Summer’s here, and there is no better time to bring out your sunscreen, cover-ups as well as sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the damaging effects of UV rays. But what about your hair? Don’t you think you ought to take measures to protect it from the sun, too?
Most people usually worry about protecting their skin – and eyes – from the rays of the scorching summer sun, the general sun safety tips, but seldom think about protecting their hair and scalp from the sun, humidity, and heat.
Just as the sun can wreak havoc on your skin, it can also damage not only your hair but your scalp as well. Extended exposure to the sun’s rays can destroy your strands. Heat can also leave your locks brittle, dry, and can rid of all its beautiful color.
Signs of Sun Damage
If it is light-colored or fine, then it is more susceptible to sun damage, and you must protect it at all costs. If you are also African-American, the coiled and flat shape increases the risk.
Signs of sun damage include:
- Dry and brittle strands,
- Split or broken ends,
- Frizziness, and
All these symptoms occur when the natural oils that protect it become depleted as a result of overexposure to the sun. When it becomes damaged, it becomes unmanageable, and you will find it difficult to style or curl it. Damaged hair typically dries quickly.
Overexposure to the sun’s rays could also cause your blood vessels to widen or dilate, thereby bringing about inflammation. Superoxide is a by-product of this a damage, and this compound can cause it to start falling off your scalp! You do not want something like this to happen to you.
Your Hair and Its Significance to Your Overall Well-Being
The hair on your head does a lot more than beautify your physical appearance. Not only does insulate your body when the weather is cold, but it also helps in keeping your body cool and regulated when you feel hot or sweltering. Since it functions as a barrier between your skin and the rays of the sun, the follicles could be severely damaged if you do not protect your tresses.
Actionable Tips and Tricks to Protect Your Hair from Sun Damage
Sun bleaching is great, but now that you know the adverse effect of overexposing to the sun’s rays and the untold damage it could cause, here are 13 actionable tips and trips to keep your hair, follicles, and scalp healthy and growing stronger this summer:
Update your looks with a hat or a scarf
This is rather obvious, but it should be mentioned, nonetheless. Make sure that you have a nice collection of large, wide-brimmed hats to protect yourself from the sweltering heat of the sun’s rays. When you wear one, it allows your scalp to remain cool.
Stay away from straw hats since they do not offer adequate protection compared to hats made of tightly-woven fabric or materials. Look out for hats that come with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) number because they are approved by the FDA.
A scarf can also do the job of protecting it. Just make sure that the scarves you use are brightly colored and the type that does not encourage the accumulation of heat.
Drink lots of fluids
If you are staying out under the sun for a considerable length of time, then you should drink lots of cooling fluids, especially water. Your hair and skin will thank you immensely for this as they will remain hydrated.
You should also eat lots of vegetables and fresh fruits as they are or as juices since they can also contribute to the hydration process while giving your body vital nutrients and minerals.
Avoid constant styling and shampooing
When you subject it to continuous styling and shampooing, it becomes vulnerable to damage or breakage. Soon enough, it will start feeling dry. You can soften it by making use of a hair mask, which adds in the moisture required to keep it smooth and glossy.
However, whenever you apply the hair mask, make sure that you focus your attention on the ends and allow the mask to soak into for a few minutes before you rinse it out.
Use a swim cap whenever you swim
There is no doubt that swimming – at the beach or a swimming pool – will be at the top of your list on most summer days. Saltwater and chlorine are agents of hair destruction as they can dry out. Chlorine is also notorious for stripping off the natural oils in human hair, thereby making it feel and look dry as well.
Before you go swimming at the beach or swimming pool, make sure you dampen it with bottled water. You can also get and use a swim cap that has UV protection feature. A swim cap is waterproof and will protect it until you are done with swimming.
Warning: Don’t shampoo before you go swimming; shampooing will rob it of all protective oils, thereby making it more susceptible to damage.
As soon as you leave the pool or beach, take a shower to rinse off saltwater or chlorine. Then make use of shampoo that has ethylene tetra-acetic acid as one of its ingredients. This compound helps to readily eliminate the damaging effects of chlorine that the water may have.
Trim your hair
Ultraviolet rays wreak havoc by making your strands weak, leading to split ends. This can make it look dull and lifeless. To prevent this unpleasant occurrence from taking place, it is highly crucial for you to trim it, especially during summer so that you can avoid split ends.
Always make use of wide-tooth combs
Using a regular fine-toothed hair comb or brush can break it, especially in summer.
Therefore, to avoid such a situation, you should go for a wide-tooth comb. Such combs are very effective in disentangling it after spending a long and breezy day at the beach, thereby helping you to avoid breakage.
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Rinse your hair with cold water
Although you may find it a bit uncomfortable to shower with cold water, it will thank you for it. Rinse it for at least four to five minutes with cold water.
Cold water can seal your cuticle, thus allowing your strands to trap moisture as well as nutrients obtained from your conditioner.
Always go out early in the day
Going out very early in the day before the sun’s rays start blazing hot is another excellent way you can implement to protect from ultraviolet rays. If your purpose is to get a perfect tan, make sure you’re doing it right.
Apply leave-in conditioner
As the sun dries it out, you should restore the moisture accordingly. You can do this by making use of a leave-in conditioner that is suitable for your texture and type.
The effect is even better if the conditioner comes with a sun protection factor (SPF), just like the sunscreen you are probably using to protect your skin. Such conditioners have been tested and proven to work by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Stay away from heat
Super important for our day-to-day vitamin D intake, the sun is hot enough as it is; therefore, avoid upping the ante as much as you can. Do not use curlers, blow dryers, and styling irons. If you plan to go out later on in the day, endeavor to wash it at least thirty minutes earlier, thus giving sufficient time to air-dry.
Avoid using too much cosmetics
The sun’s effect is damaging enough as it is. Do not compound the problem by making use of chemical ingredients, especially in summer.
If you can, please avoid coloring it during this period, whether at home or the spa. But if you must, then get it done by a professional at least two months before the sun starts hitting hard.
Prevent your hair from becoming frizzy
This is a common problem for a lot of people during summer. It tends to become frizzy at this time of the year, no thanks to the summer heat. You should control it and do all you can to prevent it from becoming frizzy.
One of the things you can do to prevent this is by tying it up. This is summer, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to show off your beautiful hair.
You can tie it up into a knot, a ponytail or a bun, making you look stylish and elegant. It will not only prevent it from becoming frizzy but will also help in reducing sweating. Tying it also protects it from external damage.
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Buy and use the right hair products
When buying haircare products, make sure you look for tags such as “Moisturizing”, “Hydrating”, and “Replenishing”. Keep away from styling products that contain alcohol (in the form of formaldehyde).
Don’t buy or use products that are tagged with the words “Bouncy” or “Volumizing” as they have been proven to dry out unceremoniously.
Other tips that you can utilize:
- Employing vinegar for treatment – Before you apply shampoo, rinse it with apple cider vinegar. It is an efficient method for treating dandruff while making it appear glossier and cleaner than ever.
- Use mayonnaise and egg to treat damaged and dry hair – Mix ¼ cup of mayonnaise with one egg and ¼ of plain yogurt. Then distribute the mixture uniformly.
Leave the mixture for thirty minutes. Then rinse it out thoroughly with clean water.
These actionable tips and tricks for protecting you from the damaging effects of the sun’s rays should boost your morale and assure you that you don’t have to stay indoors all through the summer. This is the warmest season of the year and the perfect time to spend time with the close ones.
However, keeping these tips in mind will ensure that your hair retains its lustrous and healthy look even as you have the fun of your life with your loved ones.