How to Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage

We’ve all heard of the damaging effects the sun can have on us, from sun spots to skin cancer. Sun damage is never something we want to include in our “what I did on my summer vacation” essays.

Many of us have become almost OCD when it comes to shading our skin, ensuring that sunscreen is a staple in our morning routine.

But when we think of the things that damage our hair, we rarely consider UV rays. Surely sunlight doesn’t affect our hair that much … right?

how-to-protect-your-hair-from-sun-damage_Woman on a sun bed running her fingers through her hair_1080x900how-to-protect-your-hair-from-sun-damage_Woman on a sun bed running her fingers through her hair_1080x900

As amazing as it feels to hang out in the sun, it can definitely damage our locks.

When the brutal rays hit our hair, UV damage can result in colour changes, brittle strands, split ends, and breakage.

If your hair is already damaged, the sun will seriously amplify your issues. No, this isn’t the moment to grab your regular sunscreen and slather it all over your hair! Locks need specialised help to protect against (and fix) sun damage.

How can the sun damage your hair?

After a long time in the sun, UVA and UVB rays will damage your hair’s cuticle and disintegrate the Keratin in your locks. So, how does sun damage hair? UV rays can cause a whole range of damage, including dry and brittle strands, frizziness, and dry split ends.

Fine hair is even more sensitive to the sun. And any hair type is more vulnerable if you’ve recently switched up your look with a brand-new colour. Your vibrant new colour can fade quickly in the sun because the rays bleach pigments from your hair.

Want to know how to protect hair from sun damage naturally? One of the best things you can do for your hair (and skin) is to stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when rays are at their harshest. If you must go out during the sunniest part of the day, wear a hat. It’s an ultra-easy way to protect your hair and face. If you don’t already have a chic hat in your wardrobe, find one that you love. It’s a lifesaver for sunny getaways, bad hair days, and those days when you just want to wash (or not wash!) and go. If you know you’re heading out to a cute picnic or long beach session, pack or rent an umbrella so you can sit underneath it.

How to fix sun damaged hair

So, you’ve sat out in the sun, soaking up the delicious rays. When you get home, your skin feels fine (thanks, sunscreen!), but your hair feels like it’s been fried. You start to notice even more sun damaged hair symptoms, like a frizzy halo and general limpness. Thankfully, there are solutions to revive your strands and help you recover from your hot mess.

Kérastase Soleil Masque UV Defense Active - $62.00

When your hair is feeling a bit battered by strong UV rays, it’s important to add some hydration back to your locks. Infused with Coconut Water and Vitamin E, Kérastase Soleil Masque UV Defense Active rebalances and restores weakened or damaged strands after too much fun in the sun. Regular use of this mask not only repairs existing damage that’s already happened. The UV filters also protect against future damage and colour fade. So, if you’re wondering, ‘How can I fix sun damaged hair?’, reach for this lightweight gel-cream. Apply to the lengths of your locks and leave in for 3 to 5 minutes. Want more info? Watch our video on how to save damaged hair.

Aveda botanical repair strengthening leave-in treatment - $55.00

Have you been googling ‘how to repair sun damaged hair’ for the past hour? You can stop here and give your fingers a break! Aveda botanical repair strengthening leave-in treatment is formulated with a heat protectant that’s effective against UV rays and styling-tool temperatures up to 230°C—perfect for those times when you don’t have a hat or umbrella. This leave-in conditioner isn’t only great for reviving sizzled locks; it also helps combat chlorine damage if you’ve been spending a lot of time in the pool. Plus, it makes your hair smell beautiful with certified organic Ylang-Ylang, Rose, and Marjoram. Aveda’s botanical repair leave-in treatment is vegan, cruelty-free, and packed in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.

How to prevent sun damage to hair

There’s a myth out there that only people with light hair need to use sun protection on their strands. Fact: the sun doesn’t discriminate! Every single person needs UV protection on their skin AND hair.

If your hair is very fine, you need to be extra cautious. But nobody is exempt from the laws of sunscreen protection. If you can’t always keep your hair out of the sun, we have some products to protect your hair from future sun damage.

Aveda Suncare Hair Veil - $50.00

Protect hair from sun exposure for up to 16 hours with Aveda Suncare Hair Veil. This lightweight, water-resistant spray is perfect to spritz on before a long beach session. The UVA/UVB filters, derived from Wintergreen Oil and Cinnamon Bark Oil, minimise colour fade, damage, and dryness.

Oribe Invisible Defense Universal Protection Spray - $66.00

Hydrating as well as protecting, Oribe Invisible Defense Universal Protection Spray can be used before styling or as a hair sunscreen before you head outside. This gentle mist includes plant-based Collagen and a blend of B Vitamins to nourish frizzy hair. It’s a great choice for sun damaged black hair that needs some extra love.

Philip Kingsley Swimcap Water Resistant Mask - $42.00

Planning to go swimming this weekend? Philip Kingsley Swimcap Water Resistant Mask is a softening, protective pre-swim hair mask. Formulated with a combination of sunscreen and Olive Oil, this mask protects your hair against UV rays and hydrates your locks. And for my blonde babes out there, it also protects your strands against chlorine green (it’s totally not the summer glow-up we’re after!).

Want more of the best treatments for dry & damaged hair? Check out these helpful guides...

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