Despite the increase in bug activity, the summer season can be the most exciting as we tend to spend a lot of time outside, swimming, shopping, attending barbecues, and just having a great time. Though we love the weather, the sun can wreak havoc on our hair some of the symptoms being so severe it can almost set us back in our quest for healthy hair.
What are some of the effects of the sun’s rays?
UVA and UVB rays have the power to damage the structure of the hair from the inside out with prolonged exposure. Here are some signature signs that you have sun damage:
• Faded hair color
• Dry brittle hair
• Split ends
• Frizzy hair
• Weakened hair
• Thinning hair
How does the sun damage your hair?
The sun has three categories of light waves, UVA, UVB and UVC, each has a specific purpose but have similar damaging effects.
UVA- Ultraviolet A – Strongest ray has the longest wavelength and are radiation filled. These rays can penetrate to the cortex of the hair shaft damaging the cells and reducing the hair’s natural elasticity and strength. With that said it can also burn through the cuticle or outer layer of the hair as well which means where the cells on the cuticle lay flat to give your hair its natural shine they are now raised so your hair appears brittle and dry.
UVB-Invisible rays– These rays behave in a similar manner to UVA where they penetrate deep into the hair’s center damaging the cortex and fading your natural color.
UVC – Ultraviolet C – Thank goodness for the ozone layer because with these rays we don’t stand a chance, UVC is the most damaging set of rays from the sun.
Tips for protection from the sun:
1. Get a big floppy hat! – Hats can be so sexy when worn correctly and with the right outfit, don’t be afraid to get big bold colors that compliment your outfit. Apart from the aesthetics hats can be great when trying to protect your hair from the harmful rays of the sun.
2. Use Shampoos and conditioners that have SPF– now this may sound a little gimmicky because normally we tend to wash products out of our hair and it is highly unlikely we will leave the SPF in! My suggestion would be to use conditioners and leave in conditioners that have SPF that way you can leave the product in. This can be helpful especially when swimming because conditioner can also help protect the hair from the harmful chemicals of the pool.
3. Protective styling- tuck and roll your ends and hair to protect it as much as you can from the sun
4. Clarify your hair often when using products that contain UV protection, just to maintain scalp health and prevent build up.
5. Amp up your deep conditioning regimen so that your moisture levels are maintained and your hair stays strong.
Bonus Tip: Make your own SPF leave in- Get your spray bottle, add a cup of water and about 2.5 teaspoons of sun block to it, mix well and spray liberally on your hair. (Make sure you clarify when you next wash)
How do you protect your hair from the sun?