Why Is My Hair Lighter at the Ends?

Why is my hair lighter at the ends

Are you wondering why the ends of your hair are becoming lighter than the rest of your hair? Many factors can contribute to this kind of change. When there is a lot of mineral build-up in your hair, they lock out the moisture, which then causes your ends to look lighter in color.

Hair has a pigment called melanin; which is what gives it the color. The pigment has some special cells called melanocytes. These special cells are at the bottom of every strand of your hair. When they manufacture a lot of melanin, it changes the color to either black or brown. Your hair can turn blond when there is not enough melanin.

Why is the bottom of my hair lighter than the top?

There are occasions when you might realize that the bottom of your hair is getting lighter than the top. Usually, there are many causes for this, but the main one is the sunlight.

The bottom part of your hair is always exposed to the sunlight each time you step out than the rest of your hair. The sun acts as a bleaching agent on your hair and bleaches out the melanin.

Melanin is the pigment found in the hair cells and on the skin. It is what is responsible for giving both their color. Once the melanin bleaches out, your hair will start looking lighter, which is usually much more noticeable at the bottom.

Other factors that may cause the same effect are saltwater and chlorine. When you use saltwater and chlorine on your hair, these two agents affect the keratin, which then makes your natural hair lighter.

It may seem strange that your skin turns dark when exposed to sunlight while your hair turns lighter. This happens because your skin is alive while your hair is dead. Thus, the sunlight destroys the melanin making it light.

What can I do to stop my hair from going lighter at the bottom?

Sometimes your hair may get lighter at the bottom if you recently dyed it or for another reason which is exposure to sunlight. Either way, there are a few steps you can take to prevent or stop your hair from getting lighter at the bottom.

Less showers

Water is the main participant when it comes to color fading or color bleeding on your hair. While you may not stay off the shower, avoid washing your hair each time you take a bath. Regular washing causes the color to fade.

Alternatively, you can also try adding shower filters with a special design to reduce the mineral content in the water. Remember, besides sunlight, chlorine, and saltwater also cause hair to become lighter at the bottom. So reducing these mineral contents in your bathing water can be of great help.

Be careful on the water temperature when washing your hair

Warm water is a fair share of your hair, but hot water is the real enemy. Using hot water on your hair only expedites the fading. Steam and heat from the hot water open up the hair’s cuticles, allowing your natural hair color or dye to seep out easily. So, when washing your hair, make sure the water is not too hot.

Avoid over shampooing

Shampoo less and do it with a color-safe shampoo. Be careful about the type of shampoo you’re using for your hair. Try using a shampoo that has a specific mark for color treatment. Also, do it less often because you tend to scrub away the color each time you scrub your hair with shampoo. You can use dry shampoo if you notice that your hair is getting too dirty from the fewer showers and the less shampoo. It will help keep your hair clean while keeping it away from water.

Use hair sunscreen

Before you step out, apply some sunscreen to your hair. This will help protect your hair from sunlight, especially if you plan to stay in the sun for long. While applying the sunscreen, try focusing on the crown, as it is the most exposed part of your head. Alternatively, you can use shampoo and a conditioner that has sunscreen.

Avoid excess heat

Stop using excess heat from the hair drier and the flat iron. Many people love straight or curly hair and end up using the flat iron or hair drier frequently to achieve this. These tools burn your hair, causing it to lose color. When there is excess heat, your hair dehydrates, making it look worn out. To avoid damaging your hair with heat, you can use a heat protectant.

Avoid stress

Stress is a major enemy of many things, and hair is one of them. Sometimes your hair color may change if you are under some medication or you’re just stressed. Ensure you always get good rest and stick to a healthy lifestyle.

Are there products I can use to even out my natural hair color, so my root and bottom are the same hair color?

There are products to work with to help you even out your hair color.

-First, you can use a clarifying shampoo or a sulfate-free shampoo. It will help color-treat your hair and then go in with a nourishing conditioner or some high-quality hair masks.

-You can also use root concealers to help your roots find their buzz again.

-You can also use sunblock or sunscreen; they help block the harsh sunlight rays protecting your crown while you are outdoors. The sunlight can change the tone of your hair and reveal the warms of the undertones.

-Use hair dye: Sometimes your uneven natural hair color is due to the appearance of grey hair. This is a genetic factor that causes your hair to change color. In such a scenario, you can use hair dye; only go for colors that do not have ammonia. The color you choose should also be the same or close to your natural hair color. You can get the best guidance and advice from a hairstylist if you’re not sure what to do.

Is dyeing the only option in getting the ends of my hair the same color as the roots?

Dyeing your hair may not be the only option to get your ends and roots to be the same color. Hair dye does not get rid of colored ends or roots.

The simplest way is to cut the hair and let it grow afresh or wear a hat. But what if you can’t wear a hat all the time or if you do not feel like putting a scissor through it?

You can decide to tint your hair to a shade closer to your natural color. However, this process is not simple; you will need to apply a filler to replace the missing pigments.

Once the tint is put, allow your hair to grow while you keep up with the treatment.
Depending on the rate of growth and the length of your hair, it may take a few months before you finally get the natural look again.

If you’ve not tried any of these alternatives before and is not sure about their effectiveness, consider consulting with a professional before you do anything. They will always give the right way forward or advise you on the alternatives you can try.


Uneven hair tone or light ends and roots can be frustrating, and you have seen there are many factors that cause it. While there are many ways to salvage the situation, cutting your hair is a radical solution that should only apply if the color mishap is serious. Always ensure to work with a hairstylist, they understand much about different hairs, and they will help you get the best solution for your hair.

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