Does Honey Lighten Hair? How to- Fast, with Pictures

If you are a fun of home remedies, then you will agree with me that honey is one of the most useful natural ingredients found in any kitchen. In addition to the almost endless uses that you can put honey to at home, you can use it on your locks.

To naturally lighten hair, mix honey and water then let mixture sit for not more than an hour. You can add other ingredients such as olive oil, peroxide, cinnamon, lemon or ACV. Whether you have dark hair, brown hair, or dyed hair, you will find this useful.

Following is detailed guide including before and after pictures

Does Honey Lighten Hair Fast or Overnight?

Honey is one of the best household bleaching agents. It contains bleaching properties and will strip your hair of its pigment, leaving it a shade or two lighter.

In fact, honey has been used since times immemorial to not only keep the hair healthy, but also to lighten hair, and make highlights as desired.

Honey has an enzyme that produces small traces of hydrogen peroxide, a widely accepted hair bleaching agent.

How long does does it take?

You shouldn’t however expect drastic results as you would get using a synthetic dye. You may have to apply honey onto your hair several times before you can get the desired results.

Honey and hair lightening

The reason most people prefer using honey to lighten hair color is that is not as harsh as most hair lighteners or hair bleaching products.

Using honey for hair lightening is preferred because it is safe, simple, and can be done at home. Other ingredients may be used to help the process, including apple cider vinegar, cinnamon powder, olive oil and a few more. So, how does honey lighten hair? It simply strips it of the hair color pigment, but bleaching it safely or gently.

How to Use Honey to Lighten Hair Naturally

While honey can be applied directly onto your hair, it helps to mix it with water in order to thin it and make spreading it on your hair easy.


  1. In a small bowl, mix honey and water in the ratio of 4:1. For example, you can add a tablespoon of water to 4 tablespoons of honey. You can as well use apple cider vinegar in the place of water; in which case the apple cider vinegar acts like a conditioner.
  2. Apply the mixture using your finger and massage it gently into your hair. Continue until all your hair is covered with honey if you want the whole head of hair lightened; otherwise apply on the hair strands (or locks) in the parts of the head for which lightening is desired.
  3. Cover your hair using a shower cap or plastic wrap and leave it as such for 2 to 3 hours. If possible, let the plastic wrap or the shower cap intact overnight for best results.
  4. Rinse your hair with warm water to wash the honey off before shampooing and conditioning your hair as you normally do. Finally dry your hair by patting it gently with a towel or using a blow dryer.
  5. Voila: That is all it takes to use honey to lighten your hair. Your hair will at this stage have a shade of color similar to that of honey.

Lighten Hair with Honey and Cinnamon

As mentioned earlier, honey has hydrogen peroxide. The role of cinnamon is to further the peroxide.

How to naturally lighten hair with honey and cinnamon
Honey and Cinnamon


  • 1 cup honey.
  • 1 cup deep conditioner.
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice.
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon.


  1. Put the above ingredients above in bowl and mix well.
  2. Apply the mixture.
  3. Let the mixture sit for more than 30 minutes
  4. Rinse and dry you hair

Lighten Hair with Honey and Olive oil

Here are some more options that you can use it to lighten dark hair with honey:

Honey and olive oil
Honey and olive oil

You may consider using a combination of honey and olive oil in a ratio of 1:1 and applying them as you would apply honey alone (see instructions above). Some people also add half a banana as the third ingredient to nourish the hair.

Honey and Lemon Hair Bleaching

Honey is a fantastic natural remedy that works great in lightening hair. But for even better and/or faster results, you may want to consider a combination of lemon (a very popular natural remedy to lighten hair), ground cinnamon, and deep natural conditioner.

To make this natural combination, you will need a small bowl or basin, a cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, a cup of deep natural hair conditioner, and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.


  1. Pour all the ingredients into the basin and stir thoroughly
  2. Once the paste is well blended, apply it to wet hair and massage all over your hair or on the parts desired if you want to make light highlights on your hair
  3. Use a shower cap or a plastic wrap to cover your hair with the paste still on and leave it on for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight if possible
  4. Wash the paste off with water and pat your hair dry with a towel
  5. Repeat as required to get the desired results

Honey + Conditioner Recipe to Bleach Hair at Home

Another great way to lighten dark hair with honey is to add some honey into the bottle of your regular hair conditioner. Shake the mixture thoroughly and use the conditioner as usual after shampooing.


