9 Ways to Lighten Your Hair Naturally This Summer (Sans Sun-In)

9 Ways to Lighten Your Hair Naturally This Summer (Sans Sun-In)
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Sun-In has its place in this world—the thousands of positive reviews you’ll find while conducting a brief survey of Google are a testament to that—but it’s not for everyone. To be more specific, that kind of DIY hair lightening situation is not for anyone like me, a person with very dark hair that very quickly turns the brassy orange-red of nightmares. (What, you don’t have nightmares about brassy hair?)

MORE: The Best Sun Protection Products for Summer Hair

Chasing the blonde dragon is still a genuine plight, because the grass is always greener on the other side, i.e. the other end of the hair color spectrum. And while Sun-In may not be the answer—not even the fair-haired who are just out for some highlights are immune to the moisture zapping; there is no universe in which it is a good idea to let the sun and hydrogen peroxide simultaneously have their way with your hair—there are still ways to lighten that don’t end in a lengthy salon visit or a bathroom experiment involving bleach. Or squeezing lemons on your head or some shit.

MORE: 7 Top Stylists on the Hair You’re Going to Want in 2016

These nine products exist solely to save you from yourself: They’re formulated with brightening, highlight-enhancing ingredients that can actually be found in nature, like chamomile, citrus, and honey (you learn something new every day!), and utilize the power of the sun (or a blowdryer) to lighten things up without the risk of total destruction. As long as you don’t overdo it, at least—all manners of at-home hair dyeing should still be approached with caution.

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For an Understated, Pseudo-Natural Effect

John Frieda Beach Blonde Sun Streaks Lightening Spray, $9.99; at Ulta

For Gentle, Chemical-Free Lightening

Klorane Sun Lightening Spray with Chamomile and Honey, $18; at Klorane

For Crazy Shine and Boosting Bottle-Blondes

Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Cream, $26; at Sephora

For Hardcore Highlighting in a Bottle

Blond Brilliance Spray-In Heat Activated Lightener, $6.99; at Sally Beauty

For Brightening, Lightening, and Hydrating Every Hair Color

LUSH Marilyn Hair Treatment, $23.95; at LUSH

For Grown-Ups Who Still Long for Their Sun-In Days

OGX Sunkissed Blonde Lemon Highlights Highlight Activating Citrus Oil Mist, $7.99; at Ulta

For Replacing Brassiness with Fresh-from-the-Salon Vibes

L'Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shade Reviving Treatment, $8.99; at Walgreens

For Control Freaks Who Prefer the "Gradual" Approach

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray, $9.99; at Drugstore.com

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