How You Can Use Chamomile To Lighten Your Hair

You've likely had a cup of chamomile tea at some point to soothe an upset stomach, but chamomile has many uses you may not be aware of. The famous Greek physician Hippocrates purported the benefits of chamomile. In ancient Egypt and Greece, it was used as a remedy for skin ailments like xerosis. Even today, the flower — which is part of the daisy family — is steeped to ease anxiety, reduce period cramps, and, of course, help ease a stomachache, per the National Library of Medicine.

As well as medicinal purposes, chamomile also has supposed cosmetic benefits, proving especially helpful for sensitive, acne-prone skin. Dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman told Healthline, "Chamomile's wonderful soothing, healing, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular ingredient in skin care." Engleman added, "Chamomile has astringent and brightening properties that, in addition to tightening pores and softening the skin, can fade acne scars and hyperpigmentation when used regularly."

Chamomile can also help you lighten your hair naturally. 

Chamomile brightens hair when exposed to heat

Whereas bleach and chemical dyes can damage your strands, a plant like chamomile has brightening effects without the potential risks, per Prose. Believe it or not, it's as easy as stopping by the grocery store and picking up a $10 box of strong tea.

According to Byrdie, the key lightening ingredient in chamomile is called apigenin. Start by brewing a strong cup — or several — of tea. Healthline suggests 5 tea bags for every 2 cups of water. For more noticeable effects, add in ¼ cup of lemon juice (another natural hair lightener) or, alternatively, mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of tea. For ease of application, shake ingredients together in an empty spray bottle and squirt it onto freshly-washed strands, letting them soak up the solution. 

Stylist Cara Craig told Byrdie that you should then use a comb to make sure the solution covers all of your hair. She added, "The lightening agent will be activated with heat, so you can sit in the sun or use a hair dryer." 

For a more gentle effect, let the solution dry in your hair overnight.

If you don't want to brew tea, you can buy pre-mixed chamomile concoctions

Keep in mind that natural lighteners won't be as effective on dark hair, per Bustle. However, at the very least, the tea will still leave your scalp fragrant and hydrated. 

If all of this sounds like too much work to lighten your hair, you can look at products that use chamomile as a lightening ingredient. While they might cost a bit more than a box of tea, they can save some time and still provide you with a similar effect. 

Cosmopolitan recommends products like Christophe Robin's brightening shampoo made with chamomile flowers. When used regularly, this product will leave a residual glow. Alternatively, apply Klorane sun lightening spray. Infused with chamomile and honey, this spray will gradually highlight your strands, giving them a sun-kissed look. Remember, though –  as is the case with any natural hair-lightening product, patience is key.