.  To make the process easier, plug your sink and scoop the excess.

Lemon Juice

Using lemon juice is an effective method to lighten hair, but since it is very drying, I would recommend the honey method instead. If you insist on using lemon juice, you can add some honey to the mix to prevent it from drying your hair out excessively. Apply it and sit under the dryer for 15-20 minutes before  shampooing.

Temporary Color Mousses

If you want something quick and easy, Roux Fanci-Full is a great line to try. They have a range of colors that will stay and won’t smudge unless you apply water to your hair. Sally Beauty Supply carries their mousses for $9.99.

Have you tried any of these? What were the results? 

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