9 Best Hair Dyes to Lighten Dark Hair Without Bleach

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If you want to add natural highlights, go blonde, or simply lighten your hair, there are many ways to do that naturally without using bleach. There are some dyes that will lighten hair without bleach, but they are few and far between. So, along with some dye options, there are natural hair-lightening products for you to read below.

Each way will only lighten your hair about 2-3 shades lighter than your natural color, and most of these items only work on natural hair, not chemical color. So, if you want to go lighter or your hair has existing color on it, going to a salon is your best option. For those of you who don’t have to worry about that, read below for some great hair-lightening options!

1. Hally Foaming Hair Dye

The Hally Foam Color Cloud is a great product that dyes your hair with lightening ingredients. It is made with chamomile, aloe, lavender, and ginseng. Chamomile is an ingredient derived from the chamomile flower, and the natural oil from it lightens hair naturally, so this product is great for lightening and brightening your hair.

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2. Bright White Cream Lightener

The Bright White Cream Lightener says it can lift your hair color up to 8 levels, which is amazing! At the beginning of the article, we said that non-bleach products will lift your natural hair color by about 2-3 levels, but this product has the promise of lightening your hair even more!

Before lightening, remember the levels that hair lifts. These levels will help you know how long to have products on your hair and also tell you that if your hair is dark, you may lift to an orange and red color instead of blonde.

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If your hair is pretty dark, a salon will be the best place to go to lift your hair to a nice light color without going through trial and error at home.

3. BRITE No Bleach Kit

This No Bleach Bleach Kit is great for lighting your hair to lighter colors, and it will brighten your hair. It promises to lift up to 8 shades as well, so this product is one to try if your hair is darker than dirty blonde or light brunette.

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4. Koleston Perfect 9/3 Very Light Blonde/Gold Permanent

The Koleston Perfect 9/3 Very Light Blonde is a great product. You can get other shades and colors, but this is a color product that says it can lighten hair about 3 levels. So, this is great to get if you want natural-looking highlights at home. You can choose a color lighter than your hair, place it on the ends of your hair, and try to accomplish a natural balayage, ombre, or highlight moment.

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It is recommended for blondes, but there are options for people who have brown hair as well.

5. Sun Bum

This Sun Bum Lightening and Tone Kit are great for lightening your hair and giving it natural-looking highlights. It does not contain bleach, just like all other products listed in this article. And it is great to put in your hair before you spend a day in the sun. You can lighten your hair quite a few shades, though you may want to tone it after.

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6. Chamomile

This ingredient is in a ton of products, such as the Baby Blonde Shampoo, John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Spray, and the Grisi Manzanilla Gold Chamomile Hair Lotion. Each of these has chamomile as a key ingredient that helps lighten the hair. You can lighten your hair through multiple uses over time to build a natural lighter color in your hair.

7. Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo

This Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo is great for lighting your hair by a few levels. You can pair this product with others by John Frieda, like the Go Blonder In-Shower Lightening Treatment, and together, they can make your hair look lighter and blonder over time. Because these are not dyes, you don’t have to be precise, you can focus the product on your ends or use it on your whole head.

8. Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice is a really easy way to lighten your hair. The results that come from using lemon juice are permanent and won’t damage your hair as much as bleach will. Lemons actually contain ingredients that will make your hair shinier, reduce oil, and even decrease dandruff!

Depending on the shade of your hair, or how dark it is, the amount of lift you see will vary. Lemon juice leaves a more brassy overtone and can make your hair appear somewhat orange- especially if your hair is darker, as it is harder to lift pigment out of deeper shades.

Here are some lemon juice mixtures that you can use to lighten your hair.

1. Lemon Juice & Water:

  • Slice & juice one lemon.
  • Dilute with 2-3 times as much water as lemon juice used.
  • Mix!

2. Lemon Juice & Chamomille Tea:

  • Slice and juice one lemon.
  • Make a cup of chamomile tea.
  • Make a mixture of 2 parts chamomile tea & 1 part lemon juice!

3. Lemon Juice, Chamomille Tea, Almond or Coconut Oil, & Cinnamon Powder:

  • Boil 1 cup of water with two chamomile tea bags.
  • Slice and juice three lemons.
  • Add 1TBS of almond or coconut oil to lemon juice.
  • Add 1 tsp of cinnamon powder to lemon juice.
  • Mix!

9. Apple Cider Vinegar

Another way to get natural-looking highlights is by using apple cider vinegar. Using a container of some sort, create a mixture that is two-thirds apple cider vinegar and one-third water. Next, you’ll spray the solution wherever you would like your hair to lighten. After spending about 10-15 minutes in direct sunlight, wash the mixture out of your hair.

Again, you can apply it however you would like, whether you brush it on with a paintbrush, whether you cover your entire head, or simply apply it in places for subtle highlights.

Similar to the lemon juice method, after application, you will need to expose your hair to direct sunlight. This time, you’ll stay outside for less time, depending on how strong the sun is. Continue this process for as long as you wish until you see results you are satisfied with.

Included below is a video that will allow you to see how light apple cider vinegar can get your hair.

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