Subscribe to our newsletter

High Roller Hair Highlights for the Fabulous and Frugal

Nothing causes “hair envy” more than seeing someone with a mane of gorgeous highlights that look as though they were kissed by the sun personally. Of course you can achieve this look by paying good money at a salon, but you can also get the look using the power of sunlight, lemons, or tea. Check out the cool recipes for both dark and light hair. Get those hair highlights on a budget.

Recipe for Dark Hair

If you have dark hair, and desire highlights, the lemon recipe is for you.

What You Will Need:

  • Two to three lemons
  • Plant based oil (canola, olive, corn, etc.)
  • Spritzer bottle (optional), this can be found at the dollar store.


  1. Shampoo and condition your hair before getting started, and follow with a leave-in conditioner. Lemon juice can dry your hair if you are not careful, which is why you want to use a leave- in. If you don’t have a leave-in conditioner on hand coat your tresses with any of the plant oils referenced above.
  2. Section and separate your hair where you would like the highlights to go.
  3. Cut lemons in half, and squeeze the juice in a bowl, making sure to remove the seeds.
  4. Add three table spoons of plant oil, such as corn, canola, or olive oil to the juice, and blend well. Then pour the mixture into the spritz bottle.
  5. Take each section and apply the mixture liberally, making sure to avoid your scalp. Using a spritz bottle is optional; you can also apply the mixture with your fingers.
  6. Go outside, and let the sun do its job for 45-60 minutes.

Keep in mind the longer your hair is exposed to the sun the lighter your highlights will be. You may need to re-apply the mixture to reach your desired results. When completed, wash, condition, and style your hair as usual, and enjoy the compliments! Remember, like traditional highlights, as your hair grows out, you will need to touch up your roots to maintain your new look.

Recipe for Light Hair

If you have blonde hair, and wish to add a little pizzazz to your look with either a touch of red, or even low-lights, you need not look any further than the tea aisle of your local grocer. Tea is a wonderful natural alternative to adding color to your hair without all of the harsh chemicals of a traditional color job. Plus, it’s less than $5 dollars for 20 tea bags. That’s 20 highlights at $0.25 cents a pop! Keep in mind that coloring your hair with tea is not permanent. Therefore, avoid harsh shampoos when cleansing your hair.

What You Will Need:

  • Tea in the color you desire. For red highlights an English or Roobios tea blend is a great choice. These teas have beautiful, rich, red tones that can only be found in nature. For chestnut Brown low-lights an herbal tea blend is a wonderful alternative. Note, tea doesn’t have a drying effect like lemons. So, a leave-in conditioner for this application is not necessary.
  • Tea Kettle or pot
  • Bowl
  • Plant based oil (canola, olive, corn, etc.)
  • Spritzer bottle, this can be found at the dollar store. This is also optional.


  1. Fill your kettle or pot with water until it is half full, and heat until water starts to boil.
  2. While water is boiling, section and separate your hair where you would like the highlights to go.
  3. Once water boils, pour water into bowl and place tea bag in the water to steep. Make sure your bag has steeped for at least 20 minutes to ensure the water is saturated with color.
  4. Once cooled, pour tea into spritz bottle and apply liberally to the sections. You can also apply using your fingers.
  5. Expose your hair to the sun for 45-60 minutes. Re-apply mixture as needed to reach desired results. When complete, rinse your hair with water. Do not shampoo or condition. Style as usual.

Because the tea is actually “staining” your hair as opposed to bleaching it, as is the case when using lemons, you may want to re-apply weekly or bi-weekly to keep your look fresh. Now, there you have it! Beauty on a budget doesn’t get better, or more natural than this.

Sophie enjoys seeking out ways to stay looking good on a budget, avoiding the salon price tag. She makes use of various online cosmetics freebies to keep spending to a minimum.

About the Author
Da Vinci, Editor in Chief of Your Life After 25, has carved out her own position as a Realistic Optimist, and modern day Renaissance woman. Your Life After 25 is the women's magazine for all women, but we put a spin on things and also make sure to embrace life for ladies over 25. Whether you're 25, 30, 35, 40, 50 or older we have something for you! Your Life After 25 "Believe It Or Not, It Does Go On"
Subscribe to our newsletter
Can't get enough of Your Life After 25? Keep up with everything we post by subscribing to our newsletter, and never miss a thing!