Why does the sun lighten the hair if the skin gets darker?

Why does the sun lighten the hair if the skin gets darker?

We have all heard of the Californian Wicks. It is a type of dye that imitates the coloration that the hair acquires when it spends a lot of time in the sun. As in the case of Californian surfers. Although it is not necessary to go riding the waves in Malibu to experience this effect on our hair. The lightening of the hair by the Sun is very common, but it can lead us to ask ourselves another question. Why lightens hair if the skin darkens under the same circumstances?

The answer is in the melanin in both cases. This is the pigment that gives our skin color naturally, regardless of the Sun. But, in addition, when we are exposed to the king star, our cells manufacture a greater amount as protection mechanism. This happens in the skin, but not in the hair, basically because in it the cells are dead.

Already they cannot make more melanin to replace what is wearing out, so the little that remains degrades and we see how the hair is lightened, as in Californian highlights. Now, with this clear, what is really the function of melanin?

Melanin to protect the skin from the sun

Melanin is a pigment that is made inside a type of cell known as melanocytes. All people, regardless of the natural color of their skin, have about the same number of melanocytes. However, there is a variation in the proportions of the two types of melanin that exist.

The eumelanin It is brownish brown, so it is related to darker skins. The pheomelanin, on the other hand, is yellow-reddish, so it is the one found in people with lighter skin. And the same thing happens with hair. Dark-haired people have more eumelanin, while blondes and redheads contain a higher proportion of pheomelanin.

Eumelanin is associated with darker colors and pheomelanin with blond or reddish.

Therefore, the apparent function of melanin is color our skin and hair. But it is much more than that, since it also protects us from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. If these reach the interior of our cells, can damage DNA and cause problems ranging from accelerated skin aging to cancer. Therefore, melanin is responsible for absorb radiation, as if we were putting up a black wall in front of something we want to protect. This melanin can gradually recover, although there comes a time when it is not enough, which is why it is advisable to add a wall more in the form of sun protection cream.

Read:  7 differences between the skin of a man and a woman

If we don’t add that double barrier, we can get burned; but, even so, later the melanin ends up being replaced. On the other hand, with hair the situation is very different. There is more to see Californian highlights of Malibu surfers.


What happens to the hair when California highlights are formed?

In the hair there are also melanocytes with different proportions of eumelanin and pheomelanin. But there is a problem and that is that all hair cells are dead cells. The good part is that, being dead, their DNA cannot be damaged. There is no hair cancer. The bad news is that they have the melanin that they have. They can’t make more.

If they are exposed to the sun, it will end up degrading the melanin and there will be no option to replace it. Therefore, little by little is losing color. Now, until that melanin degrades, it should be noted that it also exerts some protection. Not for dead hair cells, but for the skin underneath. In fact, It has been seen that people with fine hair or alopecia are more likely to develop skin lesions caused by the Sun..

The hair is lightened, but it can also be more brittle and dry

But back to the topic of hair lightening. It is true that it may look pretty. In fact, Californian wicks have had a great boom in some times and still do. However, the Sun can also make hair more brittle and dryso it is not as advantageous as it may seem.

This is why there are products that also protect hair from the sun, to avoid that bad part of the exhibition. Because if it were only clarified we would save a lot in hairdressing, what a pity that it is not so easy.