Friendly warning: I do mean natural and subtle highlights. Brown or black hair might go red, not blond.
Step 1: How it Works
This is permanent.
It may fade with time, but treat it like permanent hair dye. Luckily, the color change is so gradual that it is very easy to control.
Step 2: Supplies
1. A bottle of real lemon juice (not lemonade).
I like the little lemon-shaped ones, the squeeze tops work perfectly.
2. A shower or water squirt bottle. Something to get your hair soaked.
3. A towel. A hand towel or washcloth is okay.
4. Sun protection gear. Specifically sunscreen and sunglasses.
5. A brush and/or comb.
Step 3: Getting Wet
For streaky highlights-- towel off your hair, so that it's damp, not dripping at all.
For soft highlights or all over lightness-- pat your hair with a towel, so that it's not dripping.
Remember: It's easier to get your hair drier than it is to get it wet again.
Step 4: Lemony Fresh
If you have a regularly-used hair part, part it now. If you tend to wear your hair pulled back, brush it back now.
>>For Parted Hair, All-Over Lightening-- Drop lemon juice along right side of the part, comb out away from part. Repeat on left side of part.
>>For Parted Hair, Streaky Highlights-- Drop lemon juice in a zigzag across your part. Comb both sides away from part.
>>For Pulled Back Hair, All-Over Lightening-- Starting near the center of your forehead, drop lemon juice just inside your hairline, moving down toward your right ear. Repeat on the left side.
>>For Pulled Back Hair, Streaky Highlights-- Starting near the center of your forehead, drop lemon juice in short lines away from your hairline. Move from center to ear, one side then the other. Brush back from forehead.
Step 5: Mix it Up!
Try throwing in a streaky highlights layer once a month.
>>Drop lemon juice in a zigzag at your forehead hairline.
Put an application of lemon juice just in the front for a chunky fringe highlight.
Mother Nature likes to get a little crazy, and this highlighting is so gentle that mixing it up isn't drastic in any sense.
For people with longer hair-- you may want to try dripping some lemon juice on your palm, rubbing your hands together, then running your hands through your hair, especially the ends. (Be careful of little cuts... cut+lemon=big ouch!)
Step 6: Catch Some Rays
Be sure to wear sunscreen and sunglasses! Safety first, people!
You only need to spend 30-60 minutes with your hair in the sun. Make sure your hair has the best sun exposure. This means the top of your head is toward the sun.
I've used the sunbathing method, to lighten my hair and lessen my glowing whiteness at the same time.
>>I've also done the yardwork method, adding a hat when the 30 minutes was up.
Step 7: Drying Up
Dry and style your hair as you'd like.
For those of you with less than 30 minutes to spend in the sun... or if your sun has been taken away by a nasty old raincloud... never fear! Heating the lemon juiced hair will also lighten it, although the effect will be much much subtler. A quick blow-dry on high heat or curling/flattening iron will do.
Step 8: Repeat as Needed
Repeat Steps 3-7 once a week, until you've reached the desired look.
Doing this more than once a week can leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. Let your natural hair oils work their magic.