Can you lighten hair dyed too dark with lemon juice?

  • Lemon juice does NOT lighten hair that is dyed black or dark brown.
  • To lighten these hair shades, you have two options: use 20 volume peroxide or bleach your hair.
  • Using peroxide, you can lighten the dark shade by one or two shades. Bleaching, on the other hand, is a more aggressive technique that can lighten your hair by two to three shades. Here I tell you all about the two options.


doesn't like the color

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There is something known as “oral tradition”, which is all those habits or knowledge that are transmitted from generation to generation, without the need of any scientific evidence involved.

For example, our grandmothers believed and taught that “if you got cross-eyed and wind struck you, you would stay cross-eyed forever” or “if you swallowed a piece of gum, it would stick to your gut” or “lemon juice makes your hair lighter”.


 Yes, all our grandmothers have repeated, at least once in their lives, that lemon juice makes dark hair lighter. While it’s not totally untrue, it’s not totally true either. 


leave it for 30 minutes

Because lemon juice does not lighten dark-colored hair, but it can lighten tones such as light brown or blonde.

I must also say, in honor of the purest and most extensive truth, that lemon juice contains citric acid, which can cause some adverse reaction in the hair fiber, if you add the heat of the sun.


 But, if you have black or dark brown hair, no matter how much you throw lemon juice over your hair, even the equivalent of a lemon grove, the only thing you will achieve is to dry your hair. No news about a change of color. [/your_highlight]


Lemon juice can be very beneficial for other issues, such as removing some faint spots on the skin, whitening the nails or even exfoliating the skin.

But, if you want to lighten your dark-colored hair, such as black or dark brown, you will have to choose other methods.


  • One of them is less aggressive to the hair fiber, so you can only lighten your dark hair one or two shades.
  • The other method is more aggressive, because you will be modifying the internal structure of the hair and very strong chemicals are used. The advantage is that you can lighten your dark hair by two to three shades. The disadvantage?


That your hair must be strong and healthy. Otherwise, you will be risking the hair fiber because it may not resist the process.

Even if your hair does get lighter, you’ll end up with brittle, fragile and completely dry hair.

Do you want to know more about the two alternatives for lightening your dark hair which, of course, don’t include lemon juice?


Then stay with me, because I’ll tell you:

  • How to lighten dark hair with peroxide up to one or two shades
  • How to lighten dark hair with bleaching up to two or three shades


All that remains is for you to decide which shade you want to achieve and whether your hair will be able to cope with each process.

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How to lighten dark hair with peroxide up to one or two shades

materials to darken the hair

Before I tell you how to lighten your black or dark brown hair with peroxide, I ask you to be realistic.

If your hair is black, and you use the peroxide, you won’t get a light blonde. Peroxide will only lighten it by one or two shades.


It’s also very important that your hair is in good health. That is, if your ends are split, you notice that you have a lot of frizz or that when you comb your hair it breaks, it’s best to strengthen it first. How?

By using, at least two weeks before applying peroxide, moisturizing creams or coconut oil. If you don’t have either, olive oil is a good hair fiber regenerator.


  The 20 volume peroxide will allow you to give your hair a different “lightening”, because it has lightening capabilities: it slightly eliminates hair pigmentation. 

Please pay attention that I wrote “slightly”.

So if you’re looking to add light to your color, either in some areas or all over your hair, just apply 20 volume developer.


What do you need?

  • 20 volume developer
  • Coconut or argan oil
  • Gloves
  • Dye brush



  • Comb your hair out completely. In a plastic container, place the content of the bottle of developer.
  • Put on your gloves. With the help of a brush, apply the developer from root to ends, leaving aside 1 cm of growth.
  • Leave it on for 40 minutes. After this time, rinse your hair with warm water, and proceed to wash it with shampoo and conditioner.
  • On the hair still wet, apply the coconut oil on the areas that you lightened your hair so as to moisturize it and avoid it looking dull.


Now, what if you want to lighten your dark hair by two or three shades?

Unfortunately, in that case, you’ll have to use a more aggressive method: bleaching. I’ll tell you next about that.


How to lighten dark hair to two or three shades by bleaching it

30 volume developer and shampoo

Bleaching is a more aggressive process for the hair because the chemicals used are more powerful. They enter the hair fiber and strip it of its natural or artificial pigments.

What do I mean by this?


 That your hair will never be the same neither in tone nor in appearance. You will have to nourish it intensely, so that it recovers the lost hydration.  

That is why I ask you to make a hair diagnosis before bleaching, to know for sure if your hair will resist bleaching or not.


Of course, it is also convenient that, before bleaching your hair, you moisturize it by applying coconut oil three or four hours before, from root to ends.

This way, when you apply the bleaching mixture, your hair fiber will be hydrated and more flexible, facilitating the chemical reaction.



  • 30 volume developer
  • Bleaching powder
  • Gloves
  • Coconut oil



  • Comb your hair with a middle part. In a plastic container, mix the bleaching powder and the 30 volume developer. Add 10 drops of coconut oil to the mixture to prevent the reaction from being so aggressive.
  • With a dye brush, apply the bleaching mixture in lengths and ends, to continue with the growth and root, leaving one centimeter between the scalp and the mixture.
  • Leave it on for 20-30 minutes, but always monitor the progress of the bleaching every five minutes. This is not a time to be distracted by your mobile phone or your favorite TV show.
  • After this exposure time, rinse your hair with shampoo and conditioner, making sure to completely remove the bleach mixture.


  Once you’re done, you’ll notice that your dark hair looks two or three shades lighter.  If you want to bleach your hair again because you want an even lighter shade, you should always wait at least 15 days to repeat the process.

It is important that, in those fifteen days, you use coconut oil or moisturizing cream to nourish and strengthen your hair.



Lemon juice will never lighten a black or dark brown hair because it does not have enough lightening power to modify the pigments in the hair fiber.

What you can do is to use 20 volume peroxide if you want to lighten your hair in one or two shades, or perform a bleaching that will lighten your dark hair two or three shades.

If you choose the bleaching option, remember to perform a hair diagnosis to achieve lighter but healthy hair.

Now that you know that lemon is not good for lightening very dark colored hair, which method will you choose to lighten it?

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