Let's not horse around. Before heading off on vacation, to the beach, to the pool, to your garden or just laying out in your back yard take into consideration that your hair may suffer the consequences. Even while wearing a hat, people with longer hair run the risk of sun damage to their hair. Compounded with the fact that many of us have a considerable investment in hair color and highlights sitting on our heads, just waiting to be faded dried and turned into a virtual haystack or worse!
The sun’s light waves are categorized by their intensity. There are three categories of light waves. These are UVA, UVB and UVC. The UVA and UVB can both damage the hair in a variety of ways. The UVA rays can burn the hair cuticle which is the outer hair layer. The cuticle contains a web of tiny overlapping scales. Then the scales are damaged they cannot lay flat, like they are supposed to, and will look lifeless, brittle and dry. UVA rays can also burn and damage unprotected scalp. It is even possible to burn the part of your hair where scalp is unprotected. UVA rays can damage the skin on the scalp in many ways and activate free radicals, which accelerates aging. Severe sunburn on the scalp has even been known to cause some cases of hair loss.
Sun damage to the hair can manifest it's self as faded hair color, brittle, dry hair shafts and split ends.
Check out the following ways to prevent damage to your hair:
- Start by avoiding trouble. Minimize your hair's exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the rays are the most potent. If you must be out during those times, wear a cover-up, such as a baseball hat or a straw hat, to shield your strands from sun exposure.
- Start the summer season with a salon trip to eliminate split ends and handle hair repairs. If your hair normally dries out during summer months, consider having a preventive professional deep conditioning treatment to ward off potential damage.
- Bring a spray bottle filled with mixture of water and conditioner to pre-moisten your hair before going into the pool or ocean. It not only minimizes drying and discoloring damage from chlorine and salt water, but it also acts as a mild sunscreen for your hair and scalp
- For at home sun care for your hair and scalp, click here.