Yes, your hair needs SPF too.
With the sun finally making an appearance, it’s likely you’re starting to think about sun protection. You’ve probably already got a go-to sunscreen for a hot-weather holiday and invested in a great facial SPF, (no, that token dose in your foundation is never enough), but have you considered the damage that sun can do to your hair?
According to recent research, excessive sun exposure is the most damaging factor on the structure of your hair, with UVA rays fading colour and UVB leading to breakage. So, why don’t we take more protective measures to keep our hair colour bright and lengths strong?
“UV rays can seriously dry out and weaken your strands, especially if your hair is already in bad condition” explains Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley. “Prolonged sun exposure degrades the protein structure of hair, often resulting in low elasticity, breakage, split ends and lack of shine.”
The sun’s rays act on hair much like bleach. UVB oxidises the hair’s pigment cells, which is why your hair becomes lighter in the sun.” And the damage doesn’t stop there – as Kingsley explains, UVA can have a long-term effect on the integrity of your hair. “The sun’s rays can also degrade the actual protein structure of your hair and weaken its disulphide bonds (the ‘glue’ that hold your strands together). This can make hair brittle, easily broken, dry and overly porous.”
So, it seems the only way to enjoy the sun safely this summer is to protect yourself from head to toe. Thankfully, it’s not all about slathering a sticky suncream into your hair – now a host of advanced new sunscreens for hair are hitting the shelves, promising to protect your lengths from the sun (along with a host of additional benefits).
From nourishing oils to frizz-fighting creams, the options are plentiful – there’s even a dry shampoo infused with SPF. Scroll down to see our favourite sun-protection products for hair.
L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Solar Sublime UV Filter Spray
This mist-in protector is designed specifically to shield from UV rays, chlorine and salty sea water. Spritz it into damp hair and top up on dry lengths.