How Does the Sun Affect My Hair?

Have you ever gone out for a day of fun in the sun without protecting your hair? Most of us have. The truth is that the sun can affect your hair in various ways, some of which are outright damaging. In this article, we’ll fill you in on all the ways the sun can affect your hair. 

Make Your Natural Hair Lighter

One of the most obvious things the sun does to hair is lighten it. When the sun’s UV rays come in contact with your hair, they bleach out a bit of its melanin (the pigment responsible for your hair color). The longer you stay out in the sun without protecting your hair, the quicker your hair will lighten. Over time, as you grow your hair out, you’ll notice that the oldest parts of your hair (the ends) are lighter than the newest parts (the roots). 

Fade Your Hair Color 

The sun is known to fade permanent and semi-permanent hair color over time. Its UV rays slowly degrade the chemical bonds that keep your hair dye vibrant. The fading may not be apparent until after multiple instances of sun exposure. 

Dry Out Your Hair 

The sun can also dry out your hair strands. Its UVA and UVB rays essentially burn off the outer layers of your hair strands, leaving them especially vulnerable to moisture loss. When your hair has sun damage, it may be more difficult than usual to moisturize, and you may notice that your hair strands break easier. If you go out into the sun every day and neglect to protect your hair from destructive sun rays, you could experience breakage. 

Helps to Dry Your Hair Faster

If you have trouble drying your hair thoroughly after washing it, going out in the sun can drastically shorten your hair’s drying time. But it’s important to know that just because you go out with wet hair doesn’t mean that your hair is protected from the consequences of sun damage. 

Boosts Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that has a ton of benefits: 

  • It makes you feel better and wards off depression. 

  • It aids in meeting weight loss goals. 

  • It reduces your chances of contracting potentially serious diseases. 

In addition to these benefits, vitamin D helps support healthy hair growth through hair follicle creation, stimulation, and nourishment. It also helps to prevent alopecia. Thankfully, you don’t have to get your vitamin D from direct sun exposure - you can get it from food or supplements. 

How to Protect Your Hair from the Sun

Considering all of the potentially harmful effects of sun exposure, we urge you to protect your tresses from the sun every time you walk outside. You can do so by: 

  • Wearing a large hat that covers all of your hair. 

  • Incorporating hair masks into your hair regimen to keep your hair in the best condition. 

  • Using hair products with SPF protection. 

  • Don’t overwash. Overwashing leaves your hair vulnerable to sun damage. 

You may be surprised by how many ways the sun can affect your hair. But there’s no need to worry as long as you’re taking steps to limit sun exposure. Good luck with your hair!


Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.

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