Tag Archives: homemade highlights

Homemade Highlights

A while back I wrote a post about how I had stopped highlighting my hair.  I was tired of getting chemicals and foil put in my hair, then sitting and breathing in the fumes while my eyes watered, and finally having the chemicals washed down the drain and into the water supply.  After a long consideration, I decided to quit the highlights, which had the added bonus of helping out my bank account, too.  However, I was still conflicted.

Although I decided to get rid of the highlights for environmental reasons, I must confess that I really like the look of highlights in my hair.  I’m not opposed to making small changes to my appearance that make me feel better about myself.  For example, I have switched to an all-natural make up line that discloses all its ingredients, but I haven’t stopped wearing make up.  I like the way eyeliner and mascara make my eyes look, and so therefore I’ll wear it safely, which by the way has helped my eye allergies tremendously.  I have cut back on the nail polish, but still polish my toes in sandal season, again with safer polish from Honeybee Gardens.  And I’m certainly not about to stop shaving my armpits.  I’m not that kind of environmentalist.  So what’s a green gal who still wants lightened hair to do? Make my own lightener!

I had heard that chamomile tea would work as a lightener for people with dark blond hair, and everyone seems to know that lemons will lighten hair.  So… I came up with the following recipe.

Lemon-Chamomile Highlights

  • 2 chamomile tea bags
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup boiling water

Place the tea bags into the boiling water.  Squeeze in the juice of half the lemon, then drop in the lemon.  Reserve the other half.  Let steep for about 20 minutes, or until cool enough to use.  I liked that it was still a little warm when I used it.

When you want to apply it to your hair, get in the shower or apply it carefully leaning over a sink with a towel around your shoulders.  I just went outside and leaned over the edge of the deck.  Carefully pour it onto your hair.  I have very long hair so I used it all, but I would imagine you could save some for a second application later on if you didn’t use it all.  Then, take the remaining half of the lemon and run the cut side over your hair wherever you want to have extra highlights, like around your face.  Squeeze the juice out of the lemon and spread it out through your hair.

Then, find something to do outside for at least an hour.  I worked in the garden and was worried that bugs would swarm me, but they didn’t bother my hair at all. 

Here are the results…


It’s subtle, but you can see the highlights in the front.  The roots aren’t exactly the same color as the dye that’s growing out, but they’re closer.  I’m very happy with the results.

My hair has always been sensitive to the sun, lightening in the summer, so I had a feeling this would work.  I love the fact that this is inexpensive and easy to make.  The ingredients are safe, and you could even drink it if you wanted to.  I’d just caution about getting it in your eye, it will sting (I know).

What do you think?  Have you got any suggestions for hair lighteners or other homemade beauty products?


Filed under Living from Scratch, Outside, Sustainable Living