This guide provides information and advice on how to care for sun-damaged hair. The harsh effects of the sun can damage your hair leaving it looking weak, unhealthy and dull. We look at how the sun affects your hair and recommend a natural shampoo to revive your sun-damaged hair.
We all know how fast sunburn can develop on unprotected skin – so it is only logical that the sun's rays will have an effect on your hair. UV rays cause the most environmental damage to hair, more than blow drying and chlorine, so it is an important factor to consider if you want to look after your hair.
Whilst it won’t be damaged forever – it will eventually re-grow – it will suffer breakages and lack of moisture, leaving it looking weakened and unhealthy. We protect our skin from the sun so why not protect your hair as well, ensuring your hair will stay glossy, healthy and gorgeous.
" In a Green People survey we found that 72% of people do not currently take any steps to protect their locks from the damaging effects of the sun. "
How the sun damages your hair
Firstly, let’s examine how the sun affects hair. The most common thing that most people associate with this is the slight lightening of hair after a spell in the sun.
The reason this happens is that hair contains melanin, just like your skin does. Melanin is what gives it its colour but it also hunts down free radicals which would otherwise cause damage.
When UV rays reach your hair, they cause the melanin to oxidise and discolour. As the hair is dead and cannot react to the UV rays by increasing melanin like skin, the lower melanin levels are reflected in a lightening of the hair. The lower levels, therefore, also cannot perform their free radical hunting duties so effectively.
Lemon juice is well known for being a natural way of bleaching hair when exposed to the sun and lots of people use it as a cheap way of getting highlights. Unfortunately, whilst it does have a slight lightening effect, it can also cause dryness as it upsets the pH-balance of the hair.
Another effect of the sun is that it depletes the levels of vital protein which give healthy hair its strength.
This is known as keratin and when it is undamaged, it lies along your strands of hair like tiles on a roof. However, when you weaken the keratin in your hair, some of those ‘tiles’ become broken and shift out of place, causing the hair shafts to weaken and become easily damaged. They also do not reflect light as well, causing your hair to appear dull.
The sun damages your hair in one final way – by sucking the moisture and oils out of it. The moisture level should be around 8% but sun damage, bleaching and other hair treatments can cause this to fall to as low as 2%. When this happens, you’ll end up with split ends and brittle, broken strands of hair.
Here’s a summary of the ways that the sun damages hair:
- Lightens it by damaging melanin
- Depletes the protein which gives hair its strength and shine
- Lowers the moisture levels, encouraging split ends and brittle hair
Shampoo and conditioner for sun-damaged hair
The best way to stop your hair suffering sun damage in the first place is to wear a hat when you are out in the sun! This simple measure will also help to prevent your scalp getting burnt, as well as protecting your face and neck from UV rays. If you aren’t keen on hats, try to stay in the shade as much as possible during the hottest hours of the day.
Green People has an organic shampoo and conditioner which protect and moisturise sun-damaged hair, leaving it soft and silky. This essential hair care collection is infused with natural Quinoa protein for up to 50% more shine, Artichoke leaf extract to protect and repair hair cuticles and Avocado oil to deeply condition.
Our customer care team is happy to help you identify the right natural products for your hair. Please call us on 01403 740350 or leave your comment or question below.