When I go to the seaside, I always take a sunscreen with me because I know how badly the sun can affect my skin. I’m sure you do the same thing. But what about the hair? Too frequently we leave our strands without protection – then, we are negatively surprised that, once the summer is over, our hair resembles a hayrick.
Can the sun harm us?
Probably many of you aren’t even aware of the fact and the might of the adverse influence of the sun both on our health and appearance. Of course, this relates to the situation when the exposition to the sun is excessive. After all, a few sun rays that delicately touch our skin don’t do any harm to us. In fact, the reasonable dose of the sun stimulates vitamin D production, puts us in a good mood and makes the skin delicately darker. Pretty harmful are long sun baths, taken in the middle of the summer, when UV radiation is definitely stronger and is more hazardous for us.
Therefore, sun protection is important, especially during the summer, and I would like you to bear this info in mind.
While talking about the negative impact of the sun on a human organism, the most frequently it’s the issue of skin that is brought up. We’re constantly warned against sunburns and skin cancer. And this is really important, no doubts about this. However, in this entry, I’d like to tell you how the sun influences our… hair!
Sun influence on hair
Solar radiation is one of the physical factors that damages hair. It happens especially in the summer when the sun exposure is definitely bigger – not only due to our often presence outside but also due to the ‘stronger’ sun. What happens to hair in particular during the summer?
Firstly, the sun initiates the water evaporation processes, and this moisture loss is considerable. Hair cuticles rise, we lose precious nourishing substances and hudration. The strands are fast to become dry, rough, stiff and matte – and this is really easy to notice. Shine loss is also caused by the adverse influence of UV. Similarly to hair damage – strands lose elasticity and become brittle because their inner keratin structure is significantly disturbed. The sad truth is that it’s really difficult to repair the very damages…
It’s also worth realising that water, which is pretty everywhere in the summer (especially when we plan to spend our summer holiday at the seaside) makes the matter even worse, seriously. The drops of water residing on hair, for example after bathing, work like lenses – they cumulate UV radiation. As a result, the sun works stronger which causes even greater damage.
And I’m sure that all of you had the chance to notice how their hair lightens up due to sun exposure. And this is yet another effect of how the sun affects our hair.
How to protect hair against the sun?
I’ll tell you honestly that I’m not aware of all the methods that shield our hair against the sun. I’m testing various solutions and I’m looking for something that might turn out to be perfect for me.
At the beginning I’m going to share with you a few basic rules concerning the proper hair care. The general ones, which serve everybody equally well. After all, in most cases following the basic routines without using any specialistic products is all it takes to make hair healthy and beautiful no matter the conditions. If you find it hard to believe, ask your hairdressers.
- Don’t forget to get your hair trimmed in the summer.
- Rinse sea salt and chlorine after every single bath taken in the sea or swimming pool.
- Don’t dye your hair in a few days prior the vacation – the colour will fade away when exposed to the sun.
- Use cosmetics that protect your hair against UV, e.g. hair mists.
- Don’t forget to wear hats or scarves, yet bear in mind that they don’t provide the ultimate UV radiation.
- If you want to go outside, dry your hair with a towel.
- Resign from using hot hair tools during the summer.
Natural brunettes are more lucky!
The fun fact is that girls having darker hair have a task made easier for them. Their hair is naturally better protected against the sun. How is it possible?
Melanin, the pigment present in our hair and skin, displays many properties. It doesn’t only gift hair with a particular colour but also it’s a natural protective shield. It absorbs radiation owing to which it doesn’t reach deeper skin/hair layers, so it doesn’t disturb the inner structures. It’s simple – the bigger amount of the natural pigment in hair, the better the strands are protected against the sun. That’s why brunettes are more lucky because Mother Nature equipped them with the right protection.
Sadly, dyeing hair dark won’t help in this case because the above-mentioned properties are featured by the natural pigment only. The artificial colourant doesn’t protect against the sun, in fact, it can even do harm. After all, dyed hair is weaker and more vulnerable to damages.
What cosmetics to use during the summer?
The core is a well-cleansing shampoo, yet delicate enough not to completely remove the natural and protective sebum layer. Natural hair shampoos work well during the summer.
The second issue is the conditioner which you shouldn’t refrain from using. Even the ones containing silicones, help tame the unruly strands, combat hair drying out and split ends. Such conditioners also create an additional barrier shielding strands against the sun. Of course, such product has to be used in reasonable amounts.
Also, it’s worth adding to a daily hair care routine a right oil or mist featuring UV filter. Such cosmetic reapplied to hair throughout a day will help you preserve the neat appearance of strands as well as limit the harmful influence of the sun and salty/chlorinated water.