Does Lemon Really Lighten Your Hair?

When life gives you lemons, squeeze the juices on your hair to make it lighter. Yup, the latest natural hair fad begs the question: Does lemon really lighten your hair? The answer is yes, but contrary to popular belief, it's not the lemon that makes your hair lighter.

Lemon serves as an ingredient that'll make your hair turn into a lighter shade when your hair is exposed to sunlight afterwards. Sunlight is already known to naturally lighten your hair, but to speed up the process, lemon is the perfect accelerant to do so. The color changes may be subtle — like if you have dark brown hair looking to go blonde, it's not going to happen. However, dark brown will turn ecru, a softer chestnut shade.

If you prefer dying your hair yourself, creating the popular ombre look might be quite a challenge, but using lemon juice gives you control in your application and according to Elle, it's a lot more forgiving if you mess up and lighten a certain area that you didn't want to.

Noticeable differences don't show up until after four days of consistent application, according to WikiHow. In the meantime, be sure you're conditioning really well after each session because lemon juice is naturally really drying. It's not only drying on your hair, but everywhere — even your skin.

You should also remember that lemon is used in facial cleansers made for oily skin types, so those mattefying effects can easily be applied to your hair and ultimately turn your tresses into straw. Not to mention, you'll be sitting in the sun for about one to two hours with the lemon juice in your hair. Yikes.

If you're looking for a hair nourishing treatment (which you should be!), Shu Uemura Color Lustre is great, per weekly hair dying diva Sita Abellan's recommendation.

Be sure to take advantage of the last few days of summer we have left and try out this DIY lemon hair lightener.

Image: Unsplash