DIY Hair Lightener Spray Recipe Plus How To Lighten Hair Naturally

7 Materials
33 Minutes

Want to learn how to lighten hair naturally? Discover different ways to naturally lighten your hair with everyday ingredients, such as honey, chamomile, lemon juice, and salt. You will also learn how to create a DIY hair lightener spray, that sets soft highlights and gives your mane a healthy, sun-kissed glow.

These simple, natural hair care recipes are perfect for summer. However, you can use them year round to give your hair a lift even in winter months when there’s less sun to bring out natural highlights, and hair looks dull. You’ll find that not only are these ways to lighten naturally more affordable than a salon visit, but they are also less likely to cause hair damage.

How to Lighten Hair Naturally

I already showed you the  benefits of henna for hair, and today I want to explore options for how to lighten hair naturally. If you’re overall happy with your hair color, but want to add a little depth and dimension, then this is the post for you!

Not only are natural hair lighteners less destructive on the hair, but they are also eco-friendly and free of the potentially harmful chemicals found in many conventional hair products. Plus, lightening your hair at home with pantry stables is much cheaper than a visit to the salon. It’s a win-win!


Lightening hair with  chamomile is an extremely gentle way to lift the color of your locks. The effect may be less noticeable after just one treatment, but chamomile is also beneficial for the scalp and can ease itching and dandruff.

To lighten hair with chamomile, let one cup dried chamomile or eight tea bags of chamomile tea steep in 3 cups hot water. Once cooled, pour the chamomile infusion over your hair. You don’t have to rinse afterwards and can repeat this process as often as you wish.


Next on our list is honey, which works surprisingly well to lighten hair naturally. Honey contains a compound called glucose oxidase that is turned into hydrogen peroxide when honey comes in contact with water. Sounds familiar? Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as a bleaching agent.

To lighten hair with honey, simply stir two tablespoons of honey into your favorite conditioner or hair mask. Apply and let the product sit for a few hours or overnight. Then wash off.


Lemon juice is an effective natural hair lighter and can brighten your mane by up to two levels. Lemon juice is pretty potent and should only be used occasionally as overuse can dry out your hair. Avoid lemon juice if you have an irritated scalp or a wound.

If you want to lighten hair with lemon, mix the 1/2 cup lemon juice (approximately 3 to 4 lemons) with 1/4 cup water. Fill into a spray bottle and apply generously to damp hair. Cover with a towel and let the lemon hair spray sit for 20 minutes before rinsing. Use the DIY lemon hair lightener no more than once a week.

Sea salt

Want to give your locks that natural beach look? Try  sea salt! Salt draws pigment from the hair, leaving you with sun-kissed highlights. However, you don’t want to overuse salt as it can be drying.

To make a hair lightening sea salt solution, dissolve one tablespoon sea salt in a cup of warm water. Apply to your hair and let soak for 30 minutes. Then wash out and follow up with a hydrating conditioner or hair mask.

Now that you know the best ingredients to lighten hair naturally, here’s how you can make an easy DIY hair lightening spray recipe at home!

DIY Hair Lightener Spray Recipe to Lighten Hair Naturally


You will need the following supplies to create my DIY hair lightening spray:


Directions on How to Make a DIY Hair Lightener Spray:

Let me show you how to make a DIY hair lightener spray – it’s easy and takes just 10 minutes active time. The first step is to prepare a chamomile and sea salt infusion, which we use as the base for our spray. Here is what you do:

  1. Add the distilled water, chamomile and sea salt into a small, heavy-bottom saucepan.
  2. Bring to a simmer. Stirring occasionally, let steep at the lowest possible heat for 20 minutes.
  3. After 20 minutes, take off the heat and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the solids.
  4. Allow the chamomile infusion to cool until lukewarm.
  5. Next, add the lemon juice, honey, essential oils and Optiphen Plus if using. Stir until the honey has completely dissolved. If using freshly squeezed lemon, juice, be sure to filter or strain the juice to remove any solids.
  6. Transfer the highlighter spray into a spritz bottle.

