Woman wearing a sun hat in the sun
  • Sun & travel

Can the sun damage your hair?

Can the sun damage your hair?  Does your hair need protection from the sun? Discover how sunlight can damage your hair and how to protect hair from UV light.

By Hannah Mepham

7 Minute read

Does your hair feel more straw-like as soon as the sun shows up? Just as you change your skin care routine for summer, your summer hair care routine should change, too!

Find the best summer hair care products for you as we show you how to protect your hair from sun damage.

Can the sun damage your hair?

Hair is not made of living cells so unlike your skin and scalp, it can’t get sunburnt. However, sun exposure can still cause damage to your hair.

Here’s are 3 ways that the sun damages hair:

  • Bleaches: The sun damages melanin and lightens the hair
  • Weakens and dulls: The sun depletes the protein which gives hair its strength and shine
  • Dehydrates: The sun reduces the hair’s moisture levels, encouraging split ends and brittle hair

Rich in proteins and lipids, the cuticles of the hair work like a protective shield, giving your hair a healthy, smooth, glossy appearance.

Unfortunately, exposure to the sun’s UV light causes free radicals to form in the hair, and these damage the lipids in the hair’s epicuticle, raising the cuticles. The consequence of this? Moisture loss and dry hair that’s easily tangled and broken.

Too much sun can strip your hair of its shine, too! That’s because raised, rough cuticles cannot reflect as much light.

So, how to go about protecting your hair from sun damage? Read on!

How to protect hair from sun damage

Let’s start off with a couple of super simple things that can help prevent the UV rays from reaching your hair in the first place.

Wearing a hat and avoiding the sun during peak sunlight hours are both sensible things to do – not just for your hair’s health, but also for your skin and scalp.

However, it’s not always possible to cover all of your hair with a hat and sometimes life means that you need to be on the go during the day!

The good news is that you can also shield your hair from UV damage by using protein-rich hair care products enriched with clinically proven Artichoke Extract.

Protein-Boost Hair Routine with shampoo, conditioner and styling gel

Clinically Proven Benefits of Artichoke Extract

Bursting with antioxidants (which neutralise damaging free radicals), our Artichoke Extract is a natural ingredient that protects hair cuticles from protein loss so that hair stays healthier. This bespoke extract has been obtained from the leaves of Cynara scolymus L.

Here are just some of the ways that Artichoke Extract has been clinically proven to boost hair after sun exposure:

  • Hair looks brighter
  • Hair is less susceptible to static electricity (frizz)
  • Hair is more manageable and easier to comb
  • Hair is stronger
  • Hair looks healthier

Read on to discover our UV-protect hair care essentials to help shield your hair from sun damage.

Best serum/leave-in conditioner for sun protection

Ideal for smoothing summer frizz, our Protein-Boost Hair Serum works like a leave-in conditioner with Artichoke-powered UV protection to restore silky strength to sun-exposed hair.

Also rich-strengthening Quinoa Protein, it contains an Artichoke Extract that has been shown to protect hair cuticles from protein loss so that hair is more resilient to sunlight.

Best summer shampoo for sun-damaged hair

Restore shine after sun exposure with our Protein-Boost Shampoo.  A high-shine shampoo ideal for all hair types, including coloured hair, Quinoa enhances hair’s shine by over 50% after just five washes!

If you prefer to use a shampoo bar, you can’t go wrong with our anti-frizz Citrus and Ginger Shampoo Bar. Plastic-free, water-free and perfect for summer travels, this summer-scented citrus shampoo bar uses a blend of Babassu Oil, Pracaxi Oil, and Bisabolol.

This blend is clinically proven to increase hair hydration by 19% and even reduce frizz by up to 30%! We also produce a scent-free shampoo bar for those sensitive to essential oils.

One bar lasts on average for 60 washes, and when our tester panel tried the scent-free version, 79% said that their hair felt softer after use.

Best summer conditioner for sun-damaged hair

Packed with protective Artichoke, this post-sun conditioner is ideal for smoothing sun-damaged hair that’s been left dry, frizzy and fragile after sun exposure.

Apply it to the ends of freshly washed hair or use it as a reparative post-sun hair mask for more intense conditioning action.

Make your own sun defence hair mask

Did you know that Protein-Boost Conditioner can also be used as a UV-protecting hair mask? Apply it to freshly washed hair and leave it to work for 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

For extra pamper points, wrap your hair in a hot towel to help feed your conditioner deep into your follicles.

  • Step 1: Wash your hair as usual and then apply a healthy dollop of Protein-Boost Conditioner to the lengths
  • Step 2: Wrap your hair in a hot towel and leave for 10 minutes
  • Step 3: Rinse your hair thoroughly and notice how much softer and healthier it feels

We hope you have found this guide on sun protection for hair helpful. For more help finding your perfect summer hair care routine, head over to our hair routine finder. Need a hand with your SPF? We’ve got a quiz for that too!

Alternatively, if you have more questions about how the sun can damage hair and you need a hand choosing the best products for you, why not drop our friendly UK customer care team a note on social at @GreenPeopleUK or give us a call on 01403 740350?

Reviewed by:

This blog post has been reviewed by Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of Green People, who has 25+ years of experience in the natural and organic beauty industry. A recognised leader in the field of organic beauty, Charlotte helped inform the UK's first organic beauty standards and was voted the People’s Choice in the 2023 list of Who’s Who in Natural Beauty. A published author, she wrote the organic beauty bible ‘Naturally Gorgeous’. Previously, she qualified as a nurse and spent over 10 years working in pharmaceuticals.

If you wish to republish this content, please credit Green People as the original creator with a link to "Can the sun damage your hair?" Please do not use an affiliate link.

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