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How come the sun makes your skin darker, but your hair lighter?

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  • Ace~Mr.Giantess~ 2009/01/14 12:26:22 (edited)
    The answer is......
    Ace~Mr.Giantess~
    +3
    Because your skin adapts to the suns radiation by producing more melanin (which is brown) so that it won't be damaged as easily. But the sun's radiation bleaches your hair by damaging the pigments in it. In dry sunny regions cars sometimes get bleached by the sun like that too. They start out red and end up salmon pink after years of exposure to the sun. It's the same way with your hair.

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  • Kid Charlemagne 2009/01/21 06:54:53
    The answer is......
    Kid Charlemagne
    +1
    More accurately, the Sun's ultraviolet rays penetrate the dermis and stimulate the body's melanocytes, which then release melanin. The melanin (which is initially colorless)migrates up to the epidermis where (because of it's high metallic content) it oxidizes once it becomes rich with oxygen. Essentially, it rusts, staining your skin brown. People from warmer, sunnier climates have evolved with far greater numbers of melanocytes, which is why they tan better or have naturally darker skin.
  • i812 2009/01/15 16:41:19
    None of the above
    i812
    +1
    i believe it is the pigmintation in your skin, thats why very light skin pigmintation skin light skin ned people burn, they have a lack of pigmintation. besides stay out of the sun as much as you can, it is not good for you.
  • Geohead 2009/01/15 15:22:29
    Good question
    Geohead
    +1
    Loving the question....loving reading the answers even more!
  • BH1701 "In Kirk We Trust" 2009/01/14 16:38:09
    The answer is......
    BH1701 "In Kirk We Trust"
    +1
    Hair is dead, leaving it defensless against the sun's erosive power. Living tissue, however, reacts and tries to protect itself from burning.
  • psylyn 2009/01/14 14:16:54
    Good question
    psylyn
    +1
    Skin is alive and your hair is dead could be the cause. The only part of your hair and nails that are alive are under the skin.
  • emmamess ~ In My Conscience... 2009/01/14 14:06:24
    The answer is......
    emmamess ~ In My Conscience I Trust ~`
    +1
    Melanin rises to the skins surface to prevent burning - it iz the body's own natural sunscreen. Hair is bleached by the sun the same way it fades out the fabric on the seats of your car - if you park in the sun on a regular basis.
  • Kimmy <3 2009/01/14 13:28:10
    I don't know
    Kimmy <3
    +1
    ... but its pretty awesome! the miracles of the universe... :p
  • Geohead Kimmy <3 2009/01/15 15:22:03
    Geohead
    +1
    wow...if this is what you would describe as awesome you have my sympathy!
  • Kimmy <3 Geohead 2009/01/15 16:32:40
    Kimmy <3
    +1
    um... why?
  • Geohead Kimmy <3 2009/01/15 16:37:33
    Geohead
    +1
    awesome = Causing awe or terror; inspiring wonder or excitement. Growing hair doesn't seem to fit to me. But then I realize you are very very young and probably have no idea of what is awesome! Some day, perhaps you will.
  • Kimmy <3 Geohead 2009/01/15 16:46:54
    Kimmy <3
    +1
    well, i use 'awesome' as a word to express how cool, great, or whatever something is that is good. so its the second definition that i mean, and i meant it for the fact that your hair gets lighter a while your skin gets darker by the sun. and that IS awesome.
  • Geohead Kimmy <3 2009/01/15 16:48:48
    Geohead
    +1
    Like I said, you are very very young. I hope someday you experience "awesome". Then you will see what I mean!
  • Dark De... Geohead 2009/01/15 16:52:21
    Dark Demonic™ ★ The Original SodaHead Guru ★
    +2
    A total eclipse is Awesome. Hair and skin reacting differently to eachother in the sunlight is just Fascinating. :o)
  • Kimmy <3 Dark De... 2009/01/15 16:56:02
    Kimmy <3
    +1
    thats more what i meant, yeah. :)
  • Ravenhon - Patriotic Atheist 2009/01/14 13:21:21
    The answer is......
    Ravenhon - Patriotic Atheist
    +1
    It makes your skin darker because of the increase of melanin in the skin. This is the body's attempt to prevent your skin from burning. It makes your hair lighter because it bleaches the pigments from your hair which carry no melanin.
  • Get crazy with the cheese-whiz 2009/01/14 12:34:01
    Undecided
    Get crazy with the cheese-whiz
    +1
    Im not really sure if it acutally does make your hair lighter. I think maybe your hair just LOOKS lighter, when compaired to the tan that you recieved. Of course, im no scientist, and it probably does make the hair lighter.
  • emmames... Get cra... 2009/01/14 14:08:46
    emmamess ~ In My Conscience I Trust ~`
    +1
    no it definatly gets lighter - my hair is copper on tha tips - that have been in the sun for more seasons - but deep brunette at the roots that have not had sun exposure.
  • Get cra... emmames... 2009/01/14 14:10:28
    Get crazy with the cheese-whiz
    +2
    yeah lol, after reading aces comment, i figured i was wrong =]

    but hey, it does make sense!
  • Ace~Mr.Giantess~ 2009/01/14 12:26:22 (edited)
    The answer is......
    Ace~Mr.Giantess~
    +3
    Because your skin adapts to the suns radiation by producing more melanin (which is brown) so that it won't be damaged as easily. But the sun's radiation bleaches your hair by damaging the pigments in it. In dry sunny regions cars sometimes get bleached by the sun like that too. They start out red and end up salmon pink after years of exposure to the sun. It's the same way with your hair.
  • Dark De... Ace~Mr.... 2009/01/14 12:27:59
    Dark Demonic™ ★ The Original SodaHead Guru ★
    +3
    Thank you. Great answer! :o)
  • Ace~Mr.... Dark De... 2009/01/14 12:28:44
    Ace~Mr.Giantess~
    +2
    You're welcome :)

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