As I mentioned, I want to naturally lighten my hair, and in an effort to do so, I came across a lot of information on using cinnamon and honey, both of which contain natural, but low, levels of hydrogen peroxide.
I read some conflicting info on the subject, that being using conditioner as a base for mixing the cinnamon and honey, and not to use conditioner (and use distilled water instead) because it ruins the ability for the peroxide to develop. I decided to go with the conditioner method, because I was hoping it would at least make my hair feel super soft.
For me, I didn't like the results. I read to leave it on as long as possible, and since I had no plans to go anywhere, after dinner yesterday, I put it on. I left it on the entire evening and over night. When I showered, I had a hard time getting the cinnamon out of my hair. When I finally got it out, my hair did not feel any differently. The one thing I will say is that my hair smelled awesome, but it was kind of a pain in the butt to do all of this, and get no results. I know this is supposed to be a gradual process, but my hair doesn't feel or look any better from the deep conditioning aspect. I will be experimenting with other hair lightening ingredients and methods, probably once or twice a week, to see which makes my hair feel better, then based on that, I'll use it long- term and evaluate the lightening effects. Of course, you'll hear all about it here.
Here is a photo montage of sorts, showing my process, as I tried the cinnamon-honey-conditioner method, followed by details. :-)
1st picture: All of the supplies I used. I used grade A honey, ground cinnamon (which I'm not sure can be seen in the pic), plastic cling wrap, a plastic grocery bag, and some variety of Herbal Essences conditioner (just checked, the conditioner is called Hydralicious Featherweight Conditioner). Unprocessed honey is best, but this is what I had on hand. Use whatever conditioner you like, if you try this method.
2nd pic: These are the ingredients in a bowl. I didn't measure or use any particular ratio, but I read to limit the cinnamon to about 2 table spoons. I probably used a little more, but I have never had a sensitive scalp. I used about the same amount of honey. I'd say about 2 and 1/2 table spoons. I used quite a bit of conditioner, I'd say about 1/4 cup. These amounts were determined based on my own scalp and hair. My hair, while short right now, is incredibly thick, so I need more to cover my hair. Also, these amounts were what I used in total. I started with less, and added more to make sure I covered all of my hair. Use your best judgment.
3rd pic: This is what it looks like when it's mixed together. A lot less gross!
4th pic: I really suggest wearing gloves. If you have hang nails or a cut of any kind, you won't want to get this stuff on it. Plus, it keeps your hands clean, so you don't have to worry about touching your face or eyes with lingering cinnamon and such.
5th and 6th pictures: This is where I decided there wasn't enough to saturate my hair, so I added more. It's very important to coat all of your hair.
7th: Be sure to have a comb that can be washed. Comb out any tangles and then wet your hair. Towel dry a bit, so it's not soaked, you just want it damp. Then apply the mixture, root to tip. I recommend putting on a shirt you don't care about, and one that's easy to get on and off over your head. After going through a bunch of my clothes, all of which were too cute to get messy, I found a shirt that my younger brother got rid of a while back, so I settled on that. Plus, it was a polo, which meant more space to get my head in and out of it, haha.
8th pic: In this pic, you can see how I've combed the mixture through. There are some uneven places, so I went back through. Be warned, as you comb, the mixture will gather on the brush. Just scrape it off, and work it back into your hair. Once again, make sure you get all of your hair covered. My scalp is not sensitive, so I didn't care if I got some on my scalp, but I would suggest getting it as close to the scalp as possible without actually getting it on your scalp. Also avoid getting it on your skin in general. A lot of people mentioned feeling a tingling or even burning sensation for a few minutes, but I didn't feel anything like that at all. I did feel a slight bit of itching where I got some of the mixture on my ear, but nothing major, and nothing on my scalp.
9th pic: Lastly, after applying, plastic wrap your head. Make sure you get it tight, and completely cover your hair. You want to keep the moisture in, it's important. Top it off with a plastic bag for extra security, twist it tight in the back, and secure with a hair clip. Ta-da! I also recommend keeping a towel around your neck, because it can get drippy. Leave it on for at least an hour, but longer is better. Since I slept with it, I covered my pillows with a big towel to keep them clean. I also chose to do a clay face mask, since I was staying in. :-)
Please note that I am not an expert, and I hold no responsibility for whether you use this method or not. Lightening your hair with honey and cinnamon is an all natural hair treatment for conditioning and gradual lightening, but I am by no means encouraging anyone to do this. Do some research, then decide for yourself :-)
Next time, I think I'll try a honey and olive oil mask.