Hair in the Sun - Sun Protection for Hair

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Louise Hay
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The sun's rays, sand, wind and salt are stress factors for the hair: the fiber is damaged, the natural color loses its luster and the hair becomes indomitable. The first step to preserve its balance, strength and beauty in summer is to protect the hair with specific oils, creams and sprays that contain UV filters and offer an extra hydration and nourishment.



Why protect your hair from the sun?

The sun's rays are enemies of hair health: they damage the bulb, located in the deepest part of the follicle, and the tips.

Effects of the Sun in depth

The bulbs play a fundamental role in the metabolism and development of the hair. When exposed to massive doses of solar radiation, these pass from an active to a passive phase, with the consequent loss of strength. As a result, the hair weakens until it falls out.

The mechanism is the same as for the skin with the difference that the damage does not appear immediately (as in the case, for example, of sunburn). It takes time, in fact, before the UV rays trigger the process that determines a loss of vitality and the thinning that follows. If nothing is done to run for cover, at the end of the summer and in autumn period, hair loss can be more profuse. This is why it is important to use the right products, just like you do with sun creams.



Effects of the Sun on the surface

As for the shaft, that is the external and visible part of the hair, the damage can be even more evident: without protection, the sun's rays dry up the hair fiber and, over time, lead to a progressive loss of strength. The lining scales of the stem rise, making the dry and frizzy hair. Naturally, the more hair is damaged at the start, the greater the action of the sun which leaves evident traces up to the tips, which tend to break.

It should not be forgotten that, in summer, the rise in temperatures causes a physiological increase in sweating which leads to a change in the pH of the scalp which becomes more easily irritated. In the central hours of the day, then, infrared rays overheat the roots and can cause micro-inflammation of the hair follicles, which will pay off in autumn with a more abundant seasonal fall.

What to do to avoid hair damage in the summer

Dryness and loss of shine are contrasted first with a protective action on the beach, then with a restorative treatment at the end of the day.

During the day: UV protection of the hair

For the hours of sunshine, the range of protective hair products, containing UV filters, is vast and meets various needs. For example, sunscreens for hair in cream create a tough protective film on the hair fiber, making them ideal for those who love to immerse themselves in the sea or get a tan on the beach. Fluids and sprays are suitable, on the other hand, for those who prefer to structure their hair lightly and practically, without weighing it down. The formulas based on vegetable oils, such as that of argan, enhance the protective action and, at the same time, nourish and recompact the superficial scales that act as a barrier to the hair and make it shiny.



Furthermore, the specific photoprotection for the hair protects the keratin and collagen of the hair structure from oxidation by free radicals. For hair, the SPF suitable for your skin type (phototype) must be taken into consideration; in general, it is better to opt for at least a protection index equal to or greater than 30.

The substances that block the sun's rays are generally chemical sunscreens, but there are also vegetable fatty substances (oils, butters, waxes) that naturally protect against ultraviolet rays.

Photoprotectors for hair should be distributed along the shaft, from roots to ends, before exposing yourself, after a dip or a shower, or after many hours on the beach.

In the evening: cleanse and regenerate the hair

At sunset, to remedy the stress caused by the sun, the delicacy in the daily treatment of the hair is consequently required. Cleansing with a shampoo is an indispensable gesture to eliminate any residue of the sun products used, but also the impurities that remain trapped in the hair, sand, salt, dust and chlorine. It is important to opt for sweet, rebalancing and emollient formulas that do not further impoverish with washing the hair that only tends to deprive of hydration and nourishment.



The application of conditioners, masks and regenerating products without rinsing complete the restorative action and compensate for the harmful effects of radiation, providing repairing substances to the cuticle and the hair cortex (such as keratin, ceramides and amino acids, etc.). The ingredients to look for in the formulas are vegetable oils and butters (jojoba, flax, sesame, shea, castor, monoï, babassu etc.) which provide deep nourishment and repair the hydrolipidic film to prevent the fiber from losing further water and drying out. . Complexes of plant extracts, vitamins (especially E) and antioxidants counteract the action of free radicals that accelerate the aging of the bulbs and weaken the hair.

Sun Hair Care Tips

  • After a swim in the sea or a dip in the pool, a quick rinse is essential fresh water to remove salt and chlorine residues. These can, in fact, alter the balance of the hair fiber by draining its water reserves and making it dry and dull. Also pay attention to the temperature: the water must not be hot so as not to add that of a washing at high temperatures to the drying action of the sun.
  • In the evening, it is advisable to wash your hair a very mild shampoo so as not to further damage the softness of the hair. A valid option is the use of an oil-shampoo, as it acts by affinity: the oils bind to the fats present on the hair and scalp which, in turn, trap the residues of dirt and salt, taking away everything with sweetness.
  • After washing, you need a balm repairer and restorative, rich in formula, but light in consistency, to be applied on the lengths and left to act for 2-3 minutes. This treatment must untangle the hair and give it softness, without weighing it down.
  • After rinsing, the better avoid further sun exposure and stay in the shade, since wet hair is brittle, less resistant to traction and suffers more from the aggression of ultraviolet rays. On the beach, but also at home, it is best to avoid using brushes and combs with thick bristles or teeth.
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