Lemon juice in hair – A Beauty Secret Revealed!

Lemon is a fruit, essentially a berry grown on a thorny stemmed plant,  scientifically known as Citrus limon. It is a pale yellow oblong berry with many seeds along the centre rind.  Lemon is acidic in nature and is easily available in marketplaces. When you squeeze a lemon, pure and natural lemon juice is extracted. This is acidic in nature and sour to taste. Lemon juice is edible and is used in many forms of cooking like juices, sauces and pickles to name a few.  Besides cooking, lemon has been used for many purposes since ancient times. Lemon juice is a traditional home remedy for many home remedies and beauty purposes. Lemon juice is very helpful in treating hair problems to nourish your hair as well. Citric acid helps lighten matter over time. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Using lemon juice for your hair has its own pros and cons and we must consider both before using this home remedy. We must not generalize the effects, as the effect of lemon juice in hair is different for each person based on their hair type.

Benefits and uses of lemon juice in hair

Lemon juice can be used in many different ways to tackle hair problems. Some of these ways are listed below:

To Lighten and Brighten Hair Colour:

Today, everyone desires to dye their hair and highlight them. If you apply lemon to your hair on a daily basis, it bleaches off that part of your hair without chemical damage that chemical dyes cause. The sunlight and heat react with the citric acid to lighten a material. This helps you get mild and natural dyed hair at home. It also costs hardly any amount, whereas chemical dyes will cost anyone a fortune. 

Increases Hair Length:

The Vitamin C in lemon juice provides necessary elements to accelerate formation of new hair strands and growth of pre-existent ones. This increases the rate of growth of your hair making it grow much faster. This Vitamin also helps in strengthening hair follicles making hair grow longer fast. 

Preventing Dandruff:

Dandruff can be a very taxing disturbance in your life, but the cheapest remedy is available in markets, lemon juice! The antibacterial and antifungal characters of lemon juice keep dandruff at bay. It nourishes and hydrates the scalp with necessary nutrients to prevent dandruff and a dirty scalp. This also prevents flaking of the scalp and dandruff formation. It also balances the pH level of the scalp, which keeps dandruff at bay.

Reduces Hair Fall

Lemon juice strengthens the roots of the hair and the hair follicles to grip the hair strand tighter. This prevents hair fall due to pulling at hair too much. It also strengthens hair fiber and imparts vitamins to them to prevent breakage. This reduces hair fall by a vast rate and also makes the hair strong and resistant to damage.

Cleaning Off Deposits

The acidity of lemon juice works very efficiently to clean off dirt and dust. This prevents excess build up of germs and dead cells. This prevents making the scalp heavy and flaky. It prevents dirt at the roots of the hair. The acidity keeps away harmful compounds and microorganisms.

 Adds Life to Hair:

The citric acid removes dust and impurities from the hair strands. This adds shine, softness and lustre to the hair. The lemon juice contains a compound called Limonene. This makes dull lifeless hair look so very full of life. This also adds volume to flat, limp hair, making it look amazing.

It Removes Excess Oil From Hair

Lemon Juice is useful in absorbing oil quickly. This helps it to absorb excess oil from the hair, making hair washes less frequent. It also reduces hair from looking oily, heavy and flat. Oily hair can force you to tie your hair up all the time and wash all the time. Lemon juice prevents that and keeps hair fresh for longer. 

Regulates Blood Flow and Gland Secretions:

Lemon juice is believed to have a stimulating effect on glands in the brain when applied to the scalp. It encourages healthy glandular secretions. It also helps increase blood flow to the brain circuit. This makes the brain function better and more effectively to carry out daily activities.

Chlorine Cleanser:

The water of swimming pools in many places have excess amounts of chlorine in the water. This chlorine layers up on hair strands and the scalp. Lemon juice helps remove this and keep hair chemical free.

Home remedies of lemon juice in hair

Lemon Treatment for Dandruff

  1. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl, without its seeds.
  2. Add coconut oil or olive oil and mix well.
  3. Apply to the scalp and leave on for about 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse off with a mild shampoo.

Lemon Treatment for Bleaching Hair

  1. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl and add one tablespoon of honey to it.
  2. Add a pinch of cinnamon.
  3. Apply it to your hair and sit in the sun for  at least 10 minutes.
  4. Wash it off after that and see the difference over time.

Lemon Treatment for Oily Hair

  1. Squeeze a lemon and use all the juice.
  2. Add half a teaspoon honey, a few drops of water and quarter teaspoon olive oil to it.
  3. Apply it to your hair and keep overnight.
  4. Wash it off in the morning with a mild shampoo.

Lemon Treatment for Scalp Exfoliation

  1. Squeeze out the juice of half a lemon in a bowl.
  2. Add half a tablespoon white vinegar to this.
  3. Apply all over your scalp and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Wash it off with a mild shampoo.

Lemon Treatment for Hair Growth

  1. Take the juice of half a lemon and add one tablespoon of castor oil to it.
  2. Furthermore, add one tablespoon of olive oil to it.
  3. Massage onto your scalp and keep overnight.
  4. In the morning, wash it with a mild or organic shampoo.

Lemon Treatment for Hair Fall

  1. Add one tablespoon lemon juice to 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel.
  2. Mix until you get a thick paste.
  3. Apply it evenly all over your scalp.
  4. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash off.

