The “seasonal depression” of winters is long gone, the days are longer and the nights are more breezy. We tend to go out more often be it for picnics on hill spots or a slow day at the beach. If it was not for the scorching heat, summertime would probably be the best season of all. One thing that has been drilled into our minds as skincare enthusiasts is to diligently apply sunscreen no matter what the season is, especially so during summers. This is because even though the amount of UVA remains constant throughout the year, the amount of UVB increases manifolds during summers. What we are not diligent enough is to take ample care of our hair. Today we’ll discuss what the summer sun does to our hair, and how to dodge these situations tactfully.
What happens when hair is exposed to the sun?
Sun exposed hair strands are more liable to photodamage, and this effect is particularly connected to the UV component of sunlight. UV light attacks hair pigment and proteins, which leads to the strands becoming brittle and losing their colour eventually. Additionally, there is a loss of shine, wettability, and softness. The cuticle becomes more fragile and porous. As dark hair contains more melanin (which is a pigment that protects the skin and hair against the deteriorating effects of UV rays), it is better protected against UV rays as compared to light (blonde or bleached) hair.
UV exposure also leads to the production of superoxides in the hair, which subsequently get converted into hydrogen peroxide. After this, there is the production of hydroxyl free radicals in the shaft which leads to the oxidation of proteins that constitute the hair shaft.
How do you protect your hair from the damaging effects of the sun?
There are certain steps that you can take to protect your hair against the aggression of the sun:
Invest in a hair spray that contains any sort of sun protection: even if you don’t plan on getting out in the sun, UV rays do get reflected off of other surfaces including glass. In addition to protecting your skin, you need to protect your hair.
Protect your hair while you go for a swim- swimming pool water is rich in chlorine which can have a potential bleaching effect on your hair. This makes your hair more liable to the damaging effects on the skin.
Use protective accessories- sun protection with a product that contains SPF is never enough. You need to invest in accessories like scarves, caps, and hats to get the best protection.
A simple routine that focuses on hydration: your hair loses more water (hydration) as you step out into the scorching summer sun. You need to modify your hair routine and switch it up to something that focuses on hydration, including DIY masks made of aloe vera, glycerin, and honey.
Put your hair up in some protective hairstyles- Ideally, the best option would be to put your hair in a loose braid or bun. It protects your hair by preventing excessive tugging, prevents additional sun damage, and keeps your hair out of your face (let’s be honest, that’s a menace).
Take special care of colour treated hair