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How to Lighten Hair with Chamomile Without Damaging It

Chamomile is an herbal flower commonly used to reduce insomnia and relieve anxiety. The flavonoids in chamomile can lower blood sugar and reduce inflammation. But it is also known as a natural alternative for lightening hair color!

So, is this real or just another DIY natural hair-lightening method that actually doesn’t work? If it really works, then what gives chamomile its hair-lightening properties? And how to use it to lighten your hair?

We’ll discuss everything you need to know about chamomile hair lightening including its suitability for different hair colors, and teach you how to effectively apply chamomile mixtures to your hair.

Can Chamomile Tea Lighten Hair?

lighten hair using chamomile tea

Chamomile can lighten your hair naturally without damage. Apart from the health benefits, the active compounds in chamomile have a natural bleaching effect. It has been traditionally used as a natural hair lightener for centuries.

However, these components aren’t as strong or fast-acting as bleaching with hydrogen peroxide. So, it’ll take several uses for you to notice visible effects.

It won’t turn your hair from dark brown to blonde overnight, but you can expect it to lighten and brighten your locks. Many also said that chamomile hair lightening brings out the natural highlights in their hair!

How Does Chamomile Hair Lightening Work?

Chamomile works as a hair lightener because of its components. Melanin is the pigment that produces our hair color.

Bisabolol is a colorless extract from chamomile plants. It interrupts melanin production and has a proven lightening effect.

Moreover, chamomile contains three specific flavonoids that can affect your hair color. These are quercetin, apigenin, and azulene.

Studies show that quercetin, a component of chamomile, inhibits tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that is synonymous with melanin production in our skin.

Lastly, chamomile is abundant in apigenin and azulene, which react with each other to cause hair lightening.

Pros and Cons of Lightening Hair With Chamomile

pros and cons of lightening hair using lemon and chamomile tea

There are many advantages and drawbacks to using chamomile tea as a hair lightener. Here’s what you should take into consideration before you try it.


  • Chamomile is an all-natural ingredient that’s safe for your hair.
  • It’ll make your hair feel soft and moisturized.
  • It nourishes your hair instead of damaging it like bleach does.
  • Chamomile will make your hair fragrant.


  • It can cause stains on your pillows, shirts, and towels.
  • It’ll turn light blonde hair brassy.
  • Chamomile tea lightening is costlier and more time-consuming than bleaching.
  • It’s not effective on dark hair.
  • If you combine it with acids, you can end up with brittle and damaged hair.

Lightening Hair with Chamomile Tea

Here are a few ways you can DIY a chamomile hair-lightening mixture.

1. Chamomile Tea Rinse

chamomile tea rinse to lighten hair

The chamomile tea rinse is the gentlest option for hair lightening. This rinse is the most effective for those with light blonde hair. It’ll give you soft hair that smells nice as a bonus!

The process is simple, yet the results can be pleasantly surprising. If you’ve never tried it before, here are your steps for lightening your hair with chamomile tea rinse.

How to Apply It to Hair

  1. Wash your hair with shampoo as normal. This will allow the chamomile tea to work more effectively on your strands.
  2. Take two cups of boiling water and two chamomile tea bags. Simply steep the tea bags in water until it’s cool to the touch. Filter the loose chamomile leaves that remain in the mixture for smooth application.
  3. With a bowl or basin placed under your head to catch any runoff, slowly pour the cooled chamomile tea over your hair, ensuring all strands are saturated.
  4. Massage the tea into your scalp and through the lengths of your hair for even distribution.
  5. Allow the chamomile tea rinse to sit on your hair for about 15-30 minutes. The longer you leave it on, the more effective the lightening effect will be.
  6. You can choose to rinse your hair with cool water or leave the tea in for a more extended period to maximize the benefits.

You have to repeat this process for several weeks and your hair will gradually lighten.

2. Chamomile Hair Mask

chamomile hair mask to lighten hair

The Chamomile Hair Mask naturally takes care of your hair. It mixes chamomile’s soft touch with a mask’s deep care.

