As a natural blonde—as a kid my hair was practically white—I didn’t dare touch Sun-In when it was all the rage because I didn’t need it, but I also didn’t love the brassy, orangey effect it gave the hair. As an adult, my hair has darkened significantly—I call it “dishwater blonde,” but I know many stylists hate that term—and I’m now craving a little lightening effect, especially as summertime approaches and I have no salon appointments on the calendar.
In a recent Zoom meeting with Oribe, brand educator Adam Livermore introduced me to a new product in the Bright Blonde collection that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on: Sun Lightening Mist ($38), which launches today. “The first question I seem to get asked is whether this is like Sun-In, and the answer is no,” says Livermore. “The two most important things are that it does not have any peroxide in it like Sun-In does, so there’s no bleaching effect, and it’s much less aggressive, so there’s no warm or brassy shift. It also has heat protection and UV protection, which Sun-In did not have.”
However, one similarity is that both products do contain lemon extracts, which people have used for hundreds of years—as far back as Ancient Rome—to lighten their hair. “Lemon offers controlled, gradual brightening, and this product uses more lemon extract than the rest of the products in the Bright Blonde collection,” says Livermore. “Think of it like a brightness booster, like getting an extra shot of espresso in your coffee. Blonde hair needs extra TLC.”
The mist is super easy to use: “Before you put any prep products on your hair, you want this as your first layer, right out of the shower or ocean, or even on dry hair,” Livermore explains. “The more you use it, the more brightening you will see. The lightening effect is more powerful in the sun, though it also works with the heat from hot tools, and it’s also more effective on color-treated hair versus natural. It works on all textures of blonde hair, too. Most people will see appreciable brightening after three uses.” Curious about other ingredients in the spray? “Coconut water, chamomile and aloe leaf make your hair feel awesome,” Livermore says.