Skip to Content

Why Does Blonde Hair Turn Brown?

Have you ever wondered why your natural blonde hair has slowly changed color over the years? Have you noticed that it’s become more of a light brown than your traditional bright, sunny blonde locks?

If so, then this blog article is for you. In this article, we’ll take a dive into the science behind why does blonde hair turn brown? Plus, the steps you can do, to keep your blonde hair, blonde.

Why Does Blonde Hair Turn Brown?

Why Does Blonde Hair Turn Brown?

Blonde hair turning to brown over time is a well-known and widely discussed phenomenon, but why does it occur?

The most widely accepted explanation is that the pigment cells in your scalp simply get older and fewer as years pass. Because these cells are responsible for the production of types of melanin, which affects hair color, when there are fewer of them, less pigment is released and the resulting color is darker.

There is also evidence suggesting that hormone changes during pregnancy or due to medication can cause blond hair to darken; however, like gray hair coming in, this change does not last forever. Thanks to technological advances with hair dyes, blondes can keep their golden locks, no matter how old they get.

Can Hormones Lead To Blonde Hair Turning Brown?

It is a widely known fact that during puberty and adolescence, hair can begin to lose its pigments, but this same activity can happen at any stage in life, and when it does, it’s usually because of some kind of hormone imbalance, or hormonal changes. 

Specifically, regarding blonde hair turning brown, an excess or lack of certain hormones could be to blame. This could include an increase in levels of testosterone or thyroid hormones, which could lead to a decrease in melanin production, subsequently causing the color of the hair to turn from golden locks to sandy brown hues. 

Whatever the reason for your sudden brunette tones may be, maintaining a proper hormonal balance and health is key for beauty maintenance as well as overall wellbeing.

Will Hair Type Influence Blonde Hair Turning Brown?

People with naturally blonder hair may be more prone to the signature sun-kissed look of summer, but it would appear that other factors such as age and overall health are equally important determinants of whether someone’s blonde hair will lighten or darken to a dirty blonde shade over time.

 For example, those with thicker or coarser strands may have an easier time protecting their lighter hues from UV rays; while finer haired people could opt for lightweight protective technologies in their styling products that help keep color vibrant. So, there is no conclusive evidence connecting one’s hair type to blonde hair turning to a brown hair color or dark hair color.

How Does Melanin Pigment Influence The Color Of Our Hair?

Melanin pigment is an incredibly integral component of human health, with profound impacts on our hair color, skin tone, and susceptibility to skin damage. Scientists believe that the alleles responsible for the secretion of melanin within the body can explain why some of us have lighter or darker colored locks. 

Melanosomes, special cells found in the cortex layer of each strand, produce eumelanin and pheomelanin to give us blondes, brunettes, and many shades in between. By controlling the amount of melanin these cells create, our hair color is ultimately determined – a reminder that often times even something as simple as one’s hair color can be heavily influenced by genetics.

What Is Eumelanin Production, And How Does It Influence Hair Color?

Eumelanin is a type of pigment, or coloring matter, produced by cells in the human body called melanocytes. This pigment is responsible for giving our skin, eyes, and hair their color. 

Generally, the more eumelanin in an individual’s body, the darker their hair color will be. This can range from light brown to black. The amount of eumelanin in the body can influence how much heat and UV radiation our skin can tolerate. 

This is because eumelanin is capable of absorbing multiple types of radiation, which can help protect us from sunburns or other damage caused by the sun’s rays. At the same time, too much eumelanin can also cause skin discoloration such as freckles or age spots.

In terms of hair color, the amount or intensity of eumelanin production is determined by several factors such as genetics, age, and environmental conditions. 

This means that some people may have naturally higher levels of eumelanin in their bodies than others and, therefore, their hair might be naturally darker. Likewise, some people may not have as much eumelanin in their bodies and so their hair may be lighter. 

Age can influence how much pigment our bodies produce and as we get older, our eumelanin production often decreases, resulting in grayer hair. Finally, environmental factors such as exposure to chemicals, pollutants, or certain medications may also increase or decrease our eumelanin production, which could change our hair color over time. 

Environmental Factors That Impact Blonde Hair Turning Brown

Environmental Factors That Impact Blonde Hair Turning Brown

The color of human hair can vary significantly due to a variety of factors, such as genetics, age, and nutrition. However, environmental factors can also have a significant impact on how hair color changes over time.

For example, many people with naturally blonde hair will find that the color of their hair gradually changes to brown over time. This is usually attributed to prolonged exposure to the UV rays of the sun, as this can cause a gradual darkening of the hair’s pigment.

Exposure to humidity and air pollution can also lead to an increase in melanin production, which accelerates the darkening process.

Chlorine from swimming pools can also cause blonde hair to turn brown due to its bleaching properties. There’s also an issue, where environmental stressors such as excessive heat and cold temperatures can cause oxidative damage to the hair shaft, which can cause the hair to become darker in hue.

Preventative Measures for Blonde Hair Turning Brown

If you’re a natural blonde struggling to keep your color, there are some preventative measures that can help prevent you getting hair darker over time. Start with a good, sulfate-free shampoo that won’t strip natural oils from your hair and scalp.

Continually using a conditioner is important to help maintain the locks’ pH balance and lock in moisture. When swimming in chlorinated water, wearing a swim cap will help protect the delicate blonde strands from becoming discolored due to contact with the pool chemicals.