This mask not only tries to make your hair a bit lighter but also gives it a bright shine. If you have dry or treated hair, this mask treats it like a home spa session!

How to Apply It to Hair

  1. Put the chamomile tea into hot water, stir it, and leave it for an hour to blend and cool down the mixture.
  2. Divide your hair into manageable sections. This makes the application process smoother and ensures even coverage.
  3. Run the paste through your damp hair and massage it in. Make sure to coat every strand evenly.
  4. Cover your hair with a plastic bag or cling wrap and leave it in for four hours. You may feel slight tingling and warmth on your scalp during this process.
  5. After four hours, remove the plastic and wash the paste away. You can also use shampoo here.

It’ll take a while to remove all of the tea leaves, and you may need to wait for your hair to dry so you can brush any dry bits out. However, you should notice visible lightening!

3. Chamomile Spray

chamomile tea spray to lighten hair

The Chamomile Spray is your quick fix for brightening your hair without the salon visit. This easy-to-make spray is a blend of nature’s best lighteners: chamomile and lemon.

How to Apply It to Hair

  1. Put five bags of chamomile tea in two cups of boiling water. Let it cool down.
  2. Mix a quarter cup of lemon juice with the cooled-down mixture. Lemon acts as a natural bleaching agent.
  3. Keep your chamomile-lemon blend in a spray bottle. This makes the application easy and even.
  4. Spray the chamomile-lemon solution into your hair from roots to tips.
  5. For best results, let it dry under the sun. Sunlight bleaches melanin in the hair and hastens the lightening process.
  6. Once your hair is dry, rinse the chamomile spray off with water. Be sure to use a conditioner as the lemon juice can make your hair dry and brittle

Is Chamomile Hair Lightening Effective for All?

how to lighten hair using chamomile tea

The effectiveness of chamomile hair lightening can vary depending on various factors. Here are some of the major factors:

Hair Color

Chamomile tends to show the most visible results on lighter hair shades adding a natural highlights effect.

The lightening effects on darker hair are much subtler. Chamomile provides a warm undertone rather than a pronounced lightening on the darker shades of hair.

If you’ve ever made chamomile tea, you’ll notice a bright yellow tinge that can cause stains on your clothes. This is because it has tannins that can interact with hair fibers and result in staining.

  • Blonde Hair: For people with blonde hair, chamomile can brighten your locks but give you a brassy tone.
  • Brown Hair: Chamomile produces highlights in brown hair. You may even see a slightly gold shade after treating your hair with chamomile.
  • Gray Hair: The bisabolol in chamomile is an effective lightener for gray-toned hair. After using a chamomile rinse, those with gray hair will notice a more luminous color and shine.
  • Black Hair: Unfortunately, in an experiment by Bustle, a pure chamomile rinse didn’t lighten black hair even after a month. You may need to mix it with stronger hair-lightening ingredients to see results. In a trial by Jessica Lee, she turned her brunette-dyed hair back to blonde with chamomile tea and lemon juice!

Hair Type

The texture and health of your hair are important when lightening with chamomile.

  • Straight to Wavy Hair: Chamomile rinses or treatments might distribute more evenly, leading to consistent lightening.
  • Curly to Coily Hair: The hair’s texture and porosity might influence how much chamomile is absorbed and, consequently, its lightening effect.
  • Healthy Hair: More likely to show even and consistent results.
  • Damaged or Over-Processed Hair: Results might be unpredictable as damaged hair can absorb and react to natural treatments differently.

Previous Hair Treatments

If you recently had any hair treatment the result of the lightening may differ.

  • Untreated/Natural Hair: Might react more predictably to chamomile lightening.
  • Chemically Treated Hair: If hair has been dyed, bleached, or chemically treated, the reaction to chamomile might differ, and the lightening may not be as pronounced.

How Long Does It Take to Lighten Hair With Chamomile?

The effects of chamomile for lightening hair depend on your hair color and type. There are different recipes for chamomile lighteners. Most include added ingredients that may accelerate the process. For some, it only takes one wash and 30 minutes of drying to see results.

Meanwhile, others need weeks of treatment before their hair lightens. The best way to find out how long it’ll take for your hair is to try it out yourself!