Notes on Using Lemon Essential Oil to Lighten Hair Naturally:

It is important to choose steam distilled essential oils for your homemade hair care recipes. Cold pressed lemon essential oil is phototoxic, whereas  steam distilled lemon essential oil is okay to use on hair in the sunlight without risk. ( Learn more here.)

How to Use this DIY Hair Lightener Spray Recipe

Wondering how to use this DIY hair lightener spray? Follow these tips for the best results when you want to lighten hair naturally!

  • You can use the DIY hair lightener on dry or damp hair. Towel-dry wet hair slightly.
  • Keep the bottle 6 to 8 inches away from your head and spritz onto your hair, but avoid the scalp.
  • Lift sections of hair to ensure the hair is thoroughly saturated.
  • Use your fingers to gently work the product through your layers.
  • Let your hair air-dry and leave the spray on for a few hours or overnight.
  • After you naturally lighten hair, rinse off the DIY hair lightener with plenty of water. Then continue with your regular hair care routine.

If possible, let your hair air-dry in the sun. Sunlight will enhance the highlighting effect of a homemade hair lightener further.

To leave the DIY hair lightener spray on overnight, put on a shower cap and wrap a towel around your head. The extra warmth will boost the lightning action to lighten hair naturally.

For more intense highlights, repeat this process to naturally lighten hair every week.

FAQ on How to Lighten Hair Naturally Using a DIY Hair Lightener

How often can I use a DIY lightening spray to lighten hair naturally?

You can use the DIY hair lightener spray to naturally lighten hair once a week, until the desired hair color is reached.

Is this homemade hair lightener suitable for any hair color?

This lemon honey hair spray works best on untreated, medium blond to medium brown hair. If the spray is applied repeatedly, your hair will gradually lighten by one to two levels.

The effect is very subtle for dark brown and black hair. Repeat use can gradually lead to soft golden or copper highlights.

The DIY hair lightener will make no difference in very light blond, gray, or white hair.

What about chemically processed hair and damaged hair, can I still lighten hair naturally?

Please you this homemade hair lightener spray with caution if your hair was previously colored, bleached, permed, or chemically treated in another way. With hundreds of hair dyes available, it’s difficult to predict how the spray will interact with chemically treated hair.

My advice is to test the spray on a strand at the lower back of your head and see how it reacts. I also recommend omitting essential oils in case of chemically treated hair.

Do not use the spray on hair that is dry and brittle or very damaged.

Is the change permanent when you lighten hair naturally?

Yes, the spray lightens hair permanently. To change the color, either wait until it grows out or dye your hair.

What can I realistically expect from a natural hair lightener?

Since this  homemade hair care recipe is made with natural ingredients, it can’t compete with commercial products available in a hair salon. So don’t expect the spray to lift your hair color by several levels.

As I mentioned, the spray will create soft highlights and a natural, sun-kissed look. The effect becomes more visible after several applications.

Storage and Shelf Life

Store the lemon hair lightening spray in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To prolong the shelf life, add 40 drops / 2 ml / 0.07 fl oz Optiphen Plus, a paraben-free preservative, to the hair lightener recipe after cooling. With a preservative, the shelf life can be increased to 6 months.

If you enjoyed my DIY hair lightener spray recipe and other ideas for ways to lighten hair naturally, then also be sure to try my other  hair care recipes, including my  leave in hair conditioner and shine spray recipes and  DIY hair detangler

Have you tried one of my natural beauty recipes? Do you make your own homemade bath and body products? I’d love to see your creations! Be sure to use  on your Instagram posts so I can see what you’ve created.

For more homemade hair care recipes, follow me on all your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on  facebooktwitter and  instagram as well as  Pinterest.

Suggested materials:

  • Dried chamomile
  • Distilled water
  • Sea salt
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Rebecca D. Dillon
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