The sun can offer many wonderful things such as vitamin D, warmth, and just a general brightness to the day; however, everyone is also well aware of the dangers the sun can have to the skin making sunscreen a must when it comes to venturing outside. But, there is another important though less asked question: can the sun damage your hair?
Does the Sun Damage Hair?
The same way the sun can wear down skin, it can wear down hair. According to a study by the Journal of Cosmetological Science, both UVB and UVA rays coming from the sun were shown to cause morphological and biochemical damage to hair. Sun-damaged hair is brittle, frizzy, split, and generally doesn’t take to any kind of styling. It tends to go dull losing pigmentation from the sun’s UV rays.
Lighter, thinner hair is far more susceptible to damage from the sun. Thicker, oilier hair has a fighting chance, but it can also become damaged.
The damage the sun can do to hair can be compared to the damage of bleach meaning that over time, the damage will eat away at the structure of your hair.
How Does the Sun Damage Your Hair?
The most important parts of your hair are the outer cuticle and inner cortex. When your hair is healthy and strong, your cuticles will lay flat against the strand ensuring the protection of the cortex. It is the cortex that gives hair its shine and color making sure you don’t get split ends.
With sun damage and most any other damage, your cuticles stop laying flat, exposing the cortex. The damage caused by the sun can zap the strength from your hair, breaking down the protein keratin that gives hair its thickness and strength.
How to Repair Sun-Damaged Hair?
Sometimes the only way to fix the damage is to cut the hair. Going to your hair stylist can help you get a good evaluation of exactly how much will need to be cut. Not everything has to go, but split ends are near impossible to fix. But, once the most damaged part of your hair is gone, you have a good, clean slate to work with.
Remoisturizing your hair is key. Most of the moisture has been lost as a result of the damaged cortex, so use moisturizing hair masks, and hair products designed to bring life back into your hair.
While working to bring your hair back to its peak health, try to avoid using any sort of hair straightener or blow dryer. The extra heat can further damage your hair shafts.
One of the most important things to tackle when it comes to bringing your back to life isn’t the hair itself but the scalp. The health of your scalp will affect the health and growth of your hair. Your scalp maintains moisture for your hair follicles and a healthy pH of 4.5 to 5.5 ensuring there is no growth of fungus that can damage your hair.
Sun damage can dry out the scalp and alter the pH. Along with being bad for your hair, a dry scalp can also lead to irritation and itchiness. By using pH balancing hair products, you are restoring the environment your hair will need to regain strength.
How to Prevent Sun Damage?
When it comes to how to protect hair from sun damage, coverage is the best place to start. If you’re going to be out in the sun for extended periods of time, keep your head covered with a hat or umbrella. Try to avoid the sun from 10 to 4 pm when it's at its strongest.
Another important thing in mind is to take supplements. Vitamin D is essential for hair strength and is often provided by the sun. However, direct sunlight isn’t good for your hair or skin. Take vitamin D supplements to ensure the protection of both.
What’s the Best Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair?
Color-treated hair may have additional problems when it comes to sun damage. If you bleached your hair beforehand, it’s already in a vulnerable state. Sun damage can cause the color to fade and for hair to frizz and split.
Color-treated hair is already vulnerable, so a shampoo rich with nutrients will bring it back to health. Using a shampoo with Keratin is also a big help. In a study by BMC Biotechnical, both treated and untreated hair became brighter and softer with continued use of Keratin infused shampoo and conditioner.
How Salon pHactor Can Help You
When it comes to dealing with sun damage, there’s a lot that needs to be protected. When it comes to essential hair products, Salon pHactor is an excellent place to start as it is designed to help with several of the issues we have already talked about.
Salon pHactor is a pH balancing shampoo which balances your scalp to a healthy 4.5 to 5.5 pH level. It’s also full of Keratin protein and amino acids giving your hair shafts the extra boost of strength it needs to stay healthy. Another plus is its organic sunscreen which is a must have to ensure health for your scalp.
100% Certified Organic GMO-free, 100% Biodegradable and denatured alcohol-free, Salon pHactor helps both untreated and treated hair, allowing the color to last longer. It helps smooth down the cuticle of your hair and bring it back to life with moisture.