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View Full Version : A question concerning sun lightening.



missblueeyes
April 13th, 2015, 08:30 AM
Since I stopped lightening my hair chemically and summer is at the doorstep, I'm very interested in learning more about sun lightening or fading. I wanted to ask if it's possible to lighten your hair with sunlight even though you're wearing buns. I personally want my hair to get lighter in the summer but I don't want to have to stop wearing buns in the warmer months. What do you think? Do buns hinder sun lightening?
I'm not going to wear my hair bunned 24/7 but I wanted to know if it hinders my hair from getting lightened by the sunlight in any way. If so, I'll switch to braids during spring and summer. :)

Nique1202
April 13th, 2015, 08:44 AM
My guess is that the sun can only lighten what it can touch, so the hair inside a bun wouldn't get lightened as much and it could get a little stripy/splotchy if you wear the same style of bun often in the same place. But, if you move your bun around change your style (braids, down, different buns, etc.) it shouldn't be noticeable.

Breanna
April 13th, 2015, 08:49 AM
What I do is let my hair dry or mostly dry outside on sunny days when I wash it.

CastaDiva
April 13th, 2015, 09:12 AM
What I do is let my hair dry or mostly dry outside on sunny days when I wash it.

This is what I do too.

Entangled
April 13th, 2015, 09:25 AM
My ends are a bit lighter than my roots, which I attribute to wearing a braid during the month of August, in which I spend at least four hours outside. (Buns don't fit under my sun hat). So yes, hair will lighten if it's braided. As for buns: If you're looking to lighten the ends, consider this. We wear buns to protect our ends, and that includes from the sun. My supposition is that buns will reduce the lightening effect because the ends will be tucked away.

meteor
April 13th, 2015, 10:02 AM
What do you think? Do buns hinder sun lightening?

I think they do somewhat: what is likely to get lighter is only the area that is exposed to the sunlight (and the photo-damage that comes with UVB and UVA rays, I'm afraid :( ).

So for example, when I wear hair down, I notice only the canopy hair lighten (as the underlayers are hidden), and when I wear hair up, I notice only the scalp hair (face-framing hair) lighten a bit (the rest is tightly bunned).

DreamSheep
April 13th, 2015, 10:13 AM
I think it is the hair that comes in contact with the sun (the canopy) which tends to be lighter, and ends are lighter because they've had more time receivng UVA damage.

I'm sure if you vary between buns and maybe ponytails (LAzy wrap version?) might allow you to get some sun lightening if it is what you want. :)
I admit I miss my hair being significantly lightened by the sun, I used to be borderline honeyblonde many years ago in sunny Spain, now I'm a much darker brown at the roots :( With no sun to do anything

Panth
April 13th, 2015, 10:49 AM
I agree: you'll only get sun bleaching on the exposed bits. As a child, I used to have my hair in two English plaits every day and ended up with stripes of highlight (like you'd pay very good money for at the hairdressers) which were not apparent when the plaits were done normally but could be revealed if you were careful to twist the strands to show off the darker bits (that were normally inside/on the bottom side of the plait) against the lighter bits (that were normally outside/on the top side of the plait).

endlessly
April 13th, 2015, 11:43 AM
If you tend to wear buns, yes, it will hinder the effectiveness of lightening your hair in the sun. If you're going for lighter roots, though, bunning would be the way to go since the sun will only lighten the hair that is visible. Braiding will again, have some limitations since any strands braided under will not be as visible to the sun's ray as the strands on top.

Also, lightening hair with the sun will take time - several months to see really noticeable differences at least in my own personal experiences - so you can use other natural ingredients to help speed up the process if you're interested. Honey and lemon work wonders, but if you're in an area heavily populated by bees, beware! You might acquire a few buzzing friends if you aren't careful.

missblueeyes
April 13th, 2015, 12:59 PM
Thank You for everyone's input! I usually got sun highlights quite quickly in the past so I'll see what drying my hair in the sun and letting it down at the pond can do. I also remember wearing an English plait a lot as a child and back then my hair also lightened event. I'm excited what I'll get this time! For this summer, most of the bunned hair is not my natural shade anyway so I think it will be fine.��

Todd
April 13th, 2015, 02:51 PM
... (and the photo-damage that comes with UVB and UVA rays, I'm afraid :( ).



That would be my big concern. I've had my hair fried like straw in the past due to sun over-exposure.

meteor
April 13th, 2015, 03:16 PM
That would be my big concern. I've had my hair fried like straw in the past due to sun over-exposure.

That's a very valid concern :agree: , and it becomes more and more significant with greater length (accumulating years of photo-damage).
I don't want to derail this thread, but if anybody is interested, I went into some details on how UVA and UVB rays can effect hair fiber and linked some relevant research in this recent post (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=130831&p=2986212&viewfull=1#post2986212).
Ideally, UPF hats/buffs/scarves should be used to protect hair, but I certainly understand the aesthetic preference for sun-bleached/sun-kissed hair, as well! It's gorgeous! :D It's just that it comes with some damage, I'm afraid. :flower:

missblueeyes
April 13th, 2015, 04:33 PM
As I'm not going for extreme lengths (TBL is probably my maximum), the damage is not a big concern for me. :) All in all, I'm fine with a lot of stuff if it gets me closer to loving my hair. Wearing it down when I want to is one of them, getting the sun to lighten it like in my childhood is another. :)

meteor
April 13th, 2015, 04:43 PM
^ It definitely makes sense, missblueeyes! :agree:

I really like the suggestion by Breanna and CastaDiva of drying hair in the sun: it speeds up hair drying process dramatically (limiting hygral fatigue), while avoiding blow-drying, and can help you get those sun-kissed highlights faster. Win-win! :applause

missblueeyes
April 13th, 2015, 04:53 PM
^ It definitely makes sense, missblueeyes! :agree:

I really like the suggestion by Breanna and CastaDiva of drying hair in the sun: it speeds up hair drying process dramatically (limiting hygral fatigue), while avoiding blow-drying, and can help you get those sun-kissed highlights faster. Win-win! :applause

I've actually been doing that unintentionally since the sun came out again anyways and I'm happy to hear that it helps to get me towards my goal. :)