• Dr. Michelle Jackson, ND

DIY Summer Highlights Spray

The sun naturally lightens our hair, but why not give it a little extra help?

I used to spend my summers living at the cottage and I was known to occasionally spritz lemon juice in my hair during the day. It may have gotten a little crusty and left pieces of pulp in my hair, but I was convinced it enhanced my summer highlights.

Now, what do you normally associate chamomile tea with? A sleep aid? Settling upset stomachs? That’s what I thought too. Well, now you can also think of it as a hair lightener! Apigen, quercetin, and azulene are the bioflavanoids present in chamomile tea that are thought to be responsible for it's ability to brighten and lighten hair. It’s been used as a natural hair dye for decades.

So, I thought I’d combine my trusty lemon juice with an old favourite tea and put it to the test one beautiful, sunny Sunday. Here’s what to do:

DIY: Summer Highlights Spray

  1. Find a spray bottle.

  2. Prepare a cup of chamomile tea. I made this first thing in the morning so by the time I finished breakfast the tea had cooled and was able to be added to the spray bottle.

  3. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into bottle.

  4. Add a few tablespoons of filtered water.

That’s it! Spritz the spray into slightly damp hair and let it dry in the sun. Once it feels a little stiff or crusty (after a few hours), you can wash it out (or ideally, jump in the lake), and voila, behold the new you!

My experience:

Believe it or not, when I went to school Monday after trying this spray, a friend actually asked me if I got my hair done. I had noticed that my hair seemed light and shiny, but I didn’t think it was that noticeable! Whether you notice a change this quickly in your hair or not, I promise you'll love how soft and silky your hair will feel!


  1. Isn’t lemon juice bad for your hair? Technically, yes. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is thought to be a weaker version of hydrogen peroxide. Compare use of this spray to some daily beauty routines like flat iron straightening, blow drying, and use of hair dye/other hair products known to be bad for our hair. Also, this spray is intended to be used here and there throughout the summer. If it was used daily, it may dry out your hair, but I'm personally not concerned about occasional use.

  2. Who can use this spray? This spray will be most effective for blondes and brunettes. That being said, there are claims that chamomile has lightened those with darker shades of brown.

  3. Is there anything else I can add to the spray? Yes there certainly is! Some DIY recipes recommend adding a tsp of coconut or almond oil to counteract the drying effects of lemon. I never found that lemon dried my hair and I wanted to keep my spray as simple as possible. But it’s definitely a consideration. Other additions include: cinnamon, beer, and honey!

So next time you’re heading to the cottage or plan on spending a day outside in the sun, put together a quick batch of this spray, grab your sunscreen, a homemade fudgsicle and soak up those rays!


1. Matricaria chamomilla. Plant preparations used as ingredients of cosmetic products. Volume I. Council of Europe, 1994 1st edition, p: 184-5 (68*1 PAT).

#highlights #hair #summer #DIY


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Disclaimer: Any information on this website is for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used in place of professional medical advice.

Always seek the advice of a qualified health care practitioner with any questions or health concerns you may have.


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