Lemon juice holds properties that are very beneficial to skin and hair. Keep reading to find out how to remove hair dye with lemon juice.
Lemon juice can help remove hair dye when combined with sun exposure. The citric acid in lemon reacts when exposed to oxygen and UV rays. This process can lighten hair color by a few shades.
Is Lemon Juice Good Or Bad For Hair?
The consensus among hair care experts is that lemon juice can benefit hair in several ways:
Lemon juice is a natural astringent. Astringents are commonly used in beauty products to remove excess oil that makes your hair look slick and greasy.
Lemon also removes buildup from products, leaving your hair silky and shiny.
Cleans the scalp
Lemon juice cleans the scalp. It removes accumulated dirt and helps unclog hair follicles.
The acidic juice can also help treat a condition known as seborrheic dermatitis, which causes inflammation and dandruff.
Since the underlying cause of seborrheic dermatitis is excessive oil production, lemon juice can treat this condition by absorbing the excess oil.
In addition, lemon juice has antifungal properties that can address other scalp fungal infections.
Boosts pH balance
Because of its acidic pH, lemon can restore your scalp and hair’s pH balance.
Maintaining the natural acidity of the hair and scalp keeps the cuticle closed and healthy.
It also prevents fungi and bacteria from thriving, resulting in strong and healthy locks.
Helps hair growth
Lemon juice is nutrient-rich and contains vitamin C, minerals, and other plant compounds that strengthen hair follicles and boost hair growth.
The antioxidants in lemon juice can also protect your hair cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Most of the benefits associated with lemon juice are anecdotal.
While there’s some truth to it, keep in mind lemon juice is not a silver bullet for treating hair problems.
Does Lemon Juice Damage Hair?
If you’re considering applying lemon juice to your hair, there’s generally nothing to worry about as long as you use it in moderation.
Remember, lemon juice is an astringent. Using excessive amounts of it could potentially strip away too much of your natural oils, leaving your hair dry and brittle.
In addition, exposing your hair to the sun for too long after applying lemon juice can damage your hair’s protective outer layer.
The acidity of lemon can cause scalp sensitivity, and when exposed to sunlight, the chemicals in lemon can cause a special sunburn.
Does Lemon Juice Remove Hair Dye?
Lemon juice only works to remove hair dye and lighten hair when combined with a bit of sun exposure.
On top of that, the effects are only slight and minimal. That’s why lemon juice only works for those with light or fair hair.
The lightening effects of lemon juice are often used to create very subtle, natural, sun-kissed highlights in blonde hair.
Unfortunately, lemon juice may not produce the desired effect on hair that’s a dark color. For instance, it can give brown hair an orange tint, and it won’t work on dark brown or black hair.
The reason why lemon juice doesn’t work to remove permanent dye on its own is because of its acidic pH.
The low pH keeps the hair cuticle closed so that the dye molecules can’t escape. However, the heat from the sun will raise the cuticle, enabling penetration of the cortex.
This process breaks down dye molecules, reducing the amount of pigment in your hair.
The active ingredient in lemon juice is citric acid, a natural bleach that makes up about 5-8% of lemon juice.
Citric acid is a weak oxidizing agent that removes pigment through a chemical process. It’s activated by exposure to oxygen and the sun’s heat.
Besides citric acid, lemon contains ascorbic acid or Vitamin C, which adds to the overall acidity.
This acidic quality can accelerate the fading process by removing semi-permanent hair dye molecules that cling to the outer layer of the hair shaft.
Lemon juice has a pH of 2.0-2.6, making it a great cleansing agent that removes excess oil, buildup, and dye molecules from hair.
It’s important to note that most methods for lightening hair using lemon juice are prescribed for natural hair color.
It’s difficult to know whether the lemon juice will interact the same way with hair dye as it does with natural melanin to produce the same fading results.
How To Use Lemon Juice To Remove Hair Dye
Follow these simple steps to fade hair dye using a lemon rinse.
- Thoroughly mix two parts of fresh lemon juice with one part of warm water in a spray bottle.
- Spritz the solution onto your hair until it soaks into your strands.
- Go outside into the sun for a few hours to activate the citrus acid.
- Rinse out the lemon juice with hot water and clarifying shampoo to open the cuticle further so the color can bleed out.
- Apply a deep conditioner and leave for several minutes before rinsing out with cold water.
- Repeat the procedure at least four times over the following days.
If you’re interested in other natural ways to fade hair dye, check out my post on How To Remove Hair Dye With Vinegar.
Tips for Removing Hair Dye Using Lemon Juice
- You can add olive oil or a leave-in conditioner to the spray bottle to prevent drying.
- Some hair experts recommend applying lemon juice to your hair twice a week. Others recommend every other day if you want faster fading. The trick is to monitor your hair for dryness and make adjustments when applying lemon juice several times in a row.
- You can combine the lemon juice with lemon essential oil to make your hair smell nice.
- To see the most results, you can also use other natural methods that produce a gradual, lightening effect. For instance, mixing crushed Vitamin C tablets or baking soda with shampoo can work to remove hair dye naturally.
- Last but not least, you can also add apple cider vinegar to your lemon juice rinse. Like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar restores your hair’s pH balance, removes buildup, and makes your hair look shinier.
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