Have you ever noticed that your hair has gotten lighter after a sun filled summer? Interestingly what happens to the hair is the opposite of what happens to your skin in the sun.
It all has to do with the way the sun affects melanin. Melanin is the pigment in the skin and hair that gives it colour. According to Healthline, rather than stimulating production of melanin, like it does in the skin which leads to a tan, the sun actually bleaches out the melanin in the hair and causes it to become lighter in colour. The difference between the hair and skin is that our skin is alive but our hair is dead. The melanin in the skin is a protective reaction to the damage caused by UV radiation, whereas the UV rays oxidize the melanin in the hair and turn it into a colourless compound. So blonde hair is really just colourless hair, or hair with very little melanin in it.
In addition to making your hair lighter, the sun also destroys other proteins in the hair, and can make it less manageable. Saltwater and chlorine can also contribute to hair lightening because they alter the natural keratin in your hair, resulting in lighter tones.
Before you head to the beach or the pool this summer make sure you apply sunscreen and wear a hat to protect your skin and hair from the sun! Make sure you also have a good conditioner to maintain your hair’s moisture and texture.