How to Lighten Auburn-Colored Hair

Lighten up your auburn hair to the perfect shade of gorgeous.

Photo: Tay Jnr/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you have pretty auburn hair and want to go lighter, you may be a bit anxious at the thought of the bill at your favorite hair salon. Sure, it's fun to go and gab with the girls, but if you don't have the cash, don't worry about it. Although it's a bit trickier than dyeing hair with a regular at-home color, you can lighten your hair on your own and save yourself a ton of money.


There's only one way to lighten hair without it ending up a weird, orange shade, and that involves a bleaching or lightening process. Get started by mixing the powdered bleach and developer creme in a bowl with a mixing brush. The specific measurements needed depends on the brand and how many shades lighter you're looking to go. So read the instructions before starting.


Section your hair. If you have a shorter coif, you may be able to skip this step. Otherwise, it makes it a lot easier if you get the rest of your hair out of the way so you can focus on one section at a time. It's best to work from the front of your hair back, so leave a section of hair at the front down and clip the rest out of the way on the top or back of your head.


Coat the bristles of the mixing brush with some of the bleach mixture. Apply the mixture to your hair, using the brush to comb slowly over both sides of the hair section so it's fully coated. Get as close to the roots of your hair as you can without actually touching any of the bleach to your scalp. This is probably the trickiest part, but is really important because bleach can cause serious irritation if it touches your skin.


Your hair will turn sort of frothy or pasty once its covered with the bleach mixture, so slick your hair onto your head after it's saturated to get it out of the way. For longer locks, it's usually easier to use a second clip to hold the already bleached hair together on your head. That will help you avoid getting any corrosive bleach near your pretty face.


Unclip another section of hair, clip the rest back out of the way, and add bleach onto this section in the same way. Continue this way until you've coated all your hair. Easier than you thought, right?


Once the bleach has soaked into your hair for the recommended time, rinse your hair out under warm water. Auburn hair is a medium shade, so it shouldn't take more than 30 minutes for the bleach to properly lighten your hair. Follow with a toning product -- semi-permanent deposit-only hair dye in a light shade works just as well -- to get your hair from the pre-lightened color it is now to a pretty, lightened hue. Awesome work girlie. Your wallet will thank you.

Things You'll Need



3.Powdered hair bleach

5.Hair clip


2.Mixing brush

4.Developer creme

6.Toner or semi-permanent hair dye


Tips & Tricks


At-home hair bleaching kits are available and are often useful for ladies bleaching their own hair for the first time. These typically come with a mixing container and brush, bleach and other necessary items.

Bleach is toxic and can be damaging to skin on contact. Wearing latex gloves when working with bleach can help keep your pretty manicured fingers safe and protected.


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