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Is Your Sunscreen Turning Your Blonde Extensions Brassy?

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Im a blonde extensions girl and have been for years. I love the volume and length they give me and they are easy to care for. As a hair artist, I know there are plenty of hair care tips for extension beauties, but recently there has been a lot of talk and concern regarding sunscreen and extensions. Why?


Some sunscreens are safe for hair extensions while others are not. When your hair extensions come in contact with these sunscreens it can cause them to turn brassy, dull, or an orange color. This is because many sunscreens are full of chemicals and these chemicals are the two main offenders:



  • Avobenzone -which is an oil soluble ingredient used in sunscreen products to absorb the full spectrum of UVA rays.

  • Octocrylene - used as a stabilizer for Avobenzone which degrades in light


These two chemicals are the main ones you want to look for when checking your sunscreen. But if you want to be absolutely sure that you are using safe sunscreens for your hair here are the top three sunscreen brands recommended for extension beauties. My research from my extension company recommends the mineral sunscreens from each brand, although I choose to use the regular in the SunBum because it is free of the chemicals above.


  • Sunbum - They have sunscreens including mineral options and tanning lotions. Sumbum 30 sunscreen is what I chose for the beach. I ordered this brand off of Amazon directly from their store, but I noticed it was the go to sunscreen available in the surf shops at the beach. Side note- Their coconut lip balm is literally the best thing ever and I will never use anything else.



  • Coola - This is an organic and vegan brand known for their chemical free sunscreens. You can purchase them at Ulta and Sephora. My extension brand recommends always buying the mineral sunscreen from any of these brands that you choose, but from my person experience I have found the regular sunscreens without the chemicals listed below have never had a negative effect on my hair.



  • Bare Republic- This is a chemical free sunscreen available at Target and Walmart. I have never personally used this sunscreen, but have seen the Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen recommended as an extension safe sunscreen.






My family and I went to Flordia last week where I accidentally became my own experiment and I am here to tell you that sunscreen can definitely effect your hair color. This picture was taken on our first day there, I was so excited to get away for the week and relax. I came prepared with Sunbum SPF 30 lotion and Sunbum SPF 15 tanning lotion.


To say it was hot down there was an understatement. We were going through sunscreen like water. My hubby who hates sunscreen actually really liked the SunBum sunscreen and I was super grateful I had grabbed their Coconut SPF 30 lip balm as well.


There were a couple of times I was laying out down there when I got my mom to spray my back with one of the sunscreens they had. No one in my family is blonde, so all sunscreen is great for them. Not thinking anything about it, I just didn't want to get burnt and I figured it wouldn't matter if it was just on my back. If Im being super honest, I wasn't even sure sunscreen would really effect my hair. On day two I went to the gym and noticed it looked like I had peachy streaks in my hair. Now to be fair, they weren't super strong and didn't dramatically stand out mixed into my hair until I pick a piece up and put it next to my blonde hair. This was 8 am on day two.




This is when I realized that my hair was down several times throughout the day in and out of the water and I had my back sprayed several times even though I was using SunBum everywhere else. So I immediately went to see which brands we had in the room that might have been used. These were the two we had left and BOTH of them have BOTH chemicals listed above. Equate I could totally see, but Neutrogena actually slightly surprised me.



Good news is that I washed with Redken's Blondage High Bright Wash + Rinse and it seemed to pull it out and my hair looks completely normal now, but it was definitely a lesson learned even for a hair artist, that which sunscreens you use really do matter. I am a SunBum girl for life now and immediately ordered the SPF 30 SunBum Spray from them when I got home for hard to reach places, but absolutely love the SPF 30 lotion I bought from them.



If this happens to you, it will depend on which brand you are wearing on if it will come out or not. I know one brand I am certified with says that you have to purchase new extensions, but the brand that I choose to regularly use at my studio and the one I am currently wearing suggests it will come out with a professional clarifying shampoo or treatment.


I found my hair was bright and back to normal after a really good brightening wash, but each extension brand will react differently and I can only speak for the brand I currently use and wear and the results I have had. If this happens to you, reach out to your hair stylist and see if she can help you correct the coloring with professional treatments.


To avoid this situation all together, make sure to buy chemical free sunscreen like the ones listed above. These are all my personal opinions as a hair artist and from research online. Please make sure to do your own research before purchasing any sunscreen products to make sure they are free of chemicals. I hope this article was helpful, if you have any questions I would be happy to answer them at Peytonbryanhairartist. Thanks for reading!

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