With no tan caused by the sun a safe tan, many of us turn to fake tanning products like gradual tan this time of year for a golden glow on our face and body.
But if you have very light hair, whether it is naturally blonde, lightened in-salon or you have silver or grey hair, you could end up with a different problem altogether.
Hairstylists are speaking up about the impact the tanning pigments in top self tan or fake tan products can have on your hair colour, saying repetitive application of tan can causing staining to your locks. It’s particularly an issue with chemically lightened hair as it is very porous, so prone to soaking up whether it comes into contact with. DHA (dihydroxyacetone), the ingredient that that reacts to the amino acids on your skin, may also react to hair, causing the issues.
While some may be able to be washed out with shampoo, it can cause long-term tone adjustments and brassiness and yellowing that make need to be addressed professionally, often with further lightening.
Research carried in conjunction with Australian brand Auriche even claims to show the tanning products can cause damage including dryness and breakage to your strands.
The brand was started by a skin-cancer survivor, Lana Kelly, who subsequently developed a hair product to protect against the damage tan can have on hair, so she could continue to use tanning products.
The brand says an experiment in conjunction with the University of NSW, showed that fake tan could be as damaging to hair as bleach. Under a specialist microscope, it says researchers examined virgin hair after a single exposure to fake tan and discovered the hair follicle was cracked, brittle and had sharp, shredded ends.
How to prevent fake tan staining hair
So how else can you prevent the problem? Try these tips with application:
- Tie all hair up and wear wear a protective plastic or shower cap when having a spray tan.
- Try applying a bit of petroleum jelly or a thick moisturiser along your hairline to mask it and prevent absorption before applying the fake tan product. Alternatively, apply a thick reparative hair mask to hair and leave in carrying out the tanning process.
- Never apply tanning products to your hairline.
- Avoid washing your hair before tanning, as the natural oils closer to your scalp may help protect hair from soaking up product.
- After applying the tan, carefully wipe off any excess from your hairline with a damp cloth or makeup remover wipe. If needed, apply a touch of shampoo on a face cloth and wipe over the area before rinsing.
- Avoid wearing your hair down to sleep after applying a tanning product. Wearing a t- shirt afterwards and to sleep in will also protect hair from contact with your skin after application.