Is It Safe to Bleach Your Hair with Lemon Juice?

You might want to experiment with a lighter hair color when the weather warms. Both money and time may be spent at a salon. Wouldn’t it be simpler and less expensive to just apply lemon juice to your hair and spend some time in the sun? Even while working on your laptop or reading a book, you may do it. The best kind of multitasking? Please, yes.

Even while the lemon juice method has been around for a long, the renewed interest may be related to the current vogue for using natural skin and hair care products. We’ll talk about how to take care of your hair while using lemon juice or conventional dye if it works, and whether it’s a good substitute for at-home or in-salon color treatments.

Can You Lighten Your Hair With Lemon Juice?

It is feasible. Because of the reaction that takes place when your hair is exposed to UV rays, lemon juice can change the color of your hair, according to Meg Schipani, a professional hair colorist in Los Angeles and a Colorproof Ambassador.

According to studies, UV radiation damage is what causes hair to change color when exposed to the sun. If your natural hair color is lighter, it is more likely to occur. If you ever had two heads, you might recall how sun-bleached your hair got over the summer.

Lemon juice and the sun are essential for the best results. “[Lemon juice] intensifies the effect that the sun naturally has on the hair,” says Schipani. The cuticle of the hair is damaged by the lemon’s acids, allowing the sun’s rays to penetrate farther.

According to board-certified dermatologist Jenny Liu, MD, lemon juice acids alone may theoretically do that. However, she claims that this method of whitening hair is quite ineffective because it is time-consuming and yields subpar results.

Is it secure and reliable?
On the benefits or safety of using lemon juice to lighten your hair, there is no study at this time. Lemon juice and UV are typically safe, with a few rare exceptions, but you might not achieve the appearance you want and it’s probably not the healthiest practice. Dr. Liu claims that unforeseen outcomes are the issue. Naturally, it is how coloring actually functions. In order for a new color to show through, the protective covering on the hair is partially removed throughout the process.

Lemon juice and sunshine are generally not going to give you the color you want if you have darker hair. And what if you already have highlighted hair and want to use lemon juice to make it seem even better? Instead, Liu warns, you can get a brassy appearance.

Naturally light blond is the only beginning base that is likely to provide the appropriate lightening effect, according to Schipani. There’s a good chance that you either won’t notice much of a difference or experience the brassiness Liu speaks about.

According to the study, UV radiation also alters the structure of hair, which can result in drying and increase hair brittleness. UV rays may also be doing more damage than good to your hair if it has previously been colored, as they can make the color fade. According to Schipani, the acids in lemon juice plus the UV radiation may cause your hair to become faded, dry, and brittle.

Is natural hair color preferable in terms of style?
Lemon juice may be enticing since it is a fruit juice and appears to be a more natural choice, which makes it look more appetizing. If you have concerns regarding the safety of common hair dye, bear in mind that, according to the American Cancer Society, “most studies have not found a strong link between hair dye use and cancer, but more research is needed.”

A limited amount of the chemicals in hair dye are absorbed via the scalp, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and specialists now say it’s OK to color your hair while pregnant. (Always consult your ob-gyn for more detailed advice.)

Remember that everything has chemicals, and lemon juice doesn’t really solve the problem, advises Liu. She explains that natural components can sometimes be more problematic than synthetic ones, noting that the chemicals in lemon juice are likewise chemicals. A JAMA Dermatology editorial from September 2019 observed that “natural is a marketing term that does not necessarily mean safer or more effective.” According to the authors, plant compounds included in natural products frequently induce skin rashes, allergic skin responses, and reactions brought on by sun exposure.

Describe one specific instance. A disease known as phytophotodermatitis can be brought on by the interaction of various citrus juices, especially lemon juice, and sun exposure, according to a prior study. Due to its propensity to manifest on the hands when the citrusy, alcoholic beverage is spilled, this is sometimes referred to as “margarita dermatitis.”

How to Safely Lighten Your Hair
Keep these four suggestions in mind to lighten your hair safely and successfully, regardless of the method you choose.

1. Consult a specialist or bring a box home.
Liu doesn’t have any ideas for “natural” ways to lighten hair. Since there are many readily accessible and reasonably priced coloring products at drugstores, she advises against playing chemist at home. In the end, a salon session or an at-home coloring kit is preferable.

The benefit of having your hair colored by a professional stylist and colorist is that they not only have the necessary skills but can also provide you with advice on the best color or product to use based on the color, texture, and general health of your hair.

2. Second, less is more
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests making more subtle adjustments if you’re using an at-home coloring kit. They advise buying a dye that is around three shades closer to your original color rather than drastically changing it if you are a natural dark brunette or vice versa. For the safest and most reliable outcomes, it is advisable to leave any more radical measures to a specialist.

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Additionally, color alterations done at home can require more time and money than if the work had been done at a salon in the first place. According to Schipani, that also necessitates further processing on already damaged hair.

3. Monitor Responses
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) encourages you to cease dying your hair and consult a board-certified dermatologist to be tested for an allergy to dye (or a specific dye component) if you experience a rash, redness, swelling, burning, or itching on your skin.

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4. Maintaining Your Color
According to Schipani, specialized shampoo and conditioners as well as other items, including hair masks, made for color-treated hair assist maintain color and advance hair health by reviving moisture and strength.

The Verdict: Remain Committed to Professional Hair Lightening Techniques

Lemon juice (plus the sun) may provide uneven or average results, which is not the sun-kissed beachy appearance you’re hoping for unless you have naturally extremely light blonde hair. It’s usually advisable to utilize a professional at-home product or consult a professional. There aren’t many clients that use lemon juice for lightening, at least not that I’ve seen or heard of. I believe it’s because experts have established a stronger social media presence and are sharing educational movies on the dangers of various at-home lighting techniques, claims Schipani.

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