When exposed to the sun, why does your skin darken but your hair lighten?

  1. I know that when your skin is exposed to alot of sunlight it turns darker in order to try to absorb some of the light's energy, which can help avoid burns, but why does your hair become blonde?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Monique

    Monique 4,700
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    Because the pigment in the hair breaks down under influence of the UV light, and since hair is dead no new pigment can be made.
     
  4. doesnt this mean the hair should turn to white and not blonde?
     
  5. Monique

    Monique 4,700
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    White is the complete lack of pigment, blonde hair has very light pigment, the UV rays aren't strong enough to completely degrade all the pigment, so the hair will just become lighter than it originally was.
     
  6. so (a little bit offtopic) which hair has the strongest pigment: black or ginger?

    i go for ginger :surprise:
     
  7. Kerrie

    Kerrie 1,203
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    it's ironic too because this tan look with sun kissed highlights is a look most women (and some men too) strive for, thus keeping the tanning salons and hair salons in business...
     
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