There’s possibly nothing better than lazing around the pool during hot summer days. But while a good dose of vitamin D is great for your body overall, too much sunshine can wreak havoc on your hair. UVA and UVB rays have the power to damage both your scalp and your locks – leaving them in a condition that may be far from healthy. This doesn’t mean you need to shy away from the sun, however – you can still enjoy those heated days of peak season. All you need to do is put a few protective measures in place to ensure that your hair stays soft, glossy, and in ultimate form.
Why Is UV Protection for Your Hair Important?
Your hair can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays just like your skin. In fact, UV rays have been found to be one of the main causes of holiday hair damage (chlorine and salty seawater can also harm your locks). By protecting your hair from the suns’ brutal rays, you can rock your summertime hair all the way into winter without a damaged tress in sight.
Before we delve into what can be done to protect your hair from UV rays, let’s take a quick look at how too much sun can damage your hair.
What Are the Signs of Sun Damage to Your Hair?
UV rays can damage both the structure and colour of the fibre of your hair. This is because the rays have the power to break down protein – and hair is made of 80-90% protein. If you battle with any of the following hair problems, then it could be that your hair has had too much exposure to the sun:
- Faded hair colour
- Dry and brittle hair strands
- Broken or split ends
- Frizzy hair
- Weakened and thinning hair
So, aside from keeping your hair in the shade for the entire summer holiday, what else can you do to protect your crowning glory from UV damage?
How Can You Protect Your Hair from Harsh UV Rays?
The good news is that you don’t have to hide indoors come summertime. You can still lounge by the pool and seaside and soak up the heat. All you need to do is put the following protective measures in place:
Style Your Hair in Protective Styles
A simple hairstyle can make a big difference when it comes to protecting your hair. To start, a style such as a French Braid or a sleek bun can completely cover your scalp so that no skin is exposed. A healthy scalp is a must for healthy hair!
At the same time, a braid or a bun decreases the surface area of hair that’s exposed to direct sunlight – which means you’re protecting most of your strands.
* If you are feeling adventurous, you can also try Dutch Braids, Fishtail Braids, or the slightly complicated yet ever-so-stylish 4-strand Braid.
Use Products That Provide Sun Protection
A good hair product can go along way, especially if it has been formulated to protect your hair against all harmful elements, including the sun. Did you know that most sun-damage done to your hair causes it to become dry and brittle? Before heading outdoors, apply a leave-in conditioner or oil to moisturise, nourish, and strengthen your hair.
Rossano Ferretti can recommend Brillante Oil as an effective product that will keep your hair safe from the sun’s rays. This hair oil has been formulated to include a UV filter and a rich concentration of natural oils to deeply hydrate and protect hair from sun exposure. As an added bonus Brilliante Oil also gives protection from sea water and chlorine.
Avoid Certain Ingredients
Some ingredients can cause your hair to dry out faster, thus enhancing the damage caused by the sun. As a rule of thumb, you should always scrutinise the labels of the hair care products you buy. We suggest you stay away from ingredients such as alcohol, peroxide, lemon juice, and “sun-activated hair lightening” properties that are prone to drying out your hair.
Wear a Hat
This may be a no-brainer – but what better way to protect your hair from the sun than by completely shielding it with a hat? There are so many fashionable hats to choose from that you certainly don’t have to forgo style just to make sure your hair is looked after.
Tip: for double protection, choose a hat with a wide brim that will protect your face as well.
What About After-Sun Care?
Making sure your hair is protected while you soak up the sun is important. Treating your hair after you have been in the sun is just as crucial if you want healthy locks. We suggest that you:
Prevent (and Reverse) Damage with a Hair Mask
Even if you don’t plan on spending hours in the sun during summer, just a few minutes of exposure to harsh UV rays can leave your tresses feeling frail and parched.
To be extra cautious, you can maintain moisture before and after sun exposure by applying a moisturising hair mask every week. Because the sun’s heat leaves the cuticle open and more porous, your hair will absorb the hydrating treatment like a sponge and repair faster.
If you are using a product that includes UV protection in your hair, then it’s important that you us rejuvenating shampoo at least once a week. SPF, for example, will leave build-up on your hair shaft, leaving your hair oily, limp, and unmanageable. A clarifying shampoo can remedy that.
We know that summertime is supposed to be all about fun in the sun and relaxing on the beach or next to the pool, but putting in a little extra effort now will help your locks and your scalp fair better in the long run.