Avobenzone is an ingredient used in most sunscreen products for its ability to absorb full spectrum UVA rays.
It is also found in many other products offering UVA protection such as moisturisers, shampoos, conditioners, foundation, concealers, lip balm, sun protection spray for hair and its even found in perfume.
Avobenzone in suncream causes discolouration of clothing. White clothes in particular you will notice that horrible pink / orange staining.
When hair comes into contact with Avobenzone and hard water a chemical reaction occurs which causes iron to bind to the hair.
This will turn blonde hair an orange / pink tone or dark hair duller and darker.
Due to the way hair extensions are processed they are naturally more porous, so the colour change will be visible quicker than in the natural hair.
The reaction will depend on the level of iron present and the amount of exposure, so discolouration may happen gradually over time or instantly.
It will only occur in the areas that have come into contact with Avobenzone so explains why only the tips of a ponytail experience change as the ends are what brush the shoulders.
Or around the hair line or face where moisturisers, foundations or suncream are applied. Or sunscreens are sprayed on the face.
This image credit to Victoria Lynch, MD of Remi Cachet. The results of physical testing of hair extensions coated in different brand & factor sunscreens and exposed to water from various locations globally. The colour change is distinct between the original colour and the exposed bundle.
Always check the products you use on your hair do not contain Avobenzone
Avobenzone is also known as:
- Milestab 1789
- Eusolex 9020
- Escallop 517
- NeoHelipan 357
- BMDBM cod
- 1,3-Propanedione, 1-(4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)phenyl)-3-( 4-methoxyphenyl)-
This is also used in sunscreens and usually paired with Avobenzone.
It is also a major factor in discolouration of hair extensions due to a chemical process that occurs when it absorbs UV rays. It is only safe for use if there is less than 10% in the sunscreen formula.
The higher the amount in sunscreen the higher a chance of discolouration through iron absorption.
Octocryline is also known as:
- Uvinul N - 539