I have dark black hair, and I want to lighten it to a medium-dark brown.

I have medium length hair for a guy.

I've read that I can use lemon+water solution to break down melanin in my hair slowly in the sun, or use a hairdryer too. I wash my hair often because using this trick will dry out my hair.

I know that black hair has a LOT of melanin, so this process is slow, but JUST how slow will this take?

How many times would I have to apply lemon juice + water, and hairdry my hair (over the course of many days) to see a noticeable difference?

I see mixed comments when looking at DIYs and online blogs about this, some saying that only brown hair and up can lighten using this trick, while others say black haired people can lighten too, but just more slowly.

  • You were misinformed. The bleaching is accomplished by the interaction of the citrus acid in the lemon juice with ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The process is slooooow and not healthy due to the ultraviolet radiation exposure. UV radiation is sufficient to cause DNA damage if it is enough to cause a hair colour shift or simple skin tanning.
    – Stan
    Jul 21, 2017 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


I found that the best way was to wash hair and rinse with lemon juice in the water and then go out in the direct sun to let air-dry. Not that much slower than a hairdryer unless of course it is a cold, miserable day. Use all the juice of a lemon an do this two or three times a week. If you're able to get into the sun you should notice a bleaching effect fairly quickly. This is a nice natural solution and gives a natural sunkissed look.

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