If you’re hair looks a fair shade lighter after being out in the sun, you’re not in the minority. The reason why is because the sun bleaches out the melanin. Melanin governs what colour your hair or skin is. As the intense UV rays reach your hair and skin, they will cause melanin levels to be damaged, resulting in hair becoming bleached or creating a yellow effect.
But it’s not just melanin that is the chief culprit, it’s also chlorine and salt water, especially if you’ve been swimming on your summer holiday. Both of these will affect the level of keratin in your hair, causing a lighter hair colour.
So Why Does Your Hair Get Lighter And Your Skin Get Darker?
This does seem bizarre when you first think about it, but you have to remember your hair is dead while your skin is alive. As previously mentioned, your melanin levels in both the skin and hair will be destroyed when faced with exposure to the sun, however the skin can respond properly to the damage caused by the sun’s rays, producing more melanin, which also leads to a tan. The melanin in your skin helps to scatter the UV rays and protect the cell’s DNA.
Your skin is constantly peeling and changing, however your hair will remain for an extended period of time (well, for most). As the hair has been ‘bleached’, it will remain this colour until the new hair comes through.
People might like the idea of getting a tan, but the reality is they are cooking their skin (sorry to be a downer).
Tips To Increase Your Chances Of Hair Lightening:
- Squeeze a lemon and then rub the juice into your hair. This works amazingly as a natural way to open up your cuticle. You can also add a squeezed orange to the mix, in order to enhance your changes of a more golden look
- After being out in the sun, give you hair a deep conditioner to restore hydration to the dried hair.
- As previously mentioned, salty water can also help by opening up the hair cuticle, however if you aren’t near the sea then you could mix some water with salt and splash it onto the hair before hitting the sunbed
Tips To Avoid Hair Lightening:
- Wearing a hat, a hood or anything that covers your hair is the easiest way to protect your hair and scalp from the damage caused by the sun.
- As highlighted as a way to increase your chances, if you don’t want your hair lightened then you might want to avoid either a swimming pool pumped full of chlorine or the salty water of the sea.
- Make sure to spray on some UVA and UVB sun tan lotion. Why limit SPF to your skin? Your hair needs some TLC as well.
Can The Sun Change The Colour Of Your Beard?
Absolutely, yes. The affect the sun rays cause are equal to any hair on your body, whether it be on your chin, your chest or your legs. Your hair on your body cannot produce melanin, regardless of where it is located. I strongly recommend protecting your facial hair with a good sun tan lotion solution. Remember to also use a beard oil afterwards to add some further hydration to the skin, which is undoubtedly dried after exposure to the sun’s rays.