Ah! Summer is in full swing; this means hitting the beach and soaking up some fun in the sun. You already know that you should protect your skin from exposure to the sun, but did you know that it’s important to also sun-proof your tresses?
There are three categories of light waves that the sun emits: Ultraviolet A, B and C
- UVA rays can penetrate the hair’s cortex causing damage to the cells and reducing its elasticity. This occurs as a result of these rays acting as a form of ‘bleach’ thus lightening the natural colour which contributes to fading, premature aging, break down of the hair’s protein and moisture depletion.
- UVB rays are quite similar to UVA rays in that they penetrate the cortex and also help to fade the colour.
- As for the UVC rays, they are absorbed in the atmosphere and don’t directly contact the Earth. Thank goodness, as these rays are the strongest and our hair would be doomed!
Just like heat damage, sun damage is very much real. But how will I know if my hair is sun damaged?
I’m happy you asked. Below, I have listed eight signs of sun damage.
Signs of Sun Damage
- Scalp burns
- Hair feels brittle
- Lacks elasticity
- Colour has faded (related to virgin and dyed hair)
- Lifeless hair
- More split ends
- Disturbed growth cycle
- Thinning hair
By no means does this suggest that you should avoid the outdoors but adapting a few tricks to protect your mane will make a world of a difference.
Prior to hitting the sun
- If you’re choosing to let your hair rock and wave loosely in the sun consider walking with a large sun hat to cover your head. The sun is believed to be the strongest between the hours of 2:00pm- 3:00pm that hat will come in handy.
- Look for products with ingredients such as vitamin E and/or grapeseed oil for they serve as photo-protectors (shields) against sun damage.
- Use your favourite heat protectant as a sealant after moisturizing your hair.
- Use a sulfate shampoo. If you’ve been at the pool or at the beach you want to get rid of the chlorine from the pool water or salt from the beach that has absorbed into your hair.
- Replenish your hair with a good moisture/protein balanced deep conditioner such as the Restoring Hair Treatment or a diy: coconut milk treatment. Coconut milk helps to restore dry/weak hair, soothes the scalp, adds softness, stops breakage, prevents premature hair aging and boosts growth. Sounds like an amazing remedy to sun damage huh?
Your hair is your crown and glory; protect it and wear it well as you enjoy these summer days.
Kreamy Kurls is a Jamaican natural hair enthusiast with a passion for learning about hair care and teaching others how to love and care for theirs. Blog http://kreamykurls.blogspot.com/