Here’s an average breakdown based on different factors:

Original Hair Color

  • Blonde: Around 3-5 rinses for visible results.
  • Light Brown: Approximately 6-10 rinses.
  • Dark Brown/Black: Over 10 rinses, and the lightening might be very subtle.

Frequency of Application

  • 2-3 times a week: Faster results within 2-4 weeks.
  • Once a week: It might take 5-8 weeks for noticeable lightening.

Duration of Each Treatment

  • Short (15-30 minutes): This might take the higher end of the rinse count mentioned above.
  • Long (1-2 hours or overnight): Fewer rinses might be needed for noticeable results.

Sun Exposure

If you dry your chamomile-treated hair in the sun for about 20-30 minutes after each application, you can expect faster results, perhaps reducing the number of rinses needed by 20-30%.

Store-Bought Chamomile Hair Lightening Products

chamomile hair products to lighten hair

Aside from DIY chamomile hair lighteners, there are a few store-bought ones you may want to consider. Don’t worry. These products use natural chamomile extracts as well.

Chamomile Shampoo

Chamomile shampoo is a hair product enriched with chamomile essence. It lightens hair gently without irritating your skin.

The best part about chamomile shampoo is it nourishes your hair as it cleanses.

You can get chamomile shampoos that are pH-balanced, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free. The only issue is it’s only suitable for brown to blonde hair.

Chamomile Oil

Did you know you can use store-bought chamomile oil to brighten your hair?

You can dab chamomile oil directly onto your locks for an instant shine. It’s possible to mix it with henna to make your natural highlights pop.

Not to mention, chamomile oil moisturizes your hair and stimulates hair growth. It’s a great way to get rid of dandruff as well!

Chamomile Spray

Store-bought chamomile spray works just like homemade ones. There are a few added perks though.

Chemists can formulate chamomile sprays with UV protection. So your hair is protected even when you’re exposing it to sunlight. Another perk is you can safely use them with curling or flat irons!

However, these sprays are more effective than DIY ones. You should only use them once or twice a week or you might damage your hair.


Here are some commonly asked questions about lightening hair with Chamomile:

Is Chamomile Hair Lightening Safe?

In general, chamomile is a safe way to lighten your hair and it can moisturize your hair, treat scalp irritation, and remove lice. But you should not mix chamomile haphazardly with other ingredients.

Some recipes for chamomile hair-lightening sprays contain lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. While these are natural lighteners, they can damage your hair when used incorrectly!

Be aware that chamomile can cause allergic reactions in rare cases. There’s also a lack of study on the long-term effects of chamomile on the skin.

If you have a sensitive scalp, you should consult with your doctor before using chamomile hair lightening.

Do You Need Sunlight for Lightening Hair with Chamomile?

Exposing your hair to sunlight can accelerate the hair-lightening process by applying chamomile but it’s not mandatory.

According to colorists, the citric acid in lemon juice works better if you expose it to sunlight. The reaction breaks your hair pigments and uncovers the lighter color underneath. But If your chamomile hair lightener doesn’t contain lemon juice, it doesn’t need sun exposure.

Is Chamomile Hair Lightener Permanent?

No, chamomile isn’t a permanent way to lighten your hair. You’ll need to use it continuously and regularly.

Some people opt to mix chamomile with lemon juice. This has a lasting effect since the acid in the lemon juice can permanently bleach hair!


Chamomile hair lightening is an all-natural and safe method to achieve bright, highlighted hair. The bisabolol, apigenin, azulene, and tyrosinase in chamomile can affect the melanin in your hair strands.

It’s great for those with blonde, brown, or gray hair. Sadly, people with black hair may need to use extra ingredients in the chamomile spray to see the effects.

So, if you have a dark hair color you want to shift to a lighter hair color sooner we recommend bleaching your hair with a high-volume developer. But if you have time and don’t want to damage your hair in the process stick with chamomile hair lightening.

There are several types of chamomile mixtures you can make. You can use chamomile sprays, masks, and rinses. You can also buy hair products that contain chamomile for better result.

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