Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Sun Hates Your Hair! Here's what you can do about it

Summer is weeks away.  This means lots of outdoor activities in your future.  That's cool. But while you're layering on the sun protection to shield your skin, you may be leaving your hair vulnerable.

Ever return home after enjoying a full day outdoors and notice how brittle and dry your hair feels?  That's because, while you were out enjoying the nice weather, the sun was having a field day with your hair.
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Take a look at this image of how hair responds when exposed to UVA + UVB rays and you'll see why we experience dry hair after a long day in the sun.



I want you to take this in.  If the image of what happens to textured hair after extended sun exposure doesn't completely freak you out, then your heart has grown cold.    The first thing you might notice is that our hair reacts differently to UVA and UVB rays.  UVB, the most damaging to our hair, is in full effect from April to October,  between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. That means the dangers of sun damaged hair currently is upon us.

Those of us with darker skin tones may enjoy some sun protection thanks to melanin but, as you can see, our hair isn't so fortunate.  I'm aware that exposing our hair to UVB rays for 12 or 48 hours straight isn't likely. But, that doesn't take away from the severity of damage that can occur even with limited exposure.

Now that we know, it's our job to be proactive.  Sun protection has to be on our mind just as much as skin protection.  The easiest thing to do is limit the amount of time your hair is directly exposed to the  sun.  But, if you must be outside, you want to take the right precautions.  The good news is that plant oils do offer up some level of sun protection.  Olive oil and coconut oil rank highest on the list at 7.5 and 7.1 SPF.  Adding oil is a good idea because UV rays strip away the lipid layer of the hair.  This is why our hair is so dry.

Natural oils are great but it also makes sense to have products specifically made to provide sun protection.  I've got my eye on Aveda's Sun Care Protective Hair Veil.   It's claims are that this sun blocking mist creates an invisible screen that protects from sun exposure for up to 16 hours.  It's a must have beach bag item if you have plans on enjoying an exotic getaway or attending lots of outdoor events this summer.  Let's not forget our peeps at Kerastase who've create their own protective spray that have both UVA & UVB filters, along with hydrating macadamia nut oil and shine enhancers.    

There's a park near my home that I like to frequent.  One thing I will not do, is go for a long walk without covering my hair with a satin scarf.  I may not look so glamorous, but it's a must.  Since I'm getting exercise, I don't really stress much about how I look but if I were attending a social event or an outdoor concert protective styling, and using sun protection products would be a top priority.  Let's never leave the house again without placing as much importance on protecting our hair from the sun as we do our skin.

  1. Great share and information to make sure your hair is protected from the sun this summer.

    ReplyDelete

 

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