Product Type: Sunsilk hair care products
Newest Review: ... a week on your hair wherever you want it lightened and obviously, it is a lot better than just chucking a big load of bleach on there! ... more
Part Sun, Part Sun-In, Innit?
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Advantages: Cheap and good general effect
Disadvantages: Results depening on the starting point
There's no nice way to say this. Sun-In is essentially spray in bleach that strips hair of its natural colour and leaves behind shades usually found only in packs of crayons. I wanted to look like I'd just spent too much time in the sun, but brown hair, really dark brown hair like mine in particular, doesn't just decide to go blond on its own. It lightens a bit but it's still a shade that could only be called brown, so the effect I was aiming for with Sun-In would change my hair in a way nothing had before.
The name is slightly misleading. The product doesn't add 'sun' to your hair, nor does it, contrary to popular opinion, require the sun to work. It's not the UV rays that start the chemical reaction, it's heat, and this can just as easily be achieved through the use of a hair dryer. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that for best results you *don't* want to use it in the sun. Let me explain.
The instructions in Sun-In tell you to don the hopelessly impractical gloves and avoid spraying the stuff in your eyes…something I ended up doing precisely because I had put on said gloves, and they made the bottle slip. You're supposed to have clean, wet hair before you start, and to decide the 'effect' you're going for - either subtle highlights or all over lightening. You take a bit of your hair in a gloved hand and spray the Sun-In onto it, smoothing along the strands until they're evenly coated. You repeat until your whole head is done, and then you either 'relax in the sun' or use a hair dryer to get the lightening started. Generally you can see a change as soon as your hair is dry but if you continue to go in the sun or dry your hair over the following days it will continue.
So, you've decided you want to lighten you whole head. You spray with Sun-In as advised and then go outside to sit in the sun. Maybe your hair is hanging loose, or maybe it's pulled back. Either way, not all of your hair will be directly exposed to the heat. And therefore, not all of your hair will lighten in exactly the same way. For blondes this is not really an issue as the natural effect of the sun on hair is to lighten the top, sun-exposed areas. But on brown hair, the contrast is much more obvious, and relying solely on the sun means you can end up with weird two-tone hair, even more obvious if you then choose to pull it back into a pony tail or a bun, where the top half of your head will be lighter than the strands at the bottom that until now have been hidden. Using a hair dryer makes it much easier to control the evenness of the heat, and therefore the spread of the colour.
*** The colour
I decided to see how far my hair would go and planned to dye it back to normal before coming home. In the end I didn't because I actually like how it's turned out, though it will be dyed in a few weeks because roots will not be a good look and I have no desire to keep up with the blondness. My hair is less ash or platinum blonde, and more copper or honey blonde which suits my complexion a lot more and doesn't look too obviously artificial. Comments since the transition:
"Has the sun done that?" (my suspicious sister)
"Oh, you changed your hair colour" (our secretary)
"Is that natural?" (a confused friend)
"You've a lovely tan" (my mother….who didn't notice the difference until pointed out to her, at which point I got a "very nice")
*** The condition
Lots of people seem to complain that Sun-In damages their hair, and due to the high concentration of bleach I would expect this, but my hair seems fine. In fact, considering it's been exposed to what has essentially been a 4 month beach holiday, it's looking rather good. The makers claim the latest formulation includes added conditioners and they seem to work. The general instructions say you should not use it more than 3 times per week, and I didn't though I was washing and conditioning my hair more than normal during this time since I was swimming every day. I don't doubt that if you have thin, wishy-washy hair, adding a bleach to your daily routine will make it brittle, but my hair thick, has never been coloured or chemically treated before, and coped with the challenge admirably.
*** Why choose Sun-In?
There are several good reasons in my mind. I liked the price (cheap) and the fact that you can dictate the level of lightening you want through the phased process - just stop when it gets to the colour you're after. For ease of use it gets a 3 out of 5, as it's tricky the first time but soon gets easier, especially if your forgo the gloves and just wash your hands well afterwards. It's considerably easier to do the whole head than parts which is why I won't be attempting my roots. You'd have to be very skilled to be able to add , the illusion of depth or waves or whatever using Sun-In the way proper hairdressers can when doing a colour, but for general all over colouring you can't go much wrong. And a slightly un-even effect just makes it look that much more natural, y'know? For smell it gets a 3 out of 5 but only because I work in a hospital and put up with worse fragrances than this every day. It smells like, well, bleach, but it's a reassuring, chemical smell. A bit like Copydex - you understand it smells for a purpose, and after a while it's not too bad.
Sun-In is readily available in chemists and supermarkets. It is an English product (I bought an imported version) and they have 3 'shades' for different starting hair colours, and a version for men which I didn't understand - unless their hair is a different shade altogether that I've never picked up on. Not *good* for your hair, but it didn't do mine any obvious harm and I'd recommend it for the young and young at heart as long as you're not too vain and can cope with whatever the result is.
Summary: I'm back and I'm blonde....ish