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We all love the summer months that leave us with light, lively, beachy looking hair! When the fall and winter months approach, our hair is usually darker because we don’t get outside as much, and a lot of people dye their hair a darker shade to match the changing seasons. If you’re like us, the darker shades can sometimes darken your mood. Don’t get us wrong, chestnut and black beauty hues are gorgeous, but what about prolonging the look of sun-kissed looks (and locks) and hanging on to the summer months a little longer? You can do this with your hair color, and it doesn’t have to suffer a ‘chemical peel.’ We know, those are for your skin, but harsh chemicals and dyes can also strip a layer of shine right off of your hair follicle, PSL! – Please Save my Locks!
You can prolong the summer sun, and showcase the results of natural beauty and long days spent sunbathing, by incorporating a variety of products designed for this purpose, into your everyday hair care routine. For an easy, daily lightening effect, with minimal harm to your precious hair, we recommend using products that don’t contain bleach. When reading labels, look for those with chamomile, honey and lemon or choose highlight activating products. Just remember, lightening products work best on blonde hair; if you are lightening darker hair, it will change color, before getting lighter. For example, if you have brown hair, it will lighten to an auburn tone. Dark brown to black hair, might take longer to lighten, and it will go reddish, before it gets lighter (i.e. to light brown or blonde). All hair colors can be changed, and when lightening your hair, don’t be discouraged or think it’s not possible; you can have any hair color you want, you simply need to find the best shades that complement your beautiful skin tone. For at home products, that are quick and easy to use, as well as gentle on your hair, we recommend the following, natural Shampoos.
Clarifying Shampoo – This innovative hair care find, includes charcoal to remove build up from your hair without stripping away at your hair's follicle. It’s a vegetarian protein product, that contains no harmful ingredients, and it is designed to strengthen and purify your hair. The rejuvenating formula helps to heal, dry, damaged hair, enliven your look and enhance your hair’s condition. We also recommend getting out your Sunday Best!
Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo – This virgin hair drink, is a Shampoo that gives you a beautiful, golden-toned look, for hair full of natural highlights, developed, gradually, over time. Blond Ale is gentle enough not to harm your hair or cause any drastic changes; however, it contains purple pigments, that cancel out any dark, ashy tones. Over time you will notice a difference. This formula helps you to get beautifully highlighted strands, with lots of volume and shine. It’s a gentle product that you use daily, and it is safe for all hair colors – No Surprises! - Keep it Golden, Gorgeous-Locks.
The High End
For those who are really serious about lightening their hair, with or without bleach, using really good, high quality treatments are mandatory - hands down! We recommend Alterna HairCare. Their Caviar Anti-Aging Omega Nourishing Hair Oil is an awesome product, that you can use as a super indulgent, home hair treatment to intensify your natural and/or new highlights, adding luxurious shine (All hair has it’s own, natural highlights, by the way, especially after sun exposure). Containing natural ingredients like Sea Silk, Caviar Extract, and with its proprietary Age-Control Complex properties, this is a great product for putting the life back into your hair - more moisture, strength and elasticity! We wish you could run it through your strands and shake your head around like the models on the hair commercials. You can test it out here though, or shop your local S E P H O R A - a good excuse to treat yourself - and see for yourself!
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If you want to play around with some other ideas, from your very own, home salon, we thought of that too. To get you started, you will first need to learn about some hair lightening techniques because it’s not as simple as you think. There are some perfect, little tweaks that can help take your hair from ‘home hair, don’t care’ to ‘OMG hair, please tell me where!’ That’s right. You can look like you had your hair done at a professional salon, and you will only need to spend about 10% of the cost (or less). We know because we’ve done it. Do we recommend doing this all the time? No. However, once-in-a-while, and in between salon visits, these techniques are a great, safe way to give your hair a lift, without spending a lot of money. And sometimes, you just can’t book in, for whatever reason. So it’s fun to surprise yourself with what you can do.
Here is The Complete Guide to Lightening Your Hair Naturally
All Over Lightening – This is the easiest technique of all, and the one that’s most commonly thought of for at home methods. You just slather some goop all over the top of your head, and let it sit there. Then you wash it off, and your hair is lighter. There’s no technique or control; it’s just an all-around lighter effect. This is fine, if you are going for all one color, and there’s not a lot of technique involved. Spray your hair using a spray bottle, or saturated your hair with your solution (see DIY below). Pretty straight forward – Don’t spend 2 hrs trying to teach yourself. The directions aren’t written in Korean! No hidden secrets or unnecessary loopholes.
Dip Dye/Ombre – This is a really pretty, creative look. Ombre hair is really popular these days, and it can make your hair look fuller and lighter (think carefree hair), especially if you have waves or curls. To achieve this look, concentrate the majority of your hair lightening product in the ends. You can sort of twist it through the bottom inches of your hair. For longer hair, go up to about 3 inches from the bottom; if it’s shorter, you can go up about 1 to 1.5 inches. You can see how you want it to look, and get a feel for it, as you go along. Then, leave the top, and start in with a streaked effect about half way down the sides of your face. Start at cheek bone level, and pull the product through thin strands of hair, all the way down toward the ends. Then pick up and divide strands of your hair, closer to the bottom, and keep the streaks concentrated on medium strand of hair. It should result in a graduated look of dark to light color, from top to bottom.
Quick Tip: Don’t forget the back – Get out your hand mirror. That’s standard for all techniques.
