Going for a new look is always fun. Sometimes we go through breakups and want something different. The seasons changing can cause a desire for a new color. Other times, we just get bored. But dying your hair, especially from a darker color to a lighter color, can come at a price.

We all know that going from a dark color such as jet black, to a lighter color like honey blonde, requires bleach, bleach and yes, more bleach– which is chemically damaging to the hair. It can cause breakage and split ends and eventually make those pretty strands look a mess. The most important concern in maintaining the health of natural hair is moisture and unfortunately, bleach and permanent dyes tend to strip the hair follicle of this.

But like everything else, when it comes to beauty, there’s always a loophole. The tricks and trades of avoiding hair damage have presented itself! Not to say you will never have to use bleach again because sometimes getting to a lighter color is unavoidable without using bleach. But yes, there are actually ways to get your hair lighter without using bleach. And ways to keep your hair protected if you do have to use bleach. Check out these tips!

Try lemon juice as a lightener

Lemon juice seems to be one of the most popular methods of lightening hair without bleach. You’ll want to use pure lemon juice. The bottled kind is perfectly okay, but fresh-squeezed lemon juice is more potent. You can mix lemon juice and water and spray it on your hair to dampen it. The key to this step is to sit out in the sun while the lemon juice is in your hair. The UV rays from the sun is what helps trigger the lightening effect. It is not the heat from the sun that reacts with the lemon juice, so using a blow dryer instead of sitting outside will not work. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and because lemon juice is acidic, use a lot of conditioner to re-hydrate your hair. Your hair will be shades lighter after this method!

Assess your hair’s condition

Be honest with yourself about whether your hair is in the proper condition to be dyed. As much as you may want to try something different, it’s not worth it if it’s going to cost the condition of your hair. If your hair is already dyed, it can be very risky to apply more dye to it. This is because the dye will lower the porosity of your hair, making it harder to absorb the new dye. You could end up with black hair in some spots, and red in others. Virgin hair (hair that hasn’t been dyed before) will show a brighter color.

Read the Information on Hair Dye Boxes

When it comes to getting your hair a few shades lighter, it’s important to pay close attention to detail on the boxes of the dye that you buy. Every product is different. Most dyes include bleach anyway but not nearly as much as the bleach you’d have to buy outright. For example, black hair used to require bleaching before you could dye it red. However, now there are hair dyes on the market such as like “L’Oreal Excellence HiColor Reds for Dark Hair Only in H8”,  that promise you red hair without bleaching the black first. Be sure to always read labels to see what different products can do!

Try a High Lift Lightener

High Lift Lighteners are essentially a permanent color that’s designed to lighten your hair using “color” instead of bleach.  It’s important to note that this should only be used on natural or virgin hair – meaning hair that has not been previously colored. High lift colors contain more ammonia, more dye pigment, and are mixed with a double ratio of 40 vol developer. This results in a hair dye that lightens your hair more effectively than other dyes yet still tones it during the lightening process. As long as your hair is in good condition, you will be fine. Be sure to talk it over with your hairstylist for an extra opinion if you’re hesitant.

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