DIY Hair Lightening

Summer is in full swing and many people are looking for ways to change up their look. One common look for summer time is lighter hair. However, buying a good lightening kit or going to the salon can get expensive. But what if there was a way you could use some random ingredients from your pantry to lighten your hair? You can and it’s HONEY!

Honey works as a natural, subtle lightening agent because of the natural hydrogen peroxide that is found in honey. The best kind to use is raw, uncooked honey, but any will do. We’ve included a list of the best honey containing the right amount of hydrogen peroxide at the end of this article (according to the research done at the forums on LongHairCommunity).

There are a couple of options for using honey to lighten your hair. The author of “A Comprehensive Summary of the Newest Honey Lightening” article on LongHairCommunity recommends the method of mixing honey with distilled water. But, mixing with conditioner and vinegar have been proven to work as well. Below are a few of the different ways to use honey to lighten your hair. With just a few ingredients, you’ll be well on your way to beautiful, lighter summer hair! 


a. Mix 4 parts water to 1 part honey (ie. 1.5 oz. honey mixed with 6 ozs. of distilled water). Use a minimum of 1.5 oz of honey.
b. Use a honey that is higher in hydrogen peroxide. (See list below.)
c. Mix the honey lightening recipe at room temperature until thoroughly mixed and allow it to sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
d. Apply mixture to clean wet hair. Be sure there is no product left in your hair such as leave in conditioners, gels, etc. Combing it through your hair can help spread the mixture evenly.
e. Pin up your hair and cover the hair with plastic wrap, shower cap or swim cap for 1 hour. The hair must be kept completely wet with the treatment both before it is covered and while the treatment is on the hair. Honey and conditioner.


a. Mix 1/3 cup of honey with ¼ cup of your favorite conditioner
b. Pour the honey and conditioner into a bowl and mix it well.
c. Apply to damp hair and cover with a shower cap. The mixture will need to sit for 8 hours. You can do this overnight or if you have a free day.
d. Rinse after 8 hours. Viola, lighter hair! You can do this as often as you want to achieve your desired look.


a. Mix 2 Cups distilled vinegar, 1 cup honey, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of ground cardamom or cinnamon.
b. Mix the ingredients together and apply to your damp hair.
c. Cover with a shower cap and let it sit for at least 8 hours. When the time is up, rinse the mixture out of your hair and style as usual.


1. When using one of the above methods, do not add heat (ie. Hair dryer, sun, etc.)
2. Do not add any extra ingredients that contain vitamin C.
3. Apply the mixture to clean wet hair. Be sure there is no product left in your hair such as leave in conditioners, gels, etc. Combing the mixture through your hair can help spread it evenly.
4. Cover with plastic wrap, shower cap or swim cap for best results.
5. You can use boosters that add extra hydrogen peroxide to your recipe if you want a quicker effect. Use no more than 2 tablespoons for spices and 1 tablespoon for the oils.
a. Ground cardamon
b. Ground cinnamon
c. Coconut oil
d. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6. If you end up with dry or crunchy ends after repeated use of the honey, it is from honey residue and build up. Remember to shampoo and condition regularly. Baking soda makes a great stripping agent if shampooing doesn’t work. Simply scrub a handful of baking soda in your hair down to the ends and rinse prior to shampooing.

Recommended honey brands:

Acme Brand Clover honey
Ambrosia Honey Co. honey
America’s Choice Pure Honey
Aunt Sue’s Raw All Natural honey
Aunt Sue’s Raw Wild Natural honey
Burleson’s Grade A Fancy clover honey
Busy Bee clover honey
Capilano Australian honey, from Kroger
Hannaford Brand honey, in a bear bottle
Honey Bee clover honey
Hyvee brand honey
Laney brand alfalfa honey
Local honey – raw, unpasteurized, blackberry honey, clover honey, orange blossom honey, tupelo honey, wildflower honey
Naturally Preferred Fireweed honey (Fred Meyer and Kroger stores)
Nature’s Energy honey (Natures grocery store)
Ralph’s brand pure clover honey
Really Raw brand honey (goldenrod, aster and wildflower)
Safeway clover honey
Save Mart honey, in a bear bottle
Stater Brothers honey
Stoller’s Busy Bee – Bear shaped container
Sue Bee clover honey
Target’s Market Pantry honey (In a little bear bottle)
Trader Joe’s 100% desert mesquite honey, clover blossom honey
Wegmans’ brand Clover honey
Western Family Clover honey
Whole Foods 365 Organic Wildflower honey
Whole Foods Wildflower Amber honey