When people talk about sun protection, they often forget about hair. But it’s just as important to apply sunscreen on your hair as well as your skin. If you’re unlucky enough to have sun-damaged hair, take a look at these easy ways to revive and restore it!
Prevention is key
Before you head out into the sun, make sure you take the extra steps to protect your hair from sun-damage. It may seem obvious, but wear a hat. Hats are a foolproof way to protect your hair from the sun, so go buy yourself a cute and trendy one you’ll feel confident wearing all summer.
If you would rather go without a hat, make sure you protect your hair from UV rays. There are loads of hair sunscreens available. You can buy spritzes that you can spray throughout the day, or use a leave-in conditioner with UV protection. If you wear your hair in a part, make sure you put sunscreen on the exposed scalp. This is SUPER important, as your scalp is directly under the sun, so it will be burnt quickly and severely. The last thing you want is to be dealing with an itchy and flaky scalp as it heals.
Act quickly if your hair gets sun-damaged
The moment you leave the pool or the beach, rinse your hair. This is to get rid of any chlorine and salt-water, which will dry out your hair. If you notice you have sun-damaged hair, apply aloe vera to your scalp and hair. Aloe vera soothes and help repair your hair and skin from sun-damage. Another good treatment is to add some oils to your hair, such as argan, almond or coconut oil, which act quickly to restore moisture.
Stop from heat styling
If you have sun-damaged hair, you need to stay away from heat styling. This will just further damage your dry and brittle hair. Avoid intense hair treatments like perming and colouring until your damaged hair has grown out. It is also a good idea to avoid drying your hair with a hairdryer, as the heat can make matters worse. Let your hair air dry where possible and don’t brush it when its wet, as this can cause breakage.
Use high-quality shampoos and conditioners
Make sure you buy shampoos and conditioners that are moisturising. Look for ingredients like argan and coconut oil, as they lock the moisture in. Avoid products containing sulphate, as this strips your hair of natural oils, which is the last thing you want with sun-damaged hair. If you need a more intense treatment, use a conditioning mask to restore and fortify your hair.
Wash your hair less
Each time you wash your hair, you’re stripping it of beneficial oils, making it dry and brittle. Try to wash your hair every few days, which is enough to keep it clean without drying it out. When you do wash your hair, avoid hot water. Straight after you wash your hair, rinse it with cold water. This will seal up your hair cuticles and lock in moisture.
Take care of your hair overnight
Hair braiding is a protective hairstyle you can wear at night to prevent it from tangling. When you sleep, make sure your pillowcase is made from soft materials. Silk is the best choice for sun-damaged hair. Avoid cotton as it’s absorbent, drawing the moisture away from your hair. Another good idea is to apply a leave-in conditioner while you sleep.
Go to the salon for some extra help
Once you have sun-damaged hair, there is little you can do to get rid of it except cut it off. If that sounds too drastic, you should at least get a trim. This will get rid of any split ends, helping the overall appearance of your hair. You can also get salon treatments such as a hair gloss, which makes your hair smoother and shinier.
Ensure you have a healthy diet
Your diet can affect your hair health, so make sure you are getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need for healthy hair. Eat foods that are rich in Omega-3s, such as walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and fish. You can also buy hair supplements, but these should not be used to substitute a healthy diet.
Have you got sun-damaged hair? Tell us your tips to revive it in the comments below!
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I am a Writing and Publishing student at RMIT, Melbourne, keen to build my writing portfolio and pursue a career in publishing. I am currently working on a YA fantasy novel.