Natural Highlights : Keep your summer shade home-made

Written by Julia Kendal

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What a glorious, UK summer! Weeks of sunny days; this weather has far exceeded expectations. Autumn is upon us though, with the nights creeping, and memories of the Beast from the East beginning to resurface. This is a time for holding on to some of that summer sun. With that in mind, here are three recipes for maintaining a summer look, by lightening your hair or adding some highlights. As usual, we’ve gone for ingredients of the natural kind: plant-based and found in the kitchen. Products with harsh chemicals can strip our hair of their natural oils and even negatively affect your respiratory and nervous system; these alternatives should be replenishing for your hair at the same time as keeping your locks looking sun-lit.

Lemon juice
Who should use it?
This is particularly effective for people with dark blond or light brown hair. Use it if you don’t want to create new reddish tones in your hair. How to use it:
Add an equal amount of lemon juice to coconut oil - which keeps your hair hydrated - and apply the mixture to your hair. For this to work you’ll need to sit outside capturing the lingering sun for a couple of hours. The citric acid in lemon juice is an oxidising agent which, when exposed to the sun’s UV rays, reduces the amount of melanin (colour pigment) in your hair. This means it permanently lightens your hair colour – until it grows out of course. Rinse the mixture out when you’re finished.

What's the benefit?
You’ll top up on Vitamin D at the same time; this is important to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate we have in our bodies, keeping our bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Who should use it? Anyone, but it’s particularly good for people with darker heads of hair.
How to use it:
Brew a strong cup of organic chamomile tea and let it cool. Apply the tea to your hair, and sit yourself in the sun for just 30 minutes while your hair dries. Wash the tea out.
What's the benefit?
Chamomile will leave your hair feeling softer, and smelling lovely and fragrant for the rest of the day.

Apple cider vinegar
Who should use it?
Anyone who wants to draw out natural red highlights, de-tangle their locks, or enhance the bounce of their natural curls.
How to use it:
Add one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water and pour it on your hair. Leave the mixture on for 30 minutes, then rinse it out. This method doesn’t rely on sitting under the sun, making it particularly good for any grey or rainy autumn days.
What's the benefit?
Apple cider vinegar will also break down any build up of oil or chemical residues in your hair – great for replenishing the health of your hair if you’ve spent a lot of time in the pool this summer.

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