Hair Care

Lemon For Hair – Benefits, Side Effects & How To Use/Apply

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When life gives you lemons, put it into your hair! And we mean that quite literally! If you are tired of having dull, frizzy hair that you have not been able to tame despite the best of your efforts, then lemon might be the answer to your hair woes. Not only will lemon help you to tame your hair and make it smoother, but it will also help you attain thick and luscious, long locks that you have always dreamed of. Keep reading this article to know more about all the ways you can use lemon as a natural remedy to strengthen you hair, fight dandruff, achieve a naturally glossy texture, add some highlights and stimulate its growth.

Why lemon?

Aside from that tangy flavor that can spice up any boring meal, lemon has many other health-beneficiary properties.

  • Being a citrus fruit, it is a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin B.
  • It also contains folic acid, and essential minerals that can help you naturally achieve long and thick hair.
  • It’s mildly acidic nature helps it rid the scalp of excess oil and dead skin cells so your hair can breathe and grow.
  • Its natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a strong adversary to stubborn dandruff and flaky scalp.
  • It contains oxidizing agents that can act as bleaching agents and lighten up your hair when exposed to the sun.
  • It also contains a hydrocarbon compound called limonene which can add that extra shine to your spruce up your bad-hair days.

So here are the different ways you can use the magic of lemon to give your hair the nourishment it needs to look soft and bouncy.

Lemon For Hair

1. Grow your locks faster:

The everyday stress and anxiety of work and using hair products with sulfates can inhibit the growth of your hair. Frequent bleaching, dyeing, chemical treatments and styling using tools relying on heat or steam may result in split ends. They result in breakage of hair and may hinder the growth of your hair. But if you still want long, beautiful tresses then this is the method for you.

What will you need?

  1. 1/2 tablespoon of lemon oil
  2. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  3. Freshly extracted Aloe Vera gel
  4. A small bowl for mixing the ingredients

What to do?

Use the small bowl to create a mixture all the oils mentioned in the ingredient list. Then, add the freshly extracted Aloe Vera gel to this mixture and massage it thoroughly in your scalp. Leave this in overnight to let the oils get to work and rinse your hair with mild shampoo in the morning. Repeat this process one every week for best results.

Why does this help?

Massaging helps to improve blood circulation to the scalp and stimulates the hair follicles, inducing faster hair growth. Lemon and olive oil not only stimulate and nourish hair follicles, but also reduce hair-fall. The enzymes in Aloe Vera repairs damaged hair and conditions it.

2. Get that sun-kissed shine:

Your hair undergoes a lot of heat damage each time you blow dry it, use a flattening iron to straighten it or a curling rod to add some texture to it. Consistent heat exposure due to frequent use of these machines for styling can permanently damage you hair and make it look dull, and very frizzy at the ends. This method can help you make the perfect hair mask to nourish your hair and undo the damage created by protein loss.

What will you need?

  1. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  2. 2 tablespoons of honey
  3. 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  4. A small bowl for mixing

What to do?

Mix up all of your ingredients thoroughly in the small bowl until you get the appropriate consistency. Massage this into your scalp and layer it onto each strand of your hair. Leave the hair mask on for about 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, wash the mixture out of your hair using a mild shampoo. Repeat this process one to two times a week for best results.

Why does this help?

Lemon and honey will work together to nourish your hair and give it natural gloss. Coconut oil will reduce the protein lost by your hair due to heat damage, bleaching and coloring. Now, when you step into the sunlight, your hair will be a much shinier and healthier version of its previous self.

3. Get rid of dandruff:

Dandruff is a condition caused by dry scalp and its symptoms include flaking of the skin. The itching and inflammation caused by dandruff can be quite annoying and even embarrassing at times. It is very common and is mostly caused by improper hygiene or a dehydrated scalp as a result of one’s diet or lifestyle. It can even be triggered by stress or bacterial infections. The following method is a very cost-effective, natural way to get rid of dandruff that is stubborn.

What will you need?

  1. 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  2. A cupful of water

What to do?

Squeeze out about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into a cup. Dilute the juice by filling the rest of the cup with water and stir well. Now carefully massage the mixture into your scalp and let it sit for 10 minutes. After that, use a mild shampoo to rinse the mixture off your hair. Do this twice a week to get permanently rid of the dandruff.

Why does this help?

Lemon juice contains citric acid which helps in maintenance of the correct pH level of the skin on your scalp which should be approximately 5.5. It also controls the oils in the hair follicles that the fungus causing dandruff feeds on, hereby, eliminating the very cause of dandruff itself. Lemon and water is an excellent combination that can clean out your scalp and keep your hair fragrant and fresh all day long.

4. Lighten up:

If you are bored with your hair and want to spice up your daily look but are not willing to go through a major change like a big chop or a permanent chemical or heat treatment, then this might be your answer. A subtle hint of color can act as a highlighter and elevate your hair game. Using a natural substance like lemon saves you from the expenses of going to a proper professional and also helps you avoid the intense damage cause by harsh chemicals like hair lightening bleach and dyes.

What will you need?

  1. Hair sectioning clips
  2. Fresh lemons
  3. A cup
  4. A comb

What to do?

Separate a section of your hair that you want to lighten. You can use hair sectioning clips for this purpose. Squeeze out the juice from the lemons. Coat the section of hair with lemon juice and repeat the process for as many sections as your desire. Run a comb through each section once you are done with it to spread out the juice evenly to get a consistent lightening effect. Expose your hair to direct sunlight for at least an hour or more relative to how light you want your hair to be. To achieve a lighter color, you may choose to re -apply the juice to some strands and expose your hair to the sunlight again for at least 30 more minutes. Rinse out the juice with warm water.

Why does this help?

The UV rays found in sunlight have the property to lighten hair. The citric acid contained in lemons can accelerate this reaction by acting as a catalyst and hence, leave your hair with subtle, natural looking highlights. However, since the reaction cased is quite mild, it can only be used by people with lighter colored hair in the tones of brown and blonde. This method leaves behind undesirable red tints if used on black hair. If used correctly, the highlights can last for around 3 to 4 months.

A word of caution:

Due the acidic nature of lemon, it should not be used by persons with extremely sensitive skin. People with easily irritable skin can face symptoms such as dry, inflamed and itchy red scalp if they put excessive amounts of lemon in their hair. If you are not sure of the sensitivity of your skin, it is always advisable to proceed with a small patch test and then proceeding with the above natural home remedies if your scalp does not experience any of the symptoms of irritability.

Moreover, do not use any form of lemon in amounts more than prescribed by the above methods in the hope of better results. Going beyond the optimum level of usage as mentioned in each method that has been described above, will only harm your scalp, stripping it of its moisture and irritating it which might damage your hair in the long run.

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(Reviewed by Dr. Samiksha Rane)

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