Best Lightening Shampoo

By: | Last Updated: April 21, 2022

Shampoos these days seem to be capable of just about everything, besides its main purpose of cleansing.

There’s a shampoo out there for just about any need. 

Whether you need more nourishment and moisture or gentler formulas for fine hair, there are shampoos made just for curly hair and even ones that color your hair as you wash. 

So, this kind of makes you wonder, is there a shampoo that lightens hair?

Lightening shampoos are definitely out there if this is something you want to check out to try out a brand new but subtle look.

How do lightening shampoos work?

Let’s get one thing straight. Lightening shampoos are not bleaching shampoos. 

They’re not lifting shampoos either. 

So, what this simply means is that you shouldn’t expect a change in shade or lightness level in your hair just from using a lightening shampoo. 

Wait, so what does lightening shampoo do, then? 

Well, lightening shampoo just very gradually and subtly lifts your hair color by a fraction of a shade. One to two shades lighter, at best. 

What does this mean for you? 

CHECK OUT: 10 Stages of Lightening Dark Hair

For blondes, this means that it cancels out any orange tones and brassiness and lightens it to a brighter, more vibrant blonde.

Meanwhile, brunettes can have fun with lightening shampoos too. While it would not help you go blonde, the lightening effect actually adds definition and dimension to your hair.

This just means you’ll get more interesting, complex coloring in your hair, just like you got it done at a salon. No one needs to know it was all done at home out of a bottle of shampoo!

But if you want to see a difference, you have to be in it for the long game. 

This is one downside across all lightening shampoos. Depending on how often you clean your hair with the shampoo, they can be a little slow-acting and can take up to a month to show any difference. 

While this is a big consideration to make, if you’re not in a hurry, this is definitely a pretty low-maintenance way to change your look and get more dimension in your hair. 

Besides, with how often we wash our hair, the results will be visible in no time!

Speaking of being an easier option, it’s also healthier than using dyes. The lightening agent uses a very common natural ingredient. 

One you might even have in your evening tea — it’s chamomile! Chamomile contains apigenin which acts as a natural blonde pigment to the hair. 

So, if you’re looking for a more natural way to lighten your hair, shampoos containing chamomile, like many of the ones we have listed in this article, will be great options for you. 

What shampoo makes hair blonder?

Blondes definitely have a lot more fun with lightening shampoo. With the current formulas of these kinds of products out there right now, blonde hair is a lot easier to lighten than darker hair

Plus, blonde hair also benefits from canceling out any brassiness with the regular use of lightening shampoos.  

Here are a few great options for lightening and brightening blonde hair for more vibrantly blonde locks.

Joico Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo

If you want to maintain the cool icy blonde you have going on, or if wear and tear have gotten some brassiness in your locks, then the Joico Brightening shampoo is going to be the fix for all of that.

Not only does it neutralize brassiness, but it also hydrates the hair and gently cleanses it to keep your blonde locks looking nice and healthy. 

Blonde hair, especially chemically treated blonde hair, can look and feel quite dry. So, this product makes it so that you can cleanse, brighten and hydrate all in one bottle. This prevents further damage, brittleness, and breaking too!

So, if your hair’s feeling a bit fried or dry, this will bring back the moisture and life to it, preventing further damage. 

Plus, its sulfate-free formula is a bonus by cutting out that notoriously drying chemical. 


  • Sulfate-free formula 
  • Hydrating 


  • Can be heavy on finer hair textures 

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Shampoo

The John Frieda lightening shampoo is made with pretty good active ingredients. It has chamomile, which is essential for lightening, and citrus extracts for added nourishment. 

It also prevents your hair from getting completely stripped of moisture because it’s a gentler formula than most shampoos out there. John Frieda also has their signature BlondeMend technology, made specifically for neutralizing unsightly discoloration from blonde hair while brightening it along the way. 

Whether you have virgin hair, color-treated hair, or hair that’s highlighted with different colors, this shampoo is safe for you and the color you might have in it. 

You can use this every day with its mild formula if you want to. The results? Sunkissed beach blond hair. 


