How to Naturally Enhance Your Highlights

Emma Watson sports natural-looking highlights at a film screening at the Paris Theatre in New York.
... Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Fake that sun-kissed look of summer even in the dead of winter by bringing out your highlights with all-natural ingredients. Less costly than a trip to the salon and safer for strands than bleach and other harsh chemicals, everyday items found in your kitchen can gently and effectively highlight your tresses. Enhance your light blonde streaks, boost your golden-caramel strands or rev up your red lights -- naturally.

Break an egg for brighter highlights. Beat one egg yolk, which contains acids that lighten hair, and apply the mixture to your highlights with a hair-highlighting brush or a small, clean paintbrush. Wrap the treated hair with tinfoil or plastic and leave on for one hour. Going out in the sun with egg yolk on your hair could scramble your treatment, so stay indoors.

Brighten up your blonde with lemon juice. Use pure lemon juice for lighter streaks or dilute the juice with water for subtler lights. Apply with a brush or comb into areas wherever you want to create or enhance highlights; sit in the sun or use a blow-dryer to heat up your locks.

Get golden locks with citrus. While its common knowledge that lemon juice is a natural lightener, adding orange juice into the mix creates warm, natural-looking golden lights. Squeeze the juices of both into a spray bottle and spritz on your hair before going out in the sun or blow-drying.

Go a bit blonder with a lemon and chamomile-tea concoction. Squeeze a few lemons into a bowl with 1/2 cup of warm water and one chamomile-tea bag. Allow the tea to steep for four minutes and stir thoroughly. Add to a spray bottle for all-over lightening or apply with a brush to highlighted sections.

Get vibrant red highlights with cranberry juice. Red dyes tend to wash out rapidly and cranberry juice can give you a quick fix to put the color back into dull-looking red highlights. Apply pure cranberry juice to your red streaks and leave on for at least five minutes -- longer for a more saturated effect -- before rinsing out.

Repeat your natural lightener of choice several times. Because natural ingredients are gentler than bleach, it'll take a bit longer to get the desired results; repeat your lightening-treatment until you have achieved your goal. Natural ingredients like lemon still cause dryness so wait a few days in between.

  • Massage a can of tomato-based vegetable juice into your hair to restore your color If you have highlights that have turned green from chlorine or hard water. The red tones in the juice counteract green or ashy tones in light-colored hair.
  • Avoid trying natural ingredients to highlight untreated dark brown or black hair. Using natural lighteners may turn darker hair unwanted shades of orange and should be professionally highlighted.

Hilary White is a professional writer and editor based in San Diego. White has been writing articles on fashion, style, fitness, nutrition, movies and entertainment since 1994. Her articles have been published in "Westways" magazine, "Pages" magazine, "Book Street USA," "Magill's Cinema Annual," and numerous titles from Visible Ink Press. White holds a bachelor's degree in English from Michigan State University.