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We all are aware about the importance of using sunscreen for our skin. But, did you know about the importance of sunscreen for your hair? According to beauty experts, it is essential to protect your hair and scalp from the sun too.
Yes, you read that right. Our hair is vulnerable to sun damage too, and when we neglect caring for our hair, and spend a lot of time outdoors, the excessive sun exposure can make our hair dull, dry, brittle and discoloured, making it prone to split-ends and breakage.
So, this article is to help you understand the importance of using sunscreen for your hair, and what best you could do to protect your hair from sun damage.
Why Should You Use A Sunscreen For Your Hair?
UVA And UVB Rays Can Make Your Hair Appear Lifeless
The UBA rays that have the longest wavelength can burn the outer cuticle of the hair, making the hair dry, brittle and lifeless. They can penetrate the cortex and disturb the cells that otherwise give strength and elasticity to the hair and give the hair its natural colour.
The UVB rays also penetrate the cortex and cuticle and damage the hair strands leading to dryness, dullness and faded hair colour. All this can result in hair loss too.
Changes The Natural Colour Of The Hair
The natural pigment that gives the hair its colour, namely, 'melanin', is also capable of offering some protection by fighting free radicals and absorbing and filtering the UV rays. But, excessive UVA radiation can damage melanin, leading to colour changes.
This can happen to all kinds of hair, but the damage is more in light-coloured hair that contains less melanin. Further, your hair tends to get dry, and in case you use any artificial hair-dye, that may also get faded and give a 'brassy' look.
UBV Exposure Can Lead To Structural Damage Of Hair
When your hair is excessively exposed to UVB radiation, the free radicals attack hair proteins, particularly, keratin, which is the primary component of the hair shaft. This damage is more severe than the effect of UVA radiation.
How Can You Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage?
Having said about the damage that excessive sun exposure can cause to your hair, the good news is that you can protect your hair, just as you protect your skin. Here are some simple ways to protect your hair from sun damage:
Use A Sunscreen:
Did you know that just as you use sunscreens for your skin, you can also use sunscreens for hair? Most of these are designed to filter UV, apart from repairing and protecting hair shaft. You can also apply your regular skin sunscreen to your hair before stepping out in the sun (use spray-on products if possible).
However, if you are hesitant about using a chemical-based sunscreen on your hair, try natural alternatives like these instead:
Natural Hair Sunscreens
• Natural oils like tea-tree oil can be rubbed into your hair, as it adds moisture and prevents excessive drying. In fact, hot-oil treatments are also good before stepping out in the sun, suggest experts.
• Mix few drops of coconut oil or almond oil with about 6 drops of sesame oil. Rub this oil on your comb and pass it through your hair before stepping out in the sun. Apart from blocking sun rays, it keeps your hair silky.
• Aloe vera is an effective sun blocker. It has UV blocking properties. Just take some aloe vera gel (fresh from the plant) and apply it on your hair and leave it on for about 15 minutes prior to your bath. Wash it off with cold water. Now, you can go out in the sun without worry, as aloe vera acts as a natural sunscreen, and also keeps your hair moisturized.
• Tea left extract is also a natural sunscreen that is safe, protects your hair from sun damage and prevents it from excessive dryness. Boil some tea (green tea ) in a bowl and allow it to cool. Strain the tea water and pour it over your head and wear a shower cap. Allow it to remain in your hair for about 15 to 20 minutes and then wash off.
• Also ensure that you include olive oil in your hair care routine. This helps in dealing with all issues associated with sun damage.
Do Not Forget To Cover Up Your Hair
A wide-brimmed hat is great to be used during summers. But, for complete coverage, you can use a classic scarf, or a trendy turban to cover your hair completely. However, a sunscreen is still essential underneath.
So while enjoying your day out in the sun, ensure that you give an effective protection for your hair too.