Have you ever wondered how your hair gets lighter in the summer? It is the sun that bleaches them giving you a whole new look!
It is a well-known fact that the sun darkens our skin but very few people know that it has an opposite impact on our hair. To find out how it all happens, let’s get deep into it.
How the Sun bleaches the hair?
The Sun targets the melanin pigment in your body. Melanin provides color to your skin and hair. When the melanin in your skin is depleted by the sun, it is produced by the body to recover the loss. In the anticipation of continual depletion, our skin cells produce it in excess giving you a darker skin tone.
But, in the case of hair, this process of melanin production does not happen as our hair are dead structures. Skin being a living thing, can recoup the lost melanin, but hair can’t. Therefore, the light-colored hair will stay until they grow out. The new hair that follows will, of course, be of your natural color.
Is Sun bleaching safe for hair?
You must have seen the harsh effect of sunlight on your skin in the form of rashes and dryness. Do you think it can be safe for your hair? It surely can’t be. To know more, we must look into the impact it leaves on our hair.
Effects of Sun bleaching the hair
Sunlight is very powerful and can leave our skin with permanent damage. Our skin is living and is able to repair some of these damages but our hair bears the brunt of the sun without a scope of repair.
The melanin protein is damaged by UltraViolet rays of the sun. It oxidizes the melanin and turns it into a colorless compound. That is why the hair turns blonde as they are left with very little melanin. It is an important pigment that not only decides the color of your hair but also protects your hair from electromagnetic radiations. It prevents us from numerous forms of cancer too.
Makes hair unmanageable
Sun interferes with the functioning of a compound called thiol in your hair. The chemical group thiol is unoxidized in its natural state and allows your hair to glide over each other easily. It makes our hair very manageable and silky-smooth. Sun has an oxidizing effect on thiol which turns it into sulfonic acid. This acid restricts the free movement of hair and makes them sticky resulting in tangled hair.
Dries the moisture
The sun, being the source of all energy, produces a lot of heat. To top it off, it emits UltraViolet radiation which is extremely harmful to our skin and hair. The rashes we get on our skin with prolonged exposure in the sun are proof. The way the sun dries our skin, it dries out our hair follicles as well. All the natural moisture and the one you lock-in, is consumed by this enormous heat. It leads to dry, brittle, and lifeless hair.
How to sun bleach your hair without damage?
In the 80s and 90s, Aussie girls used to bleach their hair naturally in the sun after applying a hair-lightening spray. It was believed that the spray used to expedite the process of bleaching the hair. You can also save those huge bucks spent on costly hair-lightening sessions by providing some extra care to your beautiful strands. Let us find out the ways to lighten the hair naturally without damaging them.
Apply lemon juice
It is one of the easiest ways to lighten your hair while in the sun. Apply some lemon juice on your scalp and soak in some sun to activate the absorption process. Lemon juice contains citric acid which is known to lighten the hair and the heat from the sun opens the hair cuticle to let it absorb the lemon. You can wash your hair normally after a few hours. Follow this method with an application of moisture restoration mask after hair-wash to prevent dryness. This method is best for naturally lighter toned hair. As it shows quick results, it might give unpleasant highlights to brunettes and redheads.
Chamomile tea spray
Chamomile tea bleaches the hair gradually and shows lesser effect than lemon. It is suitable for relatively darker hair as the outcome won’t look abruptly odd. The shades will be gradual and hair will acquire soft caramel-colored tone. You can try this at home by preparing a cup of chamomile tea as you would do for a relaxing tea drink, skip the sweetener of course! Pour it in a spray bottle and generously spray it all over your hair. Soak up some sun to let your roots absorb it completely. Wash your hair after an hour and let them dry naturally.
At-home deep hair-conditioning
Whether you are out in the sun for a soaking session or because of some work commitments, you must restore the lost moisture to your hair back. The harsh impact of heat from the sun makes your hair dry and brittle. A deep hair-conditioning mask is an excellent source of moisture and hydration. You can condition your hair with shea butter, coconut oil, tea tree oil, jojoba oil, argan oil or Moroccan oil. All these are super hydrating for your locks. Don’t forget to apply the mask to the full length of your hair to prevent brittle hair.
Sun is a natural bleach for your hair but it comes with a cost. If you want to save your money by avoiding a spa visit or just want to go natural, you must try sun bleaching. Since you are saving on cost, you need to spend some extra time to follow a good hair care routine. These days, there are some products in the market that mimic the effect of sun bleaching too, which helps you get the same results much faster. So, get ready for a natural hair lightening session!