Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight not only damages the outer layer of hair which is the cuticle, but it also breaks down keratin that is known as a natural protein found in hair. This damaged protein lets heat and sun affect the hair much faster and results in dull‚ damaged and frail hair.
Use these simple tests to check your hair health:
Healthy hair is very flexible and not easy to snap. To check the strength of your hair, roll a lose hair strand around your finger and try to stretch it as far as it can. If it breaks easily, your hair lacks moisture and needs to be provided additional nourishment along with a strengthening treatment.
Gently run your hands over your hair to check the texture of your hair. If your hair is dry, it is most likely to have a rough texture as well. Sun damaged hair is often coarser at the top where the most damage has taken place because of continuous exposure to direct sunlight.
The UVA and UVB rays in the sun react more like an actual bleach by interacting with melanin present in the hair that further causes it to fade and lighten. Women with dark hair might notice that the hair on their crown has become lighter or notice natural browning-red streaks forming. These are the perfect signs of sun damage.
Damaged hair dries out faster thereby making them brittle. Check the ends of your hair, if you notice several white-tipped ends then these are ends from where the hair has already broken away from or is about to break at that spot.
Tips to protect your hair from sun damage:
- Prefer going outdoors during early mornings or later in the day when the sunlight is not so strong.
- Make it a weekly routine to apply a soothing hair mask in order to reduce some of the damage that may have unexpectedly been caused.
- Wash your hair daily with water to remove sweat. Wash your hair 2-3 times in a week with a strengthening/repair shampoo to minimize damage and remove any dirt build-up.
- Protect your hair with an intense repair and moisturizing conditioner.
- You could even use a dry shampoo once in a while in order to avoid washing your hair with shampoo every day.
- Another way by which you can keep your hair moisturized it by using only conditioner without using any shampoo at all. So, every time you feel like your hair is clean but getting dry, you can wash it with your usual conditioner.
- If you must use heat to style your hair, you can avoid damaging it by using a heat protect spray before using straighteners or blow dryers.
- For additional protection, you may even choose to use a leave-in conditioner so that your tresses stay hydrated all day long.
Lastly, never forget to cover your hair with a thick scarf while travelling to protect it from dust, pollution, and heat. By following these small but significant titbits of information, be assured that your hair will have a wonderful summer and with that so shall you!