In Australia we’re familiar with how necessary sun protection is for skin, but very few of us know the effects that UV rays have on our hair. If you’ve been searching ‘can sun damage hair?’, consider this your sign to elevate sun safe steps with protective hair products.
Whether your hair is fine or thick and dyed or natural, UV affects all hair types adversely. Especially in the warmer months when we spend more time outdoors, using UV hair protection is vital to keep shine, bounce and flow. And it’s not just the sun that poses risk – summer activities like swimming at the beach or in a pool can damage and weaken strands.
We protect our skin with everyday sunscreen application – by following the same self-care for hair in summer you can elevate and strengthen the look and feel of your locks. Ahead, discover the signs of sun damaged hair and our radiance-boosting summer nourishment range.
How does sun damage hair?
Each strand of hair is made up of keratin, water and oils, which act as natural protectants. Just like with skin, sun exposure dehydrates hair and strips the cuticle layer of its natural moisture. The effects of UV can have long-term consequences for hair, and include:
· Colour fading: UV behaves similarly to bleach here – that’s why our hair becomes lighter in summer. UV radiation degrades dye colour molecules and melanin pigments – meaning that both dyed and natural colour can become dulled and faded through exposure.
· Cuticle and keratin damage: there are several layers in each strand of hair – the outer layer, called the cuticle, seals in healthy oils. Repeated exposure to the sun weakens the protein structure and can cause long-term damage.
What does sun damage hair look like?
As UV exposure is unavoidable, we all tend to notice at least a small level of stress on hair in summer – without sun protection that hair damage can be obvious. Repeated exposure without pre and post UV hair protection results in signs of damaged hair, like rough feeling strands, low elasticity and breakage. Once sun exposure has damaged the structure of strands your hair is less able to reflect light and can appear dulled and brittle.
UV hair protection routine
Skincare regimes include both morning and evening steps, and your hair sunscreen routine is no different. Whether your hair has been coloured or your preference right now is natural, following a self-care routine will keep your tone vibrant, and texture soft and bouncy. To maintain shine throughout the sunnier months, our hair sun protection spray and other steps are ahead.
1. Protect with leave-in-cream
Just like moisturiser and sunscreen, the prep you do before you head out makes a huge difference. Our multiprotection hair cream Soleil Crème UV Sublime Leave-In-Cream is like sunscreen for your hair. Because UV radiation isn’t the only threat to hair health, our leave-in-cream protects against saltwater and chlorine too. Coconut water and vitamin E moisturise and protect against oxidative stress, and UV filters absorb rays before they can affect the hair fibre. Applied to towel-dried hair at the start of your day, this nourishing formula protects against breakage and boosts shine.
2. Apply hair oil
Warmer months call for natural, beachy waves. Our bi-phase, UV hair spray Soleil Huile Sirene Hair Oil Mist is also a styling product that encourages mermaid-like waves with a soft, ‘no crunch’ texture. With UV filter protection, your defined shape can remain luminous and bouncy. And as dehydration is a major factor in sun damage to hair, this hair oil infuses hair with deeply hydrating ingredients vitamin E and coconut water while it styles. Mist over dry or damp hair at any time of the day.
3. Nourish with after-care shampoo & mask
As UV exposure is unavoidable even with protective measures in place, after-sun is a vital part of any sun protection routine. When you spend the day outside your strands experience some level of dehydration. To restore smoothness and shine to hair, use a nourishing treatment at the end of day. Starting with Soleil Bain Après-Soleil Shampoo, this post-exposure shampoo protects the colour vibrancy of hair from photo-degradation and leaves hair feeling moisturised and soft. Follow with Soleil Masque UV Dèfense Active Hair Mask to boost your hair’s hydration up to 85% and repair the strands deeply.
Other UV hair protection tips
Protective products aren’t the only steps that need to be taken when considering sun damage to hair. Hair sunscreen is a crucial element, but when spending prolonged periods of time outdoors there are other important measures that will keep your hair vibrant and healthy. And as mentioned, sea water and chlorine can also damage the colour and texture of hair. We recommend rinsing your hair with water before and after swimming, and using a haircap when possible. To avoid signs of sun damaged hair, supplement your routine with the following habits:
· Wear a hat when outdoors (apart from your hair, this helps to protect your face from UV rays).
· Seek shade where possible.
· Apply sunscreen to your hairline – that area of skin is uniquely exposed to the sun but is often forgotten in sunscreen application.
Loved this guide? Keep reading to discover the common causes of hair loss.
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