View Full Version : Does sun-lightening damage hair?

March 29th, 2011, 10:29 AM
I may be one of the people who gets highlights or even a bit of lightening from being out in the sun. I don't really understand how sun does it and I was wondering if it damages hair in some way? Does anyone want to share their experiences? Is there any way I can protect my hair from this aside from wearing a hat?

ETA : I've also heard that air-drying wet hair in the sun is bad for hair. Is there any truth to that?

March 29th, 2011, 10:45 AM
Curious to see responses to this.

March 29th, 2011, 11:07 AM
My hair gets a bit lighter in the summer sun as well but I never do anything special to get them. I hope it doesn't do any damage, but I'll have to wait and see some responses from other members.

March 29th, 2011, 11:31 AM
I believe so. The sun gives out UV rays which are bad for your hair. Lots of hair products also include UV protection.

March 29th, 2011, 11:33 AM
Hair is essentially like skin, only "dead". If the UV rays can burn your skin, I wouldn't be surprised to hear scientific proof that UV rays can "burn" hair at least to a degree. A better alternative is honey lightening, at least from what I've heard.

March 29th, 2011, 12:13 PM
I believe so. The sun gives out UV rays which are bad for your hair. Lots of hair products also include UV protection.

I was under the impression that UV protective products were for either the scalp or dyed hair (to protect it from fading). Besides most UV protective shampoos contain sulphates so I'm not sure if the protection would even be deposited in the hair. And the conditioners are, well, for hair below the ears, which admittedly is older and more prone to damage but definitely not the only hair that gets the sun...

March 29th, 2011, 12:19 PM
Sun exposure can dry out your hair much like a Hairdryer does.

March 29th, 2011, 01:48 PM
My hair is medium blond, and it gets quite a bit lighter in the summer. My hair is actually in better condition in the summer than it is in the winter, generally. I find indoor heating to be more drying than the sun. ;)

I do protect my hair when I'm on vacation. (10 days on the beach!) I'll slather my braid in some oil or conditioner before I head out. Other than that, I don't worry about it too much. Like I said, my hair is drier in the winter than it is during the summer, so the sun doesn't seem to affect my hair very much. If you are worried, though, there's no harm in wearing a hat!

Now, if you were to use Sun-In or lemon juice to expedite the process, that's a completely different story. Those things are really drying/possibly damaging.

March 29th, 2011, 02:13 PM
When I lived on a beach in the Keys I definitely had to keep my hair protected.
Coconut oil was my oil of choice.
Before I went to the beach I would put the oil in my hair.

Even then my hair would fade. But it would keep it from serious damage. IMO the salt air was worse for my hair then the sun.

March 29th, 2011, 03:09 PM
my natural colour hair used to get light blonde streaks but my hair would be totally trashed from it. Even with (fading fast) henna, it still lightened and caused quite a bit of damage.

Next time I go away to hotter climates, its a high factor sun cream and up in a hat for me!

March 29th, 2011, 08:09 PM
Yes, it can damage your hair. UV fades pigments (think of the way that curtains or furniture fade if they are in the sun on a regular basis) and damages cellular structures.

But it is probably only a BIG problem for most people if combined with dye, or bleach, or a lot of chlorine or heat from other sources. My bleached hair gets very unhappy by the end of summer; my virgin hair just gets some nice highlights, but stays soft and shiney.

March 30th, 2011, 07:33 AM
I think I better invest in a hat just in case... :(

Thanks for the replies.