Tips to Lighten your hair Naturally!

a guide to a waste-free summer - tips and tricks
Written by Ellen Gunn
April 26, 2018


Along with advice for a more waste free & glorious Summer??


Okay, so as the sun has come out the teeny tiniest bit, I’ve been thinking about the holidays and the safest ways to minimise sun damage but also how to get the most out of the sunshine. To both lighten my hair and darken my skin. The ultimate goal is to become a beach babe essentially.


To start off, I began researching tips to naturally highlight your hair, and as always I’m looking for the simplest, and most minimal waste version out there. I found this YouTube clip consisting of 3 ingredients:


  1. camomile tea
  2. honey
  3. lemon


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I actually really like this YouTuber as she does all things I do, but better in terms of being super resourceful and natural. She is also living proof that her products work – just take a look at her hair. One good thing about this lightening process is that it is subtle, so you can repeat the process until you’ve reached the desired look.


On this current mission of minimal waste, my hair regime involves going to the ‘salon’ less, firstly because (generally speaking) they use a lot of products which involve plastic to create the perfect hairstyle for each client, but also because bleaching really isn’t good for the environment. I have naturally dull, mousey blonde hair. So I started getting highlights years back, but then (as all things go) I had to keep it topped up, which led to more and more bleaching until I suddenly had a full head of bleached hair. This in turn required mad upkeep: re-dying, constant trimming to maintain that blocky look, plus a frequent blow dry. Basically, it rarely even looked that groomed despite being immensely time-consuming to manage. So instead of toning it down, growing it out was the best bet to minimise constant hair maintenance. This was also the cheapest and most friendly option for hair, scalp, and environment.


I understand for those of you reading this, that you want the best of both worlds. I too – more than ever – feel it’s important to look my best and hold my own. So I’ve been on this quest; here are some of my findings. It sounds hilarious but I need this sort of discipline so I actually stick to my mission!




  1. Minimise washing of the hair – attempt once a week. I’m trying – I wash mine twice a week at the minute.


  1. Use whatever you have available before buying new, for example I use talcum powder as dry shampoo. Corn starch is recommended.


  1. Leave your hair alone, let it grow, let it’s natural colour come through.


  1. If you do want to enhance your colour try the recipe above, there are other recipes for other colour needs if you have a browse on google.


  1. For more natural haircare products such as dry shampoo, check out this video


  • This vlogger makes her own products. I will be looking into this in the coming weeks as they look really damn good. Only negative is she uses a lot of ingredients, so I will be attempting a more minimal version of her recipes. I shall try to simplify her recipes while maintaining as good a quality, tried and tested on myself.
  • Alternatively, for those with less time, Infinity Food is great for natural and organic produce (5 minutes on google will determine the brands that give a damn). And I know I’ve touched base on general skin care in a previous post, but for the summer months my go-to sunscreen is Green People, a really genuine family-run company. I use their SPF 15 moisturiser everyday to protect against both UVA & UVB sun rays. I’m not a fan of sunscreen generally, but I actually like the consistency of their product when accompanied with Jojoba oil.


  1. Quick Tip: the sunrays of general concern are UVA, UVB & UVC. UVC you don’t have to worry about as it’s filtered out by the ozone layer (for now) UNLESS you use sunbeds. Man-made ultraviolet light is the most damaging: it penetrates deeper than the rest, explaining why those keen on multiple sunbed sessions age quicker. It also increases your chances of skin cancer by 50%, according to Dr Christian on Embarrassing Bodies. So honestly really ain’t worth it for that ‘wonderful glow’.


  1. With regards to aftersun care – it’s got to be Aloe Vera – it is literally the best for absolutely everything. You can purchase this in a glass jar from local shops, don’t quote me but I think Holland and Barrett cater for it. It’s the perfect soothing ingredient for any skin type and dries super quick. I do actually have an Aloe Vera plant which I tried to… shall we say milk? And although I managed to get the juices out it didn’t offer enough. So, for now, I will be purchasing sustainably sourced Aloe Vera.


So overall, query the ingredients you use on your body. If you aren’t happy with the products you are using SWITCH. There are now plenty of companies about which do cater for your needs and have total brand transparency.


Also, if you’re like me and get infuriated by these big corporations supplying to the millions using carcinogenic ingredients and getting away with it – make a twitter account and call them out on it. I’m @ellengunn: this page is purely a place to rant at big corporations for doing things wrong – so feel free to unfollow / or retweet my shit xo


As always, thank you for reading.

Take it easy in the sunshine!


Ellen V Gunn xxxo

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