Sun-In Hair Lightener Is Back And Trending – Here’s Everything You Need To Know Before You Try It

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Written by Sophie Mara

Updated: April 26, 2024

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image via @suninfunin

Whether you’re having 90s flashbacks of summers spent spritzing your locks or you’ve just discovered Sun-In on your socials and want to know what it’s all about, you’re in the right spot.

Around since the 1970s, this simple-to-use spray has had a resurgence in popularity, and, knowing how easy it is to use, we can see why. But is it safe for your hair? How much product do you need? And, how long does it take to see results?

We’re about to answer all of these questions and more in our complete guide to Sun-In hair lightener. 

What Is Sun-In Hair Lightener?

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image via @suninfunin

Sun-In hair lightener spray works to gradually lighten your locks with buildable results. Unlike dyes and bleaches, mixed and painted onto your hair, Sun-In comes in a ready-mixed bottle of ingredients ready to spritz. The results are subtle yet buildable, and you’ll see a difference from the very first application. 

Does Sun-In Contain Bleach?

Among other ingredients, Sun-In hair lightener contains hydrogen peroxide. This is a common ingredient in blonde hair dyes and can also be mixed with powdered bleach to lighten your hair.

On its own, the effect is more subtle and overall less damaging than bleach. Sun-In also boasts lemon juice and chamomile flower extract, both of which have natural lightening properties.

Lemon juice is made up mostly of citric acid which is a natural bleaching agent. Meanwhile, chamomile has a lightening and brightening effect that can showcase your natural highlights, alongside the results of the Sun-In itself. 

Is Sun-In Permanent?

Yes, as Sun-In contains hydrogen peroxide, a chemical compound, the results are permanent. The more heat you apply to your hair after use, the more noticeable the results are going to be too. 

How Long Should I Leave Sun-In In My Hair?

Unlike traditional hair colors that you apply to your locks, leave for a time, and then wash out, Sun-In hair lightener remains in your hair. Simply spritz it in and let it do its thing as your hair becomes gradually lighter. The beauty is too, that you can add as much or as little as you like. Use a small amount for subtle results, then add more gradually over time to build up to a lighter shade. 

Can I Use Sun-In Without Sun?

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image via @maher_pharmacy

Yes! We get why the product name might be misleading in this case because you don’t even need the sun to see results. What activates the formula and causes it to lighten your hair is heat, not UV rays. So, you can simply use your blow dryer, or even your heat tools for enhanced results.

When the sun does shine on your hair it will, of course, activate the formula too. However, we recommend using the at-home heating method to stay sun safe and allow for more controlled results you can build up slowly.

Can I Use Sun-In On Brown Hair?

You can use Sun-In to lighten brown hair, however, you may discover the results are a little more brassy than you want. Hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice, the main lightening ingredients in this formula, won’t suddenly turn brown hair blonde so steer clear if that’s the end goal.

Instead, these ingredients tend to turn brown hues more of an orangey/amber shade, which can be really fun! So if you’re looking to mix things up with a more playful hair color this spring and summer Sun-In hair lightener may be just what you’re looking for. Our only piece of advice? Be sure before you spritz. The results from this lightener are permanent after all!

Does Sun-In Damage Your Hair?

As with any product containing chemical lightening agents, Sun-In can cause damage to your hair. That’s because to lighten your locks, hydrogen peroxide breaks down the natural melanin pigment.

This pigment is responsible for natural moisture within your hair so as it degrades, your hair may feel dryer and more brittle than before. The same goes for the lemon juice content within the formula. Citric acid can also be very drying to the hair and can also lead to breakage. 

All that said, there is plenty you can do to combat these drying effects. 

How To Keep Your Hair Healthy When Using Sun-In

First things first, don’t use Sun-In spray too often. Whilst this formula is designed to be buildable and milder than bleaching, it can still take a toll when used in excess. Combat this by limiting your usage to just once or twice a week. This way you can build up your desired lightening effect without drying out your hair at the same time.

Meanwhile, we highly recommend using a nourishing hair conditioner and weekly hair masks. This can help to replace and even boost any moisture lost from the drying effects of the spray. It will also make your newly lightened looks look even more impressive and seriously shiny. 

Step By Step: How To Safely Use Sun-In

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image via @vanzaldua

Now that you know all there is to know about this lightning spray, we’ll talk you through a safe and successful application. Remember, you can always apply more so err on the side of caution and use it sparingly – at least on your first go!

Before you start, make sure your hair is in good condition. If you start with dry, damaged locks, they’re only going to get worse. Go in with a deep conditioning treatment and use a moisturizing hair mask in the week or weeks before your first application. 

Once your hair is feeling adequately moisturized, give it a good brush through and remove any tangles. The last thing you want is the spray condensing in one area and leaving you with uneven results. 

Once your hair is tangle-free, you can go ahead and get to spritzing. There are a few different ways to do this. First of all, you can apply the formula to either damp or dry hair, the results will be the same. However, if you apply it to damp hair, you can use your blow dryer to immediately enhance the effects. 

Now, you can spritz the spray all over your hair for general lightening. Or, you can take small sections of hair and spray only those for a highlighted effect. Again, we recommend using the product sparingly and gradually building up the results.

Be sure you’re happy with the color and the positioning before your second application. Once the spray is dry, go ahead and admire your newly lightened hair knowing the results took just minutes (and seriously minimal effort) to achieve.

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