How to Lighten Hair with Cinnamon

For a very long time,  cinnamon natural sweet-smelling spice, has been used not only for the added flavor in foods but also for lightening the hair. From its deep ginger color and ability to mix with other home ingredients, it offers the perfect natural lightening option.

Cinnamon can be used a couple of hair types including dark but it works best for ginger, redheads, some brunettes, and light blonde hair. Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can use cinnamon and other home products and ingredients to brighten and lighten the appearance of your hair.

How to use Cinnamon to Lighten Dark Hair

The cinnamon stick is rich with manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. It has healing properties as many other barks of trees, but it also has a unique color pigment that can be used to treat and brighten the hue of your hair.

Steps to lighten dark hair with cinnamon
Dark hair

Since it’s a natural dye, you only need to do the procedure a few times and you’ll see the result.This at-home concoction will leave your hair hydrated and smelling great. In addition, you will avoid the damaging effects that other hair lightening procedures such as bleaching


Start by assembling all the necessary requirements for this process. Include;

  • Cinnamon sticks or powder
  • Honey (optional)
  • Lemon (optional)
  • Moisturizing conditioner
  • Shower cap
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Once you have all these ingredients, start creating a mixture, which you’ll use on your hair. You can these measurements below to help make a homogeneous mixture.

  • A cup of honey
  • One cup of any deep conditioner
  • One teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon
  • Two tablespoons of cinnamon

Leave the mixture unattended for over an hour. This is so that the cinnamon can be activated to actively do its work. In the meantime, you can start detangling your hair in readiness to apply the mixture. Luckily, you can choose to use the mix on clean or dry hair.


  1. Begin by dampening the hair. This will allow the mixture to hold on to the hair. Make sure the hair is not wet.
  2. Conduct a patch test to check on your skin’s reaction to the paste. Since cinnamon is very reactive and strong, you should apply a small amount on the inside part of the arm. Wait for some time and wipe off, check to see if there’s any reaction.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed its safe to use, apply the mixture to the hair gently. Apply every section of the hair from the scalp to the ends. You can also use an applicator brush if you don’t want to touch the mixture directly.
  4. The best way to apply the mixture is to divide the hair into portions and apply it as you tie it down. You can add some water if the paste is too thick.
  5. Let is sit for some time approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Or until you feel a tingling or burning sensation, then you should rinse off immediately.
  6. You can sit under the sun for some time to let the mixture penetrate into the hair faster.
  7. Rinse off the mixture and shampoo the hair with an organic shampoo so it doesn’t reverse the effects of cinnamon.
  8. Moisturize the hair with oils to add shine as well and protect the scalp from any burns or damage.

You can repeat the above procedure as many times as you’d like or until you attain the results you see fit. Use various ingredients to see which one will suit your hair and scalp.

Cinnamon Alternatives

Building on the above lightening process, here are some of the options you can use to switch things up.

  • Use a carrier oil rather than a conditioner. Coconut oil and olive oil offer excellent moisture to the hair. Although, it’s not recommended for those with oily scalps and hair.
  • Include other spices such and cardamon as it also has lightening abilities.
  • Add vitamin C. Most vitamin c supplements contain citric acid which is essential for this process of lightening and brightening the hair. 

Here are four quick and easy recipes you can use with cinnamon for your DIY hair lightening with cinnamon.

Cinnamon Powder to Lighten Hair

  • Three tablespoons of cinnamon powder
  • Five tablespoons of water
  • One tablespoon of olive oil


  1. Gently mix the ingredients above in a bowl into a smooth paste. Let it rest for some time.
  2. Apply the mixture to the hair, cover with a cap and sit under the sun or dryer for some time.
  3. Wash off the mixture with a bar of neutral soap and oil the hair.

Cinnamon & Lemon Juice Hair Lightening Recipe

Three tablespoons of cinnamon powder

Two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

One tablespoon of olive oil.

  1. Mix all the ingredients above well and let it sit.
  2. Apply to the hair from the scalp to the ends of the hair.
  3. Leave the mask under the sun for an hour covering with a shower cap.
  4. Wash off and moisture the hair.

Cinnamon & Egg Yolk to Lighten Hair

  • Three tablespoons of cinnamon powder.
  • One egg yolk.
  • One tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon.
  • Three tablespoons of honey.
  • One tablespoon of carrier oil.


  1. Whisk the egg and add the tablespoon of lemon juice.
  2. Add in the honey slowly by slowly as you add the other ingredients.
  3. Mix thoroughly to get a homogeneous solution.
  4. Apply the mask to the hair and massage it into the scalp and hair.
  5. Cover the head and sit under the sub for approximately 3o minutes.
  6. Wash the hair, moisturize, and clean out the utensils.

You can use more egg yolks if you have dry and damaged hair. It will aid to increase protein into the hair.

Cinnamon & Kefir Hair Treatment

  • One cup of kefir.
  • Three tablespoons of cinnamon powder.
  • One tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon.


  1. Mix all the above ingredients and let it sit for half an hour to let the compounds activate.
  2. Spread the mixture all over the hair.
  3. Cover your hair with a plastic bag for over two hours.
  4. Wash your hair with organic shampoo and moisture the hair and scalp.

How to Use it on Red and Grey Hair

After the third and fourth applications, you will start to notice a difference in the hue of your hair. For some of you, you can opt to stop with the lightening, while others can opt to continue.

lighten gray hair
Natural grey hair

For red and grey hair there are different outcomes as seen below, you should proceed with caution.

  • Red hair – streaks of light brown similar to that of cinnamon. Any more treatment could lead to an ombre look where you have red roots and brown ends.
  • Grey hair – after just two applications, you’ll notice highlights of ginger to the hair.
  • Blonde hair  – red and brown streaks.
  • Brown hair – the color will depend on dark brown hair and turn red for light brown hair.
  • Black hair – streaks of red where the dye was added.

Does Cinnamon Damage Hair?

When used correctly in the right amounts pure cinnamon does not damage your hair. Unlike other natural remedies that could dry and brittle the hair, cinnamon has antioxidants and sunblock abilities that protect the hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

However, it may have a burning effect to your scalp especially if you’re allergic. This only lasts for a while. Generally, it is natural and safe.


All that glitters is not gold, the same applies to cinnamon lightening treatments. As mentioned earlier in the article, the spice is rather strong, not just by its smell, but also with the hair. Hence, it shouldn’t be used by pregnant women. Other precautions include;

  • If you make a mixture with lemon, avoid sun exposure. The lemon will counteract the sun-blocking abilities of cinnamon, causing you to have dry hair and a burnt scalp.
  • Repetition should be done sparingly to about once a week. Too much exposure to this treatment and your hair could become unhealthy.
  • Cover your skin during this treatment because the mixture could cause skin irritation once it comes into contact with it.
  • Its recommended that to wear gloves when applying the treatments. It could stain your fingers and nails otherwise.
  • Apply the treatment to the ends of the hair rather than the root as cinnamon has a warming effect that could burn your scalp.
  • Only have the mixture in for a maximum of two hours anything more or overnight and you risk skin irritation, burns, among other side effects.
  • Treat your hair accordingly, just because the hair has antioxidants and sun-blocking abilities doesn’t mean you should ignore adding moisture to the hair.
  • Blondes should be very wary to avoid staining their hair with an unpleasant yellow tint.

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