Did you know the sun can damage your hair similar to how it can damage your skin? It’s true. Those pesky UVA and UVB rays harm the outside layer of the hair strand known as the cuticle. Symptoms of sun damaged hair include dry brittle strands, split ends, frizziness, thinning, and discoloration.

When the sun shines on our hair it acts similarly to bleach. Anyone who’s familiar with the hair dye process knows that dyes and bleaches lift up our cuticle and break up the proteins to change the color. The sun’s rays can similarly damage our hair’s cuticle and proteins.

Those most at risk for sun damaged hair are going to be those with fine, curly, and light colored hair. This is because this type of hair lacks natural barriers like thickness, oils, and pigment.

Important things to keep in mind: hot styling tools, chlorine, and artificially lightened hair will make your hair more prone to sun damage. These things damage the cuticle and proteins of your hair as well. Doubling up on them and the sun can mean trouble for your locks.

So… short of missing out on all the fun, how do we enjoy the sun but also protect our precious heads of hair? Luckily, we have options.

  • Apply a hair product with SPF
    • Many hair products now contain SPF. Try switching to a shampoo that contains SPF as well as a sun styling spray. These work similar to sun block.
  • Avoid peak sun times
    • The sun is harshest from 10am-2pm everyday. Avoiding the harsh rays during this time will protect your skin and hair.
  • Wear a hat
    • One of the simplest ways to protect your hair – cover it up!
  • Rinse hair with plain water after going in the pool or ocean
    • Don’t let the chlorine and salt sit on your strands. This can prolong the damaging effects.