The last month or so blogging and social media did not feel very right for me. I believe PhD is taking all my energy and at the end of the day I just want to be in bed and watch Netflix. Also, I realised that doing everything is not always possible and it is good to hit ‘pause’ button. However, it is summer time and I really wanted to write something useful about hair and sun for you!
This summer for me is all about thesis writing and getting my PhD done. Anyway, whenever it gets sunny I try to spend as much as possible time outside (probably during lunch time break), of course after applying SPF on my skin. These days there are a lot of products and information regarding skin ageing and how sunlight affects our skin. When it comes to hair and sunlight, do we still protect our hair as much as we protect our skin? Are we even familiar with hair damage after being in the sun?
How sunlight damages our hair?
UV-A and UV-B can attack hair proteins, lipids and pigments.
Hair proteins are composed of amino acids that can absorb UV and that can cause structural damage. Did you notice that your hair becomes very fragile or dry after long hours in sun? It is because of damaged amino acids and proteins.
The complex lipids in our hair get also damaged , which leads to moisture loss and again dry hair.
Hair pigment (melanin) is protecting hair from photochemical damage. However, protection of hair proteins from light results in degraded or bleached pigment. Have you ever thought that sunlight can give you natural highlights? Yes it can but because it damages hair pigment.
How to protect hair from sunlight damage?
Protect your scalp. Scalp is also very sensitive to sunlight damage, therefore if you protecting your hair protect your scalp first! Wear hat or try to sit in a shade.
Try to avoid bleaching your hair. Constant hair exposure to sunlight together with bleaching is double damage to the hair. If you can try to avoid bleaching your hair during hot sunny months.
Don’t use heat , especially styling tools, after being exposed to the sun. If you spend entire day at the beach or outdoors, try to avoid heat styling, instead use low temperature blow dry. After being in the sun and then applying extra heat only increase hair damage.
Try to use hair products against sun damage. Products that contain UVB/UVA filters such as avobenzone, octylcrylene, octinoxate, are worth considering using. However, it does not work for everyone, but it is worth a try if you planning long sunny summer holidays.
Condition, condition, condition – I am a strong advocate for a good conditioner and what it can actually do to our hair. My most favourite is Sukin Protein conditioner and it is certainly great one using after hot summer days. Using conditioner with hydrolysed proteins will allow to restore the strength and moisture in your hair.
Do you enjoy sunny days and being outside? How do you protect your hair from sun damage? Please let me know!
Have a wonderful sunny day xx
I am Laura, 26 Lithuanian living in Manchester. I spend my days in the lab working on hair follicles and in the evening I share my love about hair cosmetics and how to have beautiful hair!