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How To Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage This Summer- And All Year Long

We’ve got some serious strand protecting hacks. 

It’s well documented that the sun’s UVA and UVB rays damage the skin, but did you know they also wreak havoc on the hair?

Much like the skin, the hair shaft, the part that sticks out of the scalp, has a sort of “barrier” in the form of a coating called the cuticle. This layer, composed of overlapping cells, contains no pigment and serves to protect our strands from UV ray and free radical damage.

Long days in the summer sun can impair this barrier, breaking it down and penetrating the inner layers, severing proteins. The result? Dry, lackluster damaged hair that lacks pigment. Who wants that? (Not us.)

Thankfully, there are tons of ways to protect your luscious locs from sun damage! Look no further than our advice below to preserve your hair this summer. 

Hair and Scalp Sunscreen

If your first thought is “no way, my hair can’t handle that type of grease,” you’re not alone! Just the thought of applying a classic cream or gel SPF to our strands has us paralyzed with sheer horror.

That’s why powder and non-greasy sunscreen formulas have been created to apply specifically to the scalp and strands

Sun Bum’s vegan and cruelty free Scalp and Hair Mist SPF 30 is a lightweight fast-drying spray that promises to protect the hair without greasing it up. Sun care brand Coola also has a great Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30 that even boasts 80 minutes of water resistance, perfect for beach and pool days! 

A Solid Summer Hat

Will we ever stop singing the praises of sun hats during the summer time for UVA and UVB protection? Probably not. 

Not only do hats with generous brims shelter the skin on the face and the scalp from the sun, it also shields the hair from it too! Simply slip it on before stepping outside and voila! Hair, scalp and face protection! 

Nourishing Oils

There’s a reason dermatologists recommend applying antioxidants in conjunction with SPF- they help mitigate free radical damage caused by the sun. 

Working as a sort of sun care booster, antioxidants like vitamin C and E put in overtime to neutralize the effects of UV rays. When applied to the hair through nourishing oils that utilize the powerful protection of antioxidants, they can help prevent loss of shine, dryness, and pigment degradation. 

Vitamin E is the star in the La’Dor Wonder Hair Oil. Argan oil, squalane, and avocado oil also star in the product’s lineup to truly ensure strong, smooth, and shiny strands all summer long. 

If greasiness or the slow dry time of oils deters you from using them, the British M Annatto Hair Oil is a great option for you! A favorite amongst top Korean stylists, this fast-drying and lightweight oil taps into the antioxidant power of pumpkin seed oil and annatto to deliver free radical protection.

Applying a hair oil before sunscreen application, the same way you’d do for the skin, is your best bet for protection! 

How do you protect your hair from the sun? Let us know below!

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