Homemade Ways to Lighten African-American Hair

Sometimes, colors you might not expect to brighten hair will give you a lighter look.

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When it comes to lightening African-American hair, you have to be careful. Conventional wisdom recommends home remedies like lemon juice and peroxide, but these methods can leave ethnic hair dried-out and brittle. To safely use homemade ways to lighten African-American hair, make sure that your expectations are realistic before you get started. Just like the fabled tortoise, if you want to lighten your hair at home, slow and steady will definitely win the race!

The Tea Treatment

A person with blond hair who gives herself a tea rinse will darken that bright hair significantly. Rinse your dark hair with a strong tea, however, and you will brighten up highlights and get a lighter look all over. Steep a cup of regular tea for 20 minutes. Test the solution to make sure that it will not burn you, then work the solution through your hair from roots to tips. Allow the mixture to sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes before cleansing and styling as usual.

"Honey" I Love Those Highlights

It's not just for bears anymore! Adding a little honey to your regular conditioner will give you lighter, lustrous locks that would be the envy of any Rapunzel. Combine 1/4 cup honey with 1/3 cup conditioner and work the mixture through your hair from roots to tips. Wrap your head in a hot towel or plastic wrap, then allow the mixture to sit for at least 60 minutes. You can accelerate the effects by sitting under a hooded dryer. Rinse out the treatment with cool water, cleanse and style as usual.

Adding Some Spice to Your 'Do

You might not expect cinnamon to brighten or lighten African-American hair, but this common spice actually brings out red highlights as well as golden ones and works wonders for lightening up dull, dark tresses. Combine 4 tablespoons of cinnamon and 1/3 cup of conditioner. Work the mixture through your hair, then wrap your head in plastic wrap or a hot towel. The longer you leave the cinnamon in, the more dramatic the results will be. Once you have rinsed, cleansed and styled, you will not only look but also smell amazing!

Safety Tips and Testing

Any time you use any home remedy on your hair or scalp, you need to skin-test the solution first. Smear a small amount of the homemade hair lightener on the inside of your wrist or elbow. Wait 20 minutes and monitor the area for signs of irritation or inflammation. If none occur, you can use the mixture on your hair, keeping it out of your eyes and other orifices, of course. Before using any treatment on your hair, lock-test the treatment as well by trying out the remedy on a lock of hair. Do exactly what you plan to do to your head to this piece of hair, including cleansing and styling once the treatment is completed. This will enable you to determine if the color and the degree of lightening you will get with the method are acceptable before you do a live run on your entire head of hair.

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