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Hair Photobleaching Is The Reason Your Hair Turns Blonde In Summer

When most people think about sunbathing, they think about getting the best tan. But for some, the intense sun can change hair color as well. Hair photobleaching is when hair takes on a lighter hue after prolonged sun exposure.

Some people are more likely to have sun-bleached hair. But there are also ways that you can encourage this effect. In this article, you can learn all you need to know about why your hair gets lighter in the sun.


What Causes Hair Photobleaching?

Some people start the summer as brunettes. But by the end of the season, they are sporting a blonde look. And oddly enough, they did not need to spend a minute in the salon for that to happen. So let’s look at the ways that hair photobleaching can occur.

Exposure to Sunlight

causes of hair photobleaching

There are a few reasons why a person’s hair can become blonder in the summer. The main reason has to do with the sun’s effect on melanin.

Melanin is a pigment that helps to determine the color of your hair and skin. When you expose your hair to the sun, that sunlight can have an effect on the melanin in your hair strands. The UV rays present in sunlight can cause the melanin in your hair to lose its color. That is what causes your hair to appear lighter.


Salt Water and Chlorine

Beyond copious amounts of sunlight, there are other summertime factors that can lighten your hair. After spending time in the sun, you will likely want to cool off. One of the best ways to do that is to go swimming.

Surprisingly, swimming is another source of sun-bleached hair. But it is not the act of swimming that makes this happen. Instead, it is the compounds in the water that affect your hair. Both chlorine and salty ocean water can have a lightening effect on your hair.



One of the most significant factors in whether your hair will be sun-bleached is your genes. People of certain ethnicities are far more likely to experience hair photobleaching. Research shows that those of European descent are far more likely to have sun-bleached hair.


How Can You Encourage Sun Bleached Hair?

Are you envious of the sun-bleached look but are struggling to achieve it yourself? If so, you’ll be happy to know that there are ways that you can promote hair photobleaching for your own locks. Here are a few of the most effective ingredients you can to exaggerate the effects of hair photobleaching.

Lemon Juice

lemon juice for hair photobleaching

The most common way to encourage hair photobleaching is by using lemon juice. Simply apply lemon juice to your hair before going into the sun.

As you know, from tasting it, lemon juice has plenty of acids. This acid causes a chemical reaction in your hair that makes it easier for the sun to turn it blonde. Try mixing some lemon juice into some of your beauty products to bleach your hair in the sun.


Salt Water

As we mentioned earlier, the ocean can help cause hair photobleaching. There is no reason why you can’t recreate this effect at home. Just mix salt into some water and apply it to your hair. This approach mimics ocean water without you needing to go to the beach.


Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar for hair photobleaching

This method takes a bit longer, but using apple cider vinegar is another way to create a sun-bleached hair look. Again, it would be best if you mix apple cider vinegar with water before applying it to your hair. This will help to lighten your hair after a few applications.

But you may find that apple cider vinegar has other benefits for your hair. Along with changing the color, apple cider vinegar can clean and detangle your hair.


How to Prevent Hair Photobleaching

tips to prevent hair photobleaching

For every person that wants sun-bleached hair, there is another who does not want the sun to affect their hair color at all. This is especially true for people who have recently dyed their hair.

If you have ever bleached your hair, dyed your hair, or gotten highlights, you know that the color can fade in certain settings. The sun is one of the main culprits here. Ironically, the hair photobleaching that so many desire can completely ruin other looks.

Fortunately, there are plenty of products you can use to protect your hair from the sun. Some of these come in the form of sprays that will form a layer between your hair and the sun’s UV rays. This helps you maintain the color you want while minimizing fading.


Final Thoughts

For many, getting sun-bleached hair is as easy as spending time by the pool. But if that is not the case for you, there are plenty of ways that you can encourage hair photobleaching to change your hair color. Use this article as valuable information to help you get the look you want.