How Did They Bleach Hair in Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered how people in ancient times bleached their hair? It may seem like a modern trend, but the practice of lightening hair dates back centuries. Let’s take a look at some of the methods used in ancient times to bleach hair.

Methods Used in Ancient Times

Sun Exposure

One of the most natural ways to lighten hair is through sun exposure. In ancient times, people would spend hours in the sun to achieve lighter locks. This method is still used today, but with caution as overexposure to the sun can damage both your hair and skin.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice was another common method used to bleach hair in ancient times. The citric acid found in lemons can lighten the hair when activated by sunlight. People would apply lemon juice to their hair and sit in the sun for several hours to achieve a lighter shade.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea was also used to lighten hair naturally. People would brew a strong cup of chamomile tea and apply it to their hair, then sit in the sun for a few hours. This method not only lightened the hair but also gave it a golden hue.

Chemical Methods

While natural methods were prevalent, chemical methods were also used to lighten hair.

Lye Soap

Lye soap was commonly used as a shampoo and bleach for hair in ancient Egypt. Lye is an alkaline substance that can strip away dirt and oils from both skin and hair. When mixed with water, it becomes an effective bleaching agent.

Sulfur and Potash

In ancient Rome, sulfur and potash were mixed together to create a paste that was then applied to the hair for bleaching purposes. The mixture was left on for several hours before being washed out.


In conclusion, people in ancient times used various methods to bleach their hair. Some of these methods were natural, while others were chemical-based.

While some of these methods are still used today, it’s important to remember that overexposure to the sun and harsh chemicals can damage your hair and scalp. Always take proper precautions when trying to lighten your hair and consult a professional if needed.