Highlights – For perfect highlights, with the most professional look, use foils. You can just pull regular tin foil out of the package, and you can even try saran wrap, since the products you will be applying are non-damaging and less harsh than those you will find in a hair salon. To create this look, you need to take sections of your hair, about 2 inches wide, and weave through each section with the end of a comb. Using an under/over technique, pick up thin strands of hair, while weaving through. You will have strands of hair separated by spaces remaining on your comb. Pick these up, and let the remaining hair fall; the top is the section you lay over a foil. For the foils, rip pieces from your container about three inches wide. Slide the foil underneath the hair section, and paint on your lightener. You can use a flat, make up brush. Then, close the foil over your hair – fold each side over, and flip the bottom up to the top (like bending the foil in half, resting the end back up at the top of your head). Play around until you have it down pat.
Honey Dipping – This technique is really easy, and it’s super pretty if you have brown or light brown hair. Black hair will work too, and you will get beautiful, auburn toned strands! For blondes, you can use this technique, but the results aren’t too noticeable, unless you are going from a golden blonde, to platinum honey dip. All you do for this is keep all of your hair down, and pull your lightening product through thick, strands of hair, that you pick up by eye, and pull through using your fingers. You don’t even need to wear gloves for this because the products aren’t harsh. Easy – If you aren’t too worried about precision, try this one; It blends really nicely.
Balayage – This one’s tricky business. You should probably go to a salon for the best quality results, but if you are familiar with doing your hair at home, try it out. The nice things about these home lightening ideas, is that they result in gradual changes, so if you make a mistake, it’s easy to fix and a lot less noticeable. To achieve a bayalage result, split your hair into sections. Start from the bottom, and clip the top layer of your hair up. All you need to do is paint thin lines down your hair, using a really thin make up brush – We suggest a lip brush. Make sure the highlighted strands around your face are very thin; you don’t want hard lines there. The end result is a really soft, natural look. Starting at about half way down your hair – at your chin if you hair is long, or at your cheekbones, if it’s shoulder length – you can thicken the strands. The ends can be completely covered, just the bottom inch. The end result is beautiful, if you get it right. This one is alot like Ombre, but ombre has thicker strands, for a more graduated look – dark cascading to light. The bayalage technique is more precise with thinner strands running through.
Now that you have some solid techniques in place, here are the homemade, natural products you can use to achieve your sun-kissed locks. DIY Hair Dye!
Lemon and Chamomile
If you have naturally light hair, this idea works best for blondes. Please note, if your hair is light brown, it will turn auburn or an orangey tone. We don’t recommend that. If you are blonde, though, this is a great trick that will work well for you! All you need is lemon juice and chamomile tea. You can buy both of these products at the Supermarket, if you don’t already have them on hand. You need lots of tea because you will be making an entire pot, with tons of Tea Bags. You should use about 10 tea bags, and a ½ cup of lemon, and mix it together in a spray bottle. Don’t wash your hair until the following day. It’s a good idea to make sure you have a day off, following any kind of color change, in case it needs adjusting. – “Hey boss, I’m here for my new job; Orange you glad I dyed my hair last night?”
Olive Oil and Honey
This solution is great for dip dyed or ombre hair. What you will need is equal portions of Olive Oil and Honey. You can try ½ cup each, if you have lots of hair. Hey! Throw a banana in there too, while you’re at it. We didn’t say that. A ¼ cup of each will work fine. Leave it on for a minimum of 30 minutes; then, wash it out.
Honey & Lemon
Combine ½ cup of lemon juice with ½ cup of water. Add in ¼ cup of honey. Honey is really good for your hair, not only for the pretty color it leaves you with, but also for its conditioning benefits. Your hair will feel really soft, afterwards, and you can use it to help add volume and promote growth. This idea is great if your hair is dry and brittle, but don’t comb through it while it’s on. The honey can get sticky, so you need to wash it out in the shower. Your hair will improve within a few days; it takes a while to see the change, but we love this one!
Vinegar and Water
Vinegar and water will do the trick for you too, and we recommend using Apple Cider Vinegar because of its wonderful benefits for the skin, underneath your hair. If you have dry skin, this is a great way to solve the problem, while improving your color, as well.
Ocean and Sea Salt
Swimming in the Ocean naturally lightens your hair because of the salts. So go enjoy the outdoors all you can! Otherwise, you can add Sea Salt to your water bottle, and let your hair air dry. This tip works best when you’re sitting out in the sun – ocean or poolside. No techniques needed. Let nature do the work for you!
Liquid Vitamin C
For this trick, you need to get your hands on some Vitamin C capsules. Break them all open, and leak the contents out into a glass. Use it like shampoo. Wash your hair and watch it lighten. For added lightening benefits, leave it on for about ½ hour, and then wash it out.
Baking Soda and Club Soda
Just like you’re making a cleaning product. Quick Tips: It also works for burned pots and pans. Mix the two products together, and let it sit on your hair for about 30 min., before washing it off. If you want extra light hair, or if you really want it to take, let it absorb into your hair overnight.
Cinnamon is known to help take your hair up a shade, and it works for all colors. You can use this one daily, and you just need to add 1Tbsp. of Cinnamon into your Shampoo, while it’s in your hand. Take it into the shower with you, and let it sit for a few minutes, before washing off. Overnight works too, but you should add it to your conditioner, and leave it in your hair. We recommend a fruity scented conditioner. Your room will smell beautiful in the morning.
For really, dark brown or black hair, we recommend using henna; It will lighten. Henna will give you awesome, red tone highlights, and all you need to do is paint it through. We recommend trying the highlights technique or a really pretty ombre. You can honey dip it too, if you have lots of hair. Otherwise, we recommend a technique with more precision and thinner strands. You can always add more. Blondes, this one’s not for you – brunettes only! We can’t always have more fun.
Published by Jennica B.