• Question: Why does our hair go lighter in the sun?

    Asked by roseandellie to Iain, Jo, Leo, Mariam on 23 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 23 Jun 2010:

      Sunlight bleaches things. I’m not sure I understand exactly why, but it’s to do with the high energy from the sunlight doing something to the chemicals that give colour and making them colourless (as you can tell, I REALLY don’t know much about this kind of thing!). But anyway, hair is just like other coloured substances, it gets bleached by sunlight so your hair looks lighter.

    • Photo: Iain Moal

      Iain Moal answered on 23 Jun 2010:

      Its because hair is dead, so when the sun damages the pigments in the hair, no new pigments come back.

    • Photo: Leo Garcia

      Leo Garcia answered on 23 Jun 2010:

      Ultraviolet rays from the sun destroy some of the melanin (which is a pigment) in the hair, making it lighter in colour.

    • Photo: Joanna Watson

      Joanna Watson answered on 23 Jun 2010:

      I know that sunlight has a bleaching effect on lots of coloured things, like if you leave a picture or some clothes in the sun the colour will fade. So, I assume that the sun bleaches the colour out of it.