A product at Bed Bath & Beyond caught my eye the other day: John Frieda’s Controlled Lightening Spray. It reminded me of the Sun-In days of my youth, which always ultimately resulted in orange hair. I’ll never forget the day a guy I was friends with came to school with bright-orange hair, the unfortunate effect of Sun-In on dark hair, which he claimed was his older brother’s doing. Oh, the teasing that poor guy had to endure.
An even easier route that is tried-and-true — and doesn’t contain any unnecessary ingredients — is to make your own simple lightening spray. It might not work as fast as John Frieda’s or Sun-In, but it’s easy and practically free.
It will create lovely highlights, but not bold streaks. When used over time, it can also help to reduce the appearance of darker roots on already light hair.
If you are raven-haired or a redhead and want to boost those shades and/or add highlights, please check out the tips for dark hair and red hair. (My hair has been just about every shade in the book, so believe me, I’ve tried them all!)
UPDATE 7/17/13: For those of you who have questions about whether or not it is safe to lighten your hair with 3% peroxide, I’d like to refer you to this recent post on the Beautyeditor blog, answered by celebrity hairstylist Tony Chaar. He basically answers, “Yes! But be sure to moisturize your hair, too, because the lightening will dry it out a bit.” Hope that helps!
Stuff to Know:
- This highlighter is recommended only for hair that is its natural color (“virgin” hair) or has been colored only with vegetable color products, such as pure 100% henna or herbs. If your hair has been chemically treated or if you go to a salon for highlights or coloring, please talk with your stylist first. You definitely don’t want to create any adverse reactions (see “orange,” above).
- Spot test any products or ingredients before using any homemade products on your face, head, or body, especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to irritation and/or allergies.
- In general, each of the homemade products here should be stored in a cool, dark, dry spot for 3-4 weeks
For a container, I used a small plastic spray bottle from the drugstore, which cost $0.99. I had all other ingredients on hand.
Homemade Hair Lightening Spray
- 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
- 1/4 cup room temperature chamomile tea
- 1/2 cup room temperature water
- juice from one freshly squeezed lemon
- In a medium-size bowl, mix together all ingredients.
- Transfer to your container.
- Spray on damp hair, either all over or in small sections for targeted highlights.
- Comb through. Leave on for one hour, then rinse and shampoo as usual.
- For expedited highlights, blow dry your hair while the spray is still on it, or sit in the sun while your hair air dries. The heat will speed the lightening process.
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Questions for readers:
Do you pay for highlights at a salon or do you do your own?
Have you ever had a horrible hair coloring experience?