Lighten Your Hair for Less Than $5

Summer has slowly disappeared and so have your natural highlights. Looking to keep your sun-kissed tresses year-round? Well, I’ve found a cheap way to lighten/highlight your hair without the damaging effects of dye or bleach.

My hair is very dark brown and doesn’t lighten on its own in the sun. And instead of using expensive and damaging dyes, I took recommendations from coworkers and family to try Sun-In Hair Lightener (Walgreens, $4.99). It’s been around (and popular) since the 1970s.

Ingredients include hydrogen peroxide, water, aloe, lemon juice, flax seed extract, and a bunch of other ones that I can’t pronounce and don’t recognize. The reason why Sun-In is so popular is because it has a conditioning agent that doesn’t fry your hair like continuous use of regular hair dye would.

The instructions say to spray Sun-In in damp hair (wherever you want highlights) and then sit in the sun or blow dry for faster results. (If you know me, you know that I’m not a patient person, so I used the blow dryer to speed things along.)

Results may vary. The bottle clearly states that it takes about two applications for Sun-In to start taking effect. I didn’t see any change until after three uses with a hair dryer and didn’t notice much of a change. My hair lightened slightly, but the highlights came through more profoundly once I stayed in the sun for a while.

I’ve heard stories about people drenching their hair with lemon juice or using hydrogen peroxide to lighten their hair, but how does that compare to Sun-In? I wouldn’t continually use them because of their damaging chemicals/ingredients, but they might be cheaper and quicker for you. (Just don’t overdo it!)

Tell me your stories about lightening your hair. Tell me about your favorite products to use to keep your hair smooth!

Julie Anderson – “Sun-In: Sun-Kissed 80s Hair”

WikiHow – “How to Bleach Your Hair with Hydrogen Peroxide”

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