If you’ve been following my hair journey, you know that for the last year-and-a-half I decided to go natural. What does going natural mean? It means, especially for those of us who have tightly textured hair, that we have eliminated relaxers and Brazilian straighteners from our lives and our schedules. Many of us have also stopped using heating irons, and in some cases even using a blow dryer. It also includes the ingredients that we use. We educated ourselves in which ingredients have heavy detergents that dry out our hair. And which are silicone-based, which initially can create an experience of false moisture, and then become a block and a barrier to actually allowing one’s hair to absorb not only moisture but valuable ingredients, and can eventually cause hair to fall out.

So imagine my conundrum when I wanted to go lighter for the summer.

It’s an amazing journey to go natural. It’s incredibly time consuming at first, mostly because of the learning curve, but after a while it is one of the most rewarding and rich experiences. I would almost liken it to finally having a clean eating program that gives you all of this wonderful energy. It doesn’t mean that now and then you don’t indulge, but overall you have a very healthy diet lifestyle.

So imagine my conundrum when I wanted to go lighter for the summer. I have painstakingly earned every wonderful, healthy strand of hair currently on my head. Mind you, to have incredibly healthy hair in your 50s is a rare and rewarding experience. Therefore, to even think about bleaching my hair right now with highlights is unfathomable to me. My hair is almost like my young child at this point, I’ve nurtured it that much. And I’m so proud of my little curls. And since I have its well being constantly on mind, I would never do anything to hurt it, regardless of my own superficial ego. Thinking about going lighter sent me back to the internet for a heavy research project once again, like I did in 2018 when I vowed to transform the state of my hair. Argh!

Imagine my surprise when I found wonderful articles on vitamin C hair lightening. Just to give you the full picture, I also found really great articles on lightening with honey, chamomile, baking soda, lemon, and cinnamon, which I had tried last year but without a strong commitment. Now I really wanted to go up a number of shades and have a more sunkissed look to my hair. So I tried the big C.

Here’s what I did: Over the weekend, I took some organic honey and I diluted it with warm water until it completely melted into a liquid. Then I added one whole lemon and a tinge of apple cider vinegar. I applied it to my dry hair, wrapped it with a plastic bag, and left it on for two hours. When I washed it out my hair had lifted about a shade. Then I took vitamin C and combined that with shampoo. I lathered it all over, and I left it on for one hour. When I washed it out, wow! My hair had lifted three to four levels, depending on the area, or set of strands.

It’s my understanding that if I do this a few more times it will continue to lighten. So what’s the benefit of using vitamin C and shampoo versus the lemon or chamomile and honey? What truly activates the lemon and honey mixture is sunlight. I didn’t want to have to sit in the sun over the weekend with my hair wet. But the vitamin C and shampoo method doesn’t require sunlight. And it lifted my hair wonderfully. 

I think most of us have serums or understand that you can use vitamin C to lighten hyperpigmentation in the skin or brighten the skin. I’ve seen a lot of facial products and skin products that focus on brightening serums that include vitamin C, but I had never associated that with actually lightening my hair.

The following is my recipe and instructions. Try it out! Let me know if it works for you!


1 lemon

1/4 cup vitamin C

1/4 cup shampoo

3 tbs. honey

1/2 tbs. apple cider vinegar


Start with dry hair. You will not wet hair for this application.

Mix in a bowl, all the ingredients until blended well.

Apply to your hair especially the ends. Make sure to saturate and lather all the strands (unless you are only doing highlights).

Then wrap your hair in a plastic cap and leave on for 1-2 hours.

Rinse out hair and apply a conditioner (leave in for at least 15 minutes) then rinse and style your hair.


  1. This did not work at all. Don’t even try this. Just go to the salon and get bleached if you’re going to lighten your hair.

    • Hi Lola! Oh drats! What a bummer that it did not work for you. But I could not agree with you more — if given have the chance definitely get our hair done by a professional. I want to mention 3 things about this treatment to clarify:
      1. The vitamin C option does work as it is a pretty recognized option by many bloggers of various hair types. But it may not work for everyone.
      2. It may be more effective on highly porous hair. Which I have.
      3. It takes some people multiple efforts reach a lightened stage. Likely, if they have non porous hair.
      If you want to know more about porosity and your hair, I would recommend watching this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBhMzLNswwk


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