You can use hair masks regularly for added protection if you want to keep your blonde looking vibrant and healthy, without your natural color turning into a darker hair color. You could always use a box dye, if you find it tiresome trying to overcome the maintenance steps involved in keeping your blonde hair, blonde.

What Are the Most Common Factors that Contribute to Blonde Hair Turning Brown?

As with any hair color, blonde can be prone to changing shades. The most common factor that contributes to blonde hair turning brown is exposure to sunlight.

With summer days growing longer and the UV rays from the sun becoming stronger, the direct light can fade lighter strands of hair, resulting in a less shiny shade of blonde.

Another factor that contributes to blonde hair turning brown is the process of oxidation. When oxygen interacts with the natural pigment in the hair (known as melanin), it can cause a chemical reaction that changes the color of the hair.

Certain environmental factors, such as swimming in chlorinated pools or applying hair products with harsh chemicals, can also affect the color of blonde hair and cause it to turn brown.

Depending on the individual, browning blonde hair may also be influenced by genetic influences; some people are more prone to having darker hair than others. So, some resort to using brown dye, to cut back on the effort required to keep their blonde hair from changing color.

Can Hard Or Soft Water Make Blonde Hair Turn Brown?

When it comes to blonde hair and hard or soft water, the issue is a little more nuanced than what many hair dye advertisements might lead you to believe.

Despite the impressions of commercials which imply that extended use of hard water can result in brown natural hair color, this isn’t necessarily the case and hair color mostly depends on genetics.

What hard water can do is strip natural highlights and create brassy tones due to excessive minerals in the water reacting with hair follicles.

These increased amounts of chlorine and progressive build-up over time may cause already light hair to appear dark, but not switch hair shades from blonde hair to brown hair altogether.

If you do have blonde hair and are looking for ways to keep its steadiness or enhance it without changing drastically, getting a quality water filter or checking for alternative sources of softer water should help matters considerably.

If You’re Born Blonde, Will Your Hair Go Brown As You Age?

If you are born with blonde hair, you may wonder if it will darken as you age. It is perfectly normal to experience some changes in your hair color with age, but it is not guaranteed that you will go from blonde to brown.

Generally, blonde hair will slowly lighten as you age due to oxidation, usually starting to show signs of lightening in your teenage years.

Depending on your genetics, it is possible that your hair may eventually become a lighter shade of brown, but it is very unlikely that it will thoroughly change from blonde to brown.

Some people may find that their hair darkens slightly over the years, or they may even develop gray hairs as they age. However, this does not mean that you will go from blonde to brown. 

How Does Hair Build-Up Lead To Hair Changing Color?

How Does Hair Build-Up Lead To Hair Changing Color?

One of the most surprising transformations that can occur to hair is when it changes color. While many assume external factors such as the sun, salon coloring, and chemicals may be the cause of a hue shift, there’s actually an internal culprit at play: build-up in the hair.

Hair build-up is an accumulation of sebum, dirt, pomade products, minerals from hard water deposits, and other products found on the scalp or strands. It prevents pigment molecules from attaching to the hair itself, which creates a monotone or dull shade on top of any natural or naturalized hues.

Therefore, eliminating this buildup through regular shampooing and clarifying treatments can restore one’s original shade; but if neglected entirely, it has the potential to slowly transition those locked locks into brunette or blonde over time.

How To Keep Your Hair Build-Up Free?

Keeping your hair clean and free from build-up doesn’t have to be a chore. A few effective and easy steps can help ensure mineral deposits, sweat, oils and other build-ups don’t accumulate in your strands.

Start with a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week to remove impurities. Avoid washing your hair every day unless it is extremely oily or has been exposed to high levels of dirt during strenuous activity.

After each wash, rinse with cold water, as this will close the cuticles and serve better at locking in moisture than a hot shower.

Using a deeply penetrating conditioner after every other shampooing session can show great results in dislodging mineral deposit build-up while simultaneously keeping hair soft and shiny. 

How Can Chelating Shampoos Help To Stop Blonde Hair From Going Brown?

Chelating shampoos are specifically designed to stop blonde hair from going brown. They work by removing minerals, chlorine, and other contaminants which can discolor the blonde hair.

This type of shampoo contains chelating agents which bind to the foreign particles and strip them away from the hair shaft. The result is that any dulling or discoloration caused by the chlorine or contaminants is removed.

Not only do chelating shampoos help keep blonde hair looking vibrant and glossy, they also extend the life of hair color by removing any deposits which fade the color.

Chelating shampoos can make it easier to remove excess product build-up, such as styling products or even hard water minerals, leading to shinier, healthier looking hair.

This kind of shampoos can also help reduce hair damage caused by free radicals or environmental pollutants by allowing the hair to stay cleaner for longer periods of time. All these benefits help keep blonde hair from going brassy and brown.

How To Stop Your Hair From Becoming Brassy?

Blonde hair can easily succumb to darkening with age or sun exposure. To help prevent this, it is important to use shampoos and other products specifically made for blondes, as well as regular trims and hydrating masks.

There are also a number of over-the-counter products and salon treatments available that can help slow down or prevent blonde hair from turning brown. Additionally, home remedies like lemon juice, beer, and honey can be used to bring back the vibrancy of your blonde highlights. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your blonde hair looking beautiful and bright.

*This post contains affiliate links