Sun-In Damages: Sun-In Review
One of the most popular hair lightening/highlighting products is Sun-In. My mom used this product as a teenager, and now it's my turn to use it to lighten my dark blonde locks.
Most people who use sun-in are looking for that sun-kissed, bright and somewhat beachy look, but the truth is, you get what you pay for!
Sun-In is a cheap alternative to professional highlights, and a quicker alternative to laying out in the sun for hours as the sun bleaches your hair. Originally designed for already blonde or light hair, Sun-In may or may not work for your hair type, and it may cause irreversible damage.
Be sure you know your type of hair well, understand the risks, and test the product before you attempt to lighten your own hair.
Types of Hair Sun-In Works On
The cheerful pink bottles that Sun-In comes in state that Sun-In works best on already fair hair, or at the very least, light brown hair. This is extremely important to note, and my friend's cautionary tale will hopefully convince you raven haired girls (or guys) to stay away.
My friend has dark, thick brown hair that's really a naturally gorgeous color. For some reason, she desperately wanted highlights and was resorting to every harsh thing she could think of to dump in her hair: lemon juice, peroxide... and finally, Sun-In.
She sprayed it on liberally and blew her hair dry. It looked vaguely lighter, slightly dryer and...well, normal. A few days later, after hours spent in the sun, I got a panicked text that was pretty close to "MY HAIR IS ORANGE." It was true. Her dark hair had developed messy orange streaks that were permanent.
Long story short: Don't use Sun-In if your hair is darker. You risk discoloration. Also, don't use Sun-In if you've had a dye job or highlighting job in the past six months. Basically, any hair job with chemicals in it means you should avoid Sun-In.
My friend explained it to me like this: When you get something done with your hair at a salon, those chemicals become a part of your hair shaft and when they're mixed with other chemicals (like those in Sun-In) extremely harmful chemical reactions can occur, which can literally just break your hair off in large chunks.
Summary: Sun-In works best on already light hair that is not chemically treated in any way (at least in the past six months).
How to Use Sun-In
Some people suggest following the bottles instructions perfectly, and others suggest far more liberal methods.
When I used Sun-In, I had just gotten out of the shower. My hair was damp and I sprayed it liberally all throughout with Sun-In, combing it through, making sure I got every spot possible. I wanted an overall lightening effect. I then blew my hair dry and looked for results. My hair was slightly blonder and almost seemed tinged towards a silvery white, which I struggle to describe. A faint metallic gold combined with bronze seems to describe the almost colorless quality my hair had now taken on.
If you continue using it liberally over the course of a few weeks, your hair will indeed lighten. You can streak it through your hair, or soak it each time, but always use it on a wet head. Using a hair dryer or sitting in the sun will allow the chemicals to work to lighten your hair.
It's true-- Sun-In damages your hair. A lot. There are some really harsh chemicals in that cheerful little bottle, so be careful. Get ready to deep-condition and seriously love your hair with olive oil and mayonnaise, or it will start to break off as it dries out.
Lay off of using your straightener for a while, and if you blow your hair dry, keep it on a low setting and brush gently and slowly, because growing hair is a long, time-consuming business and damaged hair doesn't repair itself.