How The Sun Affects Your Hair

How The Sun Affects Your Hair

suns effect on hairSun damage is hard to miss when it comes to our skin. Whether we’re motivated by the buzzkill of a sunburn or the major threat of premature wrinkles, most of us go out of our way to lather on the protection. The sun’s affect on our hair isn’t as obvious or nearly as scary so hair protection doesn’t usually rank at the top of our list when planning for a day in the sun.

Just how important is protecting your strands from the sun? I was curious if the sun simply lightens hair color (which can’t be all good) or actually affects the structure of strands so I asked our in-house chemist, Kyle, to dish out all the super scientific details. He explained that the sun’s UV rays do, in fact, affect more than just hair color. Without getting too technical, here is the gist of what I learned.

How the sun affects your hair:

Hair cuticle damage – UVA and UVB rays break down cysteine which is an important component of Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein. Cysteine gives HKP strength so when it’s attacked by the sun, the hair cuticle is weakened. The result? Dry, brittle strands that are much more susceptible to further damage.

Effects on pigment – Once the UV rays get past the weakened cuticle and reach the melanin (pigment) they break it down. The result? Faded, lighter hair color.

Not so good, right? Add summer heat to the equation and your hair is susceptible to damage that lasts well into the fall. By keeping your locks hydrated while in the sun, you’ll help increase elasticity and decrease breakage; however, to specifically protect against UV rays, there are two things you can do.

How to protect hair strands from harmful UV rays:

1. Wear a hat or wrap – Its simple, easy, and the most effective way to protect your hair from the sun: cover it.

2. Use thermal protection – Although wearing a hat is easy and effective, it’s not always ideal – and it doesn’t always protect the ends (which need the most protection). If you don’t feel like covering your strands completely, make sure to coat them with a heat spray, hair oil or any other product with ingredients that absorb UV rays.

TIP: Don’t forget to protect your scalp with a high SPF sunscreen. A dry, peeling scalp is definitely not the optimal environment for healthy hair growth.

Hopefully this hair/sun enlightenment will help all of us make hair protection more of a habit and less of an afterthought. Ovation’s Thermal Protection spray is very easy to use and for only $14.95, you’ll be able to shield your strands all summer long.

Protect and enjoy your #SummerStrands!

–          Emily

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