I’ve never had my hair professionally colored. Honestly, I can’t believe people are willing to part with $50-$150 for cuts and/or color. That’s a lot of money I’d rather spend elsewhere. I cut my own hair, so any color is going to be self-applied as well.
I’ve experimented with a few box colors over the years, but it all seems like a waste of time and money. I only have a few gray hairs peeking through, and they don’t bother me or my husband, so sometimes I cover and sometimes I don’t. It depends on my mood.
The first time I ever used a box color was out of boredom in college. It turned out redder than I hoped, but it was only hair, right? And it faded over time. Recently I got the urge to change my hair. Maybe it was the summer sun calling, but I wanted to lighten my natural color up a bit.
Since hair color chemicals are strong — even in box form, I wanted to stay on the natural side. As I brainstormed, flashbacks of my junior high days emerged. What did me and my friends do? We splashed jeans with bleach in our driveways and sprayed Sun In on big hair to lighten it up.
I wasn’t ready to return to Sun In, but I did happen to have half a lemon sitting in my fridge. An idea was born. I squeezed as much juice as I could get out of that lemon, mixed it with a little water, and sprayed it evenly over my damp hair.
Next, I went outside and read in the sun for about an hour and hoped for honey-colored hair over burnt orange. I changed positions occasionally to make sure I didn’t end up with uneven hair. And what do you know? I got a sun-kissed look that’s barely noticeable.
How does it work?
It’s all about science. According to professor of pharmacology and toxicology (University of Southern California) Roger Clemens, acid oxidation occurs when you combine the citric acid, oxygen, and UV rays. The oxidation process leaves lighter or highlighted hair.
If you’re looking for a subtle change that won’t put a dent in your bank account, maybe lemons are your hair color answer.
What to watch for…
A word of caution for those ready to try the lemon juice treatment: use conditioner. The citric acid has a drying effect, so be sure to apply conditioner liberally. Perhaps a leave-in conditioner would be the best option for a few days to help keep your hair balanced and damage-free.
Also, lemon juice can tint darker hair orange, so be aware if that’s not the shade you’re looking for. Now, go enjoy the sun. Here’s to happy highlighting!
More From Lori About Alternative Beauty Products:
My Experience with Coconut Oil: Hits and Misses