Why Does My Hair Get Lighter in the Summer?

As the summer months roll around, many of us experience a noticeable change in our hair color - it gets lighter. People have seen their hair change from brown to light brown, light brown to blonde, or blonde to light blonde. Others with color-treated hair also experience fading. But why exactly does this happen? In this article, we'll explore what causes your hair to lighten in the summer and provide helpful tips on maintaining your natural hue.

Why Hair Lightens in the Summer

The main factor contributing to lighter hair in the summer is increased exposure to sunlight. Everyone goes out more in the summertime, soaking up more of the sun's rays than in other seasons. When our hair is exposed to UV rays from the sun, the melanin in our hair (the pigment that imparts color to our hair) breaks down. The less melanin you have in your hair, the lighter it will appear. Sun also fades artificial hair color, making it appear less vibrant over time. Hair color changes due to the sun are sometimes called sun-bleaching.

How to Avoid Sun-Bleaching During the Summer

Just because the sun is more ferocious in the summertime, that doesn't mean that you have to subject your hair to it. There are several ways to prevent your hair from lightening in the summer, and we'll share them with you in the below list: 

  • Invest in a good quality sunscreen spray specifically designed for hair. It'll protect your tresses from harsh UV rays that make your natural and artificial hair color fade.

  • Wear a hat or headscarf if you'll be spending long periods outside in the sun. Not only will it protect your scalp from sunburn, but it will also shield your hair from direct sunlight. You can also sit under a tree or umbrella to achieve the same effect. 

  • Try not to overwash your hair. An overzealous shampoo routine strips your hair and scalp from natural oils that could play a role in sun protection. Whenever you do shampoo your hair, do so with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain your hair color and reduce fading.

Can You Get Your Hair Color Back After It's Faded?

So, what happens if you lose your natural color due to the sun? Is there any way to get your hair back to its previous color? The answer is that you can get your hair color back, but you'll need to do a little work.

The sun's hair-lightening effects are permanent. So once your hair loses its color, it will never return. If you're looking for a way to get your hair color back, you'll need to break out the hair dye.

Since you'll be darkening your hair, all you'll need is a semi-permanent dye in the color you want your hair to be. Apply the dye all over your clean, dry hair, comb it through for even distribution, and then wait for 30 to 45 minutes. Once you rinse the dye out of your hair, you'll have your desired hair color result.

So, there you have it - it's the sun (and our increased exposure to it) that makes hair lighter in the summer. We hope you found all the information you were looking for in this article.


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 NaturallyTextured.com, 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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