Lemon Treatment for All Round Nourishment

  1. Squeeze out the juice of one lemon in a bowl.
  2. Add 1 egg white to it and mix well.
  3. Add a pinch of ground cinnamon and one tablespoon honey.
  4. Apply to hair and wash off after 20 minutes.

Lemon Hair Pack for All Round Care

  1. Squeeze out the juice of one lemon in a bowl.
  2. Add half an avocado to it.
  3. Blend this mixture and add honey.
  4. Apply to your hair, keep for 200 minutes and wash off.

Antioxidant Pack

  1. Take the juice of one lemon in a bowl.
  2. Mix in one teaspoon coffee powder.
  3. Add half a tablespoon honey and mix well.
  4. Apply this to your hair and keep overnight.

Moisturising Pack

  1. Take the juice of one lemon and add a pinch of shikakai powder.
  2. To this mixture, add three tablespoons fresh yogurt.
  3. Add a pinch of cinnamon and mix well.
  4. Apply this evenly all over your scalp and head and wash after 20 minutes.

Are there any known side-effects?

However good a product may be, everything has a negative aspect to it. Some of the side effects of lemon juice are as follows:

May cause greying of hair

The bleaching effect of lemon will have different results on different people, based on their hair type. For the more sensitive hair types, even a little exposure to bleaching may cause greying of hair. Greying is usually irreversible naturally and it may last for a long time. Thus, lemon juice can be harmful at times.

May cause drying out

In normal to dry hair types, lemon juice can dry out natural oils and make the hair look dry and limp. It must be used in combination with an oil to prevent this repercussion. For dry hair, avoid using lemon juice on your hair strands as they can strip off the little natural oil protecting your hair strands.

May cause minor burns and cuts

Lemon juice burns infected wounds, causing a lot of pain and burning and itching sensation. Thus, if lemon juice is applied to external wounds or wounds just below the skin, the wound will get more intensified. It can also cut really sensitive skin in some cases.


People with light colored and sensitive skin must apply it in moderation. They must not stay in the sun with the lemon on for too long. It causes sunburns and minor infections and skin problems.


This is a disorder which occurs when the chemicals in citrus fruits react with the UV rays of the sun to cause itching, burning and large blisters. This can be caused when the citrus in lemon reacts with the harmful UV rays of the Sun.

Are there any precautions/health risks to use it?

The following precautions must always be taken while using these home remedies:

Always use fresh lemon squeezed juice:

Fresh lemon juice has all the nutrients packed within it and is more organic than packaged lemon juice. Packaged lemon juice has unnecessary and sometimes harmful preservatives. The desired effect will not be acquired if packaged lemon juice is used.

Do not apply to open wounds

Lemon juice and wounds do not go well together. If applied to open wounds, lemon juice will worsen it and make the pain increase. When you’re applying it to your scalp, always remember to avoid wounded areas.

Do not leave it on for very long or it will get bleached extra

For very sensitive and light colored hair, the bleaching effect is much faster and effective. If we leave it on for too long, it will lead to greying. If light haired people put the lemon on and stay out in the sun for too long, their hair will get stripped off completely of their natural hair color.

Always apply it in combinations and/or moderated amount

If a large amount of lemon juice is applied by itself, it will lead to skin infections, itching and excessive drying out. To prevent these adverse effects, always apply in combination and a moderated amount.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will lemon juice lead to greying of hair?

Answer- It will not lead to greying if applied in an adequate amount and proper fashion. It can lead to greying even when left on for too long or exposed to the sun too much, so avoid these situations.

Can lemon juice lighten my hair color?

Answer- Yes. The lemon juice and the ultraviolet rays of the sun react perfectly to bleach your hair slowly. If a large amount is used for a longer period of time, it can cause greying of hair.

Can I add lemon juice to my hair products?

Answer- Yes, you can. However you should get the chemical ingredients in the products examined first to prevent any chemical reaction mishaps.

Can lemon juice be applied on the scalp on its own?

Answer- It is possible, but also very dangerous in practice. It contains very strong and harsh acids that can damage your scalp if not used carefully. Direct application of lemon juice will be too much exposure of the scalp cells and the juice. It must be diluted using liquids like water or must be used in combination with other ingredients.

How does lemon and sunlight lighten hair color?

Answer- The sunlight and heat opens up hair cuticles while the lemon lifts color off. Thus, together they help in bleaching hair.

Does the bleaching effect occur in the absence of sunlight?

Answer- Yes, it does, but the effect isn’t as much as with sunlight. You can add other enhancers like chamomile tea and olive oil, but lemon alone with take months to act alone.

How long do you have to keep the lemon juice in your hair?

Answer- For hair lightening and bleaching, keep it on for 90 minutes and sit in the sun. If you get the desired effect, you may stop. But if you don’t, you can reapply the lemon juice and sit in the Sun for 30 minutes more. 

On which parts of a hair strand is application of lemon juice safe?

Answer- It is safe to apply lemon juice on your scalp as long as it’s diluted. It can be applied to the lengths as well. It can be applied to the ends too, but the hair should be well moisturized after that to prevent drying out and split ends.

What is the most effective way to use lemon juice to achieve results soonest?

Answer- The most effective way for the application is directly, but that can be harmful. The closest alternative is a mixture of lemon juice and water. The next most effective organic method is lemon juice with olive oil or honey.

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