Playing with my hair color has been a longtime curiosity of mine. I pinpoint my fascination with it to my childhood, when my older cousin introduced me to those old photo booths that spit out pictures of you with a different hairstyle in each frame. Four tiny versions of little Gabriel were stuck on my grandmother’s refrigerator for years.
That origin story led me to the salon chair five years ago for my very first double process. I spent hours sitting there, transforming my rich, dark brown hair into a bright, ice-blonde hue. I have since shed my flaxen locks, trading them in for my OG (original Gabe) brunette mane and have yet to make as dramatic a color change ever since.
That’s not to say I’m not still playing with my hair color. Quite the contrary. And I’ve been able to experiment thanks to a new addition to my grooming arsenal: good old fashioned Sun-In Hair Lightener Spray.
Sun-In is definitely one of those nostalgia-inducing products that many people remember from their teen years. I first heard about it back in junior high or high school, a magical potion that would make your hair lighter. It’s been around for decades, a fabled elixir generations before me used to change up their hair color at home when going completely blonde was too much of a commitment or forbidden by strict parents. But there was a catch – the general consensus was that my dark brown hair wouldn’t take to its transformative powers.
Then everything changed last year. After growing out my hair during the early pandemic days, I finally got a trim to add a bit more texture and movement to it. I told my stylist, Walton Nunez, that I was interested in going blonde again but didn’t know if I was ready to spend hours in the salon. He suggested I tried using Sun-In to give my new haircut a little more dimension.
“I knew that Sun-In would create a gradual bohemian look that would evolve throughout the course of the summer,” he tells me over text. Essentially, he clocked me as someone who works in the arts that would find a highlighted, sun-kissed look appealing. “You were the perfect candidate, because you didn’t have a prejudice towards the product. You were also willing to take a chance and try something new.”