Hair is an essential part of our identity. It shapes our self-confidence and is a critical part of our appearance. We spend a long time trying to ensure that our hair looks perfect. When you style your hair, you take great pains to use styling products that protect it from damage. But did you know that other factors like the sun are more significant threats to your hair?!
We are all aware of the sun’s harmful effects on our skin and that sunscreens are a savior all around the year. But did you know that our hair needs protection from the sun too?
How does the sun degrade your hair and what can you do about it?
Hair loss is scary, and once the signs of damage show up, it isn’t easy to undo it. So, it is critical to take great care of your hair to prevent thinning, hair loss, or dullness due to sun damage.
How Does the Sun Affect Your Hair?
Excessive exposure to the sun is a contributing cause of loss of hair proteins and destruction of hair pigments. But the good news is, you can take some steps to care for your hair and prevent it from getting damaged. Let’s take a look at how UV radiation from the sun causes hair loss and affects our aesthetic appeal before we dive into the steps to combat hair damage from the sun’s rays.
UVA radiation from the sun (wavelength 254-400 nm) affects hair color and quality as radiation absorption produces free radicals that destroy keratin. As the layers of the hair strands weaken, it results in split-ends and makes your hair dry and brittle. To maintain the hair shaft integrity, one can incorporate some hair care products with UV filters or try a few home remedies to counter the harmful impact of sun exposure.
If sun damage has wreaked havoc on your hair quality and invited rough, frizzy, or dry hair woes, let me show you how to manage your locks and keep them smooth, glossy, and strong.
To protect your hair from sun damage, it is critical to protect the hair cuticle.
Here are a few tips to effectively manage and prevent hair damage from the sun:
Tips to Protect Hair From Sun Damage
1. Ensure Proper Protection for Your Hair
The sun rays falling on your hair strands make them glisten, but it can make your hair lifeless and damaged. If you still fancy going out in the summers, here are a few tips to save your precious mane:
- Keep your hair wrapped in a scarf, wear a wide-brimmed hat and cover yourself with an umbrella for protection against scorching sun rays.
- Like you would protect your skin, do the same for your hair, like avoiding the sun’s rays mid-morning or afternoon.
- Wear a swimming cap and tie your hair loosely in a bun to keep it as dry as possible when you get into a pool.
- If your hair gets wet in the chlorinated pool water, consider rinsing your hair thoroughly with clean water.
- Use hair products with SPF to protect them against harmful rays of the sun. Choose a hair product that suits your climate, your hair type and color.
2. Oil Your Hair
The benefits of oil for hair and skin are well-documented. Hair oils can be great for maintaining hair moisture and preventing dryness. If you’re suffering from sun-damaged hair, coconut oil, sesame, and olive oil are your savior. These are natural sun blockers, readily available, cost-effective and time-tested. If oiling isn’t your cup of tea, you may also use hair shampoos and conditioners containing coconut, olive, or argan oil extracts.
3. Avoid Excessive Use Of Color
Summers can dry your hair out and cause irreparable damage. Studies have proven that chemically-treated or colored hair shows changes under the effect of heat. So, it would be wise to give your hair some rest from chemical hair treatments or avoid the sun if it is already treated. If you love some hair color, opt for organic ingredients that add a tinge of hue to your hair. Protect the color by using hair care products specially made for color-treated hair.
4. Tie Your Hair Up
There are many creative ways to tie up your hair to protect it from getting extra dry or frizzy in the sun. You can try making hair braids, updos, buns, and knots to style your hair and protect it from frizz and sweat in the scorching sun. However, don’t tie it too tight, or it may lead to hair fall and breakage.
5. Go Easy On The Styling Tools
A blow dryer or styling tool can give your hair some fantastic shape, volume, and style, but regular use of these can harm the hair. It’s advisable to use the lowest heat setting if you choose to hot comb or blow dry it. The additional heat doesn’t bode well for maintaining healthy hair. So, it’s best to shower and wash your hair a bit early so that there is ample time left to air-dry it. Use the curling iron, straighteners, or blow dryers sparingly.
6. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drinking sufficient water is crucial to having good skin and hair. You could try everything to care for your hair from the outside, but you won’t achieve much unless you are hydrated or stick to a nourishing diet. Eat as many fruits and vegetables. Sip on fluids to keep your hair healthy. Dehydrated hair will appear dry and break easily. So, consume a nutritious diet and sufficiently intake water. This will give you the necessary hydration and vitamins for achieving nourished hair, equipped to fight sun damage.
Opt For Deep Conditioning
Since hair tends to bear the brunt of the sun’s heat, it gets thinner and extra brittle with time. If you regularly expose your hair to the sun, you need to pay extra attention to it. You can do this with deep conditioning treatments for the extra punch of nourishment externally. Ensure you use a good hair conditioning mask at home, once a week, or get professional hair conditioning treatments once every month. However, since these are also loaded with chemicals, they shouldn’t be applied daily.
Towel Dry Gently
Towel drying the hair can cause hair breakage due to friction. Avoid overdoing it or rubbing it harshly. Instead, pat dry your hair gently with the towel to prevent hair from frizz or tangles. Use a soft towel or t-shirt to dry your hair. It will ensure minimum hair breakages, especially if your hair is already weakened due to sun damage.
Home Remedies to Protect Your Hair from Sun Damage
Egg and Mayonnaise Mask
To replenish your hair strands, you can use a hair mask containing natural ingredients like yogurt, egg whites, and mayonnaise. Coat your hair evenly with this mixture and leave it on for 30 minutes before you rinse off with plain water.
Aloe vera is an excellent natural ingredient that helps reduce hair loss and makes your hair shiny and smooth. Take some aloe vera pulp and mix it with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply it along the hair strands. Wash off after ten minutes.
Banana Hair Mask
Banana hair mask with milk is also a good mask to make your hair shiny and protect its elasticity. It can also prevent split ends and breakage due to dryness.
Honey and Olive Oil
Another great hair mask that you can try is using honey and olive oil to hydrate dry and brittle hair. Adding an egg yolk can be a great boost to the emollient properties of honey and olive oil.
Beer masks have good antioxidant properties to help fight off free radicals and decrease oxidative damage. After you’re done shampooing your hair, rinse it with some flat beer to restore its shine.
Good hair-care practices are essential for healthy and luscious hair. Many of us love the summers and like to show off our tresses in the bright light of the day. But while you enjoy the hot summer season, don’t forget to shield it against the sun’s heat and ultraviolet rays. If sun damage is the root cause of most of your hair woes, it’s advisable to see a dermatologist and address the problems as soon as possible. Sun damage can be reversed with some extra TLC. Just stay consistent with the remedies, and you’ll see good results eventually.
Contributed by Nisha Baghadia.
Nisha is passionate about writing and loves to share her thoughts with the world. She has written many articles on yoga, fitness, wellness, remedies, and beauty. She keeps herself updated by going through interesting blogs every day. This fuels her passion and motivates her to write appealing and engaging articles. She’s a regular contributor to StyleCraze.com and a few others.