For an increased bleaching power you may consider adding some hydrogen peroxide to the honey. However, this depends on your initial hair color and the results you want.

For instance, when the mixture is applied on black and very dark brown hair, the result is hair with an orange shade. Some may like this orange while others won’t.

Lighten Brown Hair with Honey

Wondering how to lighten brown hair with honey? Well, this is as easy as preparing a honey solution (by mixing honey with water) and applying it to your hair as explained in the section above. You may also want to use honey along side other ingredients in various combinations such as:

  • Honey and apple cider vinegar
  • Honey and hydrogen peroxide: Honey contains enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide, the substance responsible for the bleaching effect on hair. Mixing honey with hydrogen peroxide improves its effectiveness and is a great way to achieve drastic results.
  • Honey and conditioner (discussed above)
  • Honey and Jamaican sorrel – gives your hair a red highlight

How to Lighten Dyed Hair with Honey

So you saw a lady wearing a red highlight (or reddish shade) at the mall and got slightly jealous of how fancy she looked? It should not disturb you anymore…

You can too create red highlights to lighten hair that you dyed. You too can achieve the same results using honey, cinnamon and Jamaican sorrel or hibiscus.

Here is how to lighten dyed hair using honey:

  1. To a saucepan containing 2 cups of water, add 2 cups of fresh or dried Jamaican sorrel.
  2. Heat the mixture to a boil
  3.  Allow the sorrel to soak for 2 to 4 hours, but if possible leave it overnight
  4. Strain to obtain the resulting liquid and mix it with 2 tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of cinnamon
  5. Apply the paste onto your hair and massage gently
  6. Cover your hair with a shower cap or a plastic wrap for 1 to 2 hours before rinsing it

Depending on the hue desired, you can also use the following ingredients in the place of Jamaican sorrel:

  • Reddish hue: Henna powder or ground coffee
  • Strawberry hue: Hibiscus petals

Can honey lighten hair permanently?

Your hair is likely to regain its color slowly over time, so you will need to do a few more bleaches over time.

Also, permanent results may depend on your natural hair color. For example, brunettes can easily get lighter hair colors such as ash blonde as compared to women with dark hair. Black hair can be bleached to dark ash blonde, or a richer shade, though the results may not be permanent.

Lighter hair is good and fashionable for summer. There are many ways of getting light hair, which may include dyeing hair blonde or  with a lighter shade of hair dye, such as from black hair to light brown hair color. If you do not want to do so, you can lighten hair with honey, lemon or hydrogen peroxide.

Lightening Hair with Honey Before and after Photos Results

As you will note the before and after pictures below , honey can really change the shade of your hair by one or two levels.

If you do several bleaches, you can almost achieve the same levels of black hair bleaching as those of using chemicals hair bleaching products such as shampoos and even strong hair bleaching hydrogen peroxide.

Here are a few before and after results of using honey for dyed hair lightening.

You can use honey to get ombre highlights
You can use honey to get ombre highlights.
how to use honey for hair lightening
Results of using honey hair bleach
Before and after pictures, results of using honey to lighten dark hair
Before and after pictures for honey hair bleaching
Naturally lightened hair may take quite a process

Does Honey lightening Hair Permanently?

The results are not permanent. Your hair is likely to regain its color slowly over time, so you will need to do a few more bleaches over time.

Also, permanent results may depend with your natural hair color. For example brunettes can easily get lighter hair colors such as ash blonde as compared to women with dark hair. Black hair can be bleached to dark ash blonde, or a richer shade, though the results may not be permanent.

Possible Side Effects

There are no known bad effects unless you combine it with other non-organic ingredients.

One of the major side effects of using non-organic hair bleaching products is that the bleaching process leaves your hair feeling brassy or with an orange tint. If you are looking to achieve light hair highlights, honey is one of the good natural at home ingredients to use for hair lightening.

More on Bleaching and Hair lightening

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