You likely know by now that the sun’s UV rays damage your skin, but did you know that the sun also damages your hair? That’s right! The same harmful UV radiation that leads to sunburn takes a major toll on the health of your hair and scalp. Keep reading to learn how to protect your hair and stave off sun damage with UV protection hats for women and men, in addition to hair products formulated for sun protection.
How Does the Sun Damage Your Hair?
Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays leads to damaged cuticles, or the outside cover of each strand of hair. Too much sun exposure also damages the keratin protein in your hair, which is its key structural material. Additionally, using hair irons, straighteners and rollers, as well as spending time in swimming pools with chlorinated water, contributes to hair damage by weakening your hair’s natural defenses. Plus, if your hair is light-colored or fine, it’s especially susceptible to UV damage.
Not Wearing a UV Protection Hat? Check for Signs of Sun Damage to Your Hair
Sun damage looks different for each hair type, but common signs include dry or brittle strands, discoloration, split ends, frizziness or thinning. Ultimately, sun damaged hair is difficult to manage, and dries quickly. If your hair looks and feels dry, there’s a good chance it has suffered from sun damage. It doesn’t take long for healthy hair to succumb to the sun’s harmful UV rays, but fortunately there are ways to protect it. Speaking of which…
Protect Your Hair with UV Protection Hats
The simplest, most effective and least expensive method of hair protection is with UV protection hats for women and men. Hats rated with a UPF 50+ sun protection factor will block over 98% of UV rays (critical in open areas like beaches). You don’t always need UPF 50+, but the Skin Cancer Foundation only recommends products certified UPF 30 or greater.
Also, consider that UV protection hats only protect the hair secured within your hat. If hair extends below the shade line of your sun hat’s brim (and putting your hair up isn’t possible), then you could consider hair products specifically formulated to shield hair from UVA and UVB rays. These are available in liquid and spray formulas and protect your hair similar to how a broad spectrum sunscreen would protect your skin. To reduce the effects of chlorine or sea water on your hair, thoroughly rinse your hair with clean water as soon as you can.
Additionally, UPF neck gaiters are also an option. The multi-functional tubes of fabric, often simply referred to as neck gaiters, can be fashioned into many styles of headwear, including foulards, scarves and hoods. You can even turn neck gaiters into a hat or hat liner!
How to Fix Sun Damaged Hair
For hair that has already been damaged, try repairative hair products, such as a conditioner appropriate for your specific hair type. While we’re experts on UPF apparel, we suggest speaking with your stylist or barber about which hair products are best for you. Fortunately, sun damage to your hair is usually not permanent. Going forward, take care of your hair by following a restorative hair regimen and protect yourself in the sun with our UV protection hats.
For an-always-useful refresher on the sun and your skin, check out this video:
Sources: Cleveland Clinic