  • Gentle formula for all hair types and treated hair 


  • Can be a little more slow-acting 

Best lightening shampoo for blonde hair – Klorane Shampoo for Blonde Hair

The best shampoo to lighten blonde hair out there might just be the Klorane Shampoo. Chamomile is nature’s best lightener when it comes to shampoos, and the Klorane shampoo highlights it like no other. 

This plant-based shampoo is as gentle as it could be. It’s free from parabens, silicons, sulfates, and even hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. The latter are often found in bleaching and lightening products but can damage hair like crazy. 

So it’s almost a miracle that the product works as well as it does with just chamomile extract doing its magic. 


  • Gentle natural formula 


  • Intense perfumed scent 

What is the best shampoo to lighten hair?

Now that you know the options out there for the blondies that want to go even blonder, it’s time to check out some shampoos that will work on dark hair. 

Brunette lightening shampoo is a bit harder to nail down. For one thing, darker hair is a lot harder to lighten than blonde hair. 

But the shampoos on this list are three of the top runners for the best lightening shampoo that works on dark hair. 

Tio Nacho Natural Lightening and Volumizing Shampoo

The Tio Nacho Shampoo has a cult following for a shampoo that lightens hair naturally. This is with pretty good reason!

This Hispanic brand is known for using very nourishing natural ingredients to help keep hair healthy while lightening it. Aside from chamomile, the most notable ingredient is royal jelly. 

With royal jelly, your hair can stay healthy and strong. This formula also keeps hair shiny and vibrant with regular use. 

Aside from chamomile and royal jelly, it’s also an entire recipe of powerful, healthy ingredients like ginseng, aloe vera, and Mexican herbs. 

This formula is great on blonde hair, but it works just as well in darker hair if you want to go up half a shade or two. This can result in drawing in some highlights without going to the salon to get the work done. 


  • Nourishing formula 


  • Can be heavy and cause build-up

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Lightening Shampoo

John Frieda doesn’t just have lightening shampoos for blondes. Oh no, they have one made just for brunettes too! 

This one employs different flower power from the other shampoos on this list. Instead of chamomile extract, the John Frieda Lightening Shampoo for brunettes uses marigold instead! This extract lightens darker shades from dull and deep to more dimensional shades. 

It’s also enhanced with honey to nourish the hair and keep it silky and smooth. 

This one works by slowly depositing golden tones that complement brown or black hair. This gives you a warm, glowy look that looks just like a sun-kissed summer hair look. 

This shampoo is gentle enough to use every day so you can maximize the color-changing properties it has while not stripping your hair of moisture. 


  • Nourishing formula for all hair types 


  • Can stain skin and bathroom

Best lightening shampoo for dark hair – Grisi Manzanilla Gold Shampoo

Patience is the key to getting the best effects from lightening shampoo for dark hair. The Grisi Manzanilla shampoo really is the best out there if you’re in it for the long game. 

This shampoo gradually delivers warmth and lightness into dark hair with chamomile extract. Apart from the lightening factor, this shampoo also highlights chamomile as a natural remedy against dandruff, making it a gentle cleanser. 

Macadamia oil is another of its secret ingredients, making it perfect for giving you shiny, radiant hair. Plus, it helps hair grow thicker and more voluminous by encouraging keratin production. 

All those things put together, giving dark hair more interesting depth and color, is a sure win. The biggest edge it has overall is that it lightens up to two shades with regular use, which is a crazy difference on dark hair. 


  • Nourishing formula 
  • Gentle cleansing 


  • Can be a bit heavy for very fine hair

CHECK OUT: Stages of Lightening Dark Hair


Is lightening shampoo bad for your hair?

Nope! Lightening shampoo comes with just as many risks as the regular everyday shampoo has. Unlike bleach and lightening products that contain all kinds of peroxides and ammonia, usually lightening shampoos go for plant extracts to cause the color change. 

Therefore, by cutting out the worst culprits of damage in lightening, it stays one of the safest ways to lighten hair, albeit taking much longer to see really subtle results. 

So, if you’re looking for a safe, easy way to lighten your hair, then a quick switch of shampoo just might do the trick. 

Cut out all the bad chemicals, and go for a subtler change with all-natural plant extracts and oils. Your hair will be highlighted, healthy and happy for sure!

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