Most people are used to wearing sunscreen on their faces and protecting most of their bodies against the rays of the sun. But the thing is, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can do just as much damage to the hair and scalp as they can do to your face and the rest of your body.
How Can the Sun Damage Your Hair?
If you’re asking yourself “Does the sun damage hair?” the short answer is yes. Even if your scalp and hair have features that protect them from the sun, different factors can still cause these lines of defense to fail.
Your hair strands, as well as the melanin in your hair, serve as your scalp’s natural protection from the sun. However, research shows that they can’t fully protect the scalp or hair follicles from damage. This protection decreases as you age as well. Your hair begins to thin or fall out and loses its protective melanin properties when strands begin to turn gray or white.
Without enough protection, UV rays can easily penetrate your hair strands and damage your scalp, causing the following:
1. Skin Aging
UV radiation in sunlight causes aging (photoaging) on the skin, including the scalp. When you’re out in the sun, exposed areas of your scalp can become prone to sunburn.
We haven’t even mentioned how overexposure to the sun also increases one’s risk of getting skin cancer. UVA and UVB rays can trigger higher production levels of superoxide, which causes cellular inflammation and DNA mutations that can disrupt cellular repair. These mutations, unfortunately, are a possible link to skin cancer.
2. Premature Hairfall
Oxidative stress caused by intense sun exposure can cause hair follicles to move from the anagen (or growing) phase to the telogen (or resting) phase, which triggers hair fall. This hair fall is temporary but disruptive to hair growth – and can increase the amount of hair fall over a shorter period of time.
3. Hair Breakage
The most obvious effect is felt in the health and texture of your hair. UV-damaged hair can begin to discolor, dry out and turn brittle, and become prone to breakage. Hair that’s lost its moisture can develop many split ends along the shaft, feel thinner and more fragile, and snap or break off easily when combing your hair or styling it.
How to Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage
Basking in the sun is delightful, especially during the summer. To enjoy your time under the sun worry-free here are some ways you can shield your hair and scalp from sun damage:
- Avoid Chemicals: Some hair products contain chemicals that can amplify the harmful effects of UV rays. Opt for products free from sulfates, parabens, and other harsh additives to prevent further harm.
- Cover Your Head: Embrace stylish hats or scarves as your new fashion statement. Not only do they make you look effortlessly chic, but they also provide an extra layer of protection for your hair.
- Pick the Right Hair Care Products: Wisely choose hair care products fortified with UV filters and protective ingredients. These act as a barrier, shielding your strands from the sun’s damaging effects.
- Invest in Hair Sunscreen: Yes, your hair needs sunscreen too! Spray or apply a hair sunscreen product before venturing out. It’s like a protective shield that helps maintain your hair’s health and color.
- Use a DIY Heat Protectant for the Hair: If you can’t get hold of hair sunscreen, you can always create a heat protectant for your hair. You can use olive oil for the hair to keep your locks safe from the sun’s UV rays.
- Avoid Heat Styling: Summer is the perfect time to embrace your hair’s natural texture. Give hot tools a vacation and let your hair air dry to minimize additional heat damage.
- Rinse Your Hair Thoroughly After Swimming: Chlorine and saltwater can wreak havoc on your hair. After a dip, make sure to rinse your hair thoroughly to wash away any residues that could lead to dryness and breakage.
Ways to Restore Sun-Damaged Hair
Exposing your hair and scalp to UV rays is inevitable. If your locks have been damaged by the sun, here are some sun-damaged hair treatments you can try:
DIY Hot Oil Treatment
Treat your sun-kissed tresses to a luxurious DIY hot oil treatment. Hot oil treatments offer various benefits for your hair, especially if it has been damaged by the sun.
Argan oil is good for the hair for this reason. Simply pour an ample amount of argan oil into a bowl and warm it up in the microwave for not more than 10 seconds. Once warm enough, apply the oil to your wet hair, starting from the roots down to the ends. Apply some oil to your scalp as well and massage it for a few minutes.
Use a shower cap to cover your hair and trap the heat in your head and let the oil sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Then, rinse your hair thoroughly to remove any oil residue from your scalp and locks.
Restorative Hair Mask
Indulge your hair in a nourishing mask filled with ingredients like avocado, honey, and yogurt. These natural powerhouses infuse your locks with essential nutrients, helping to repair and restore their vitality. Sunflower oil is good for your hair, so adding a few drops of this wonder elixir will also help nourish your sun-damaged hair.
Sometimes a trim is all it takes to let your hair flourish anew. Snipping off those split ends and damaged portions can give your hair a fresh start and a healthier appearance.
Hydration isn’t just for your body – your hair craves it too! Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to promote hair health from the inside out.
Invest in the Right Hair Care Products
More and more dermatologists now recommend hair and scalp care products that are proactive about scalp health and sunscreen UV protection.
Few shampoo and conditioner products have UV protection that’s both effective, affordable, and not heavy on the hair, all at the same time! Moringa-O2’s Herbal Smoothening Shampoo and Conditioner with Argan oil offers UV protection and a protective film coating that seals the hair shaft, preventing lipid and protein loss in hair. Hair will become smoother, more nourished, and less frizzy and dry.
You can also increase hair and scalp health with Moringa-O2 Herbal Therapy Oil, which moisturizes scalp and promotes hair growth. Just massage a few drops into your hair about 30 minutes before your bath, for about five minutes, three times a week. The massage action on your scalp will stimulate hair follicle growth, strengthening hair at the roots and helping hair become thicker, glossier, and healthier.
Shop online for your favorite Moringa-O2 products, now available on Shopee and Lazada! These hair care products are also available in all leading supermarkets and drugstores nationwide.