Sun Exposure Can Damage Your Hair - Risks & Care Guide | Philip Kingsley
Seasonal changes in weather patterns, eating habits and metabolic factors often affect hair. Summer is perhaps the most enjoyable season. Sitting in the sun is great for relaxation, stress relief and mental well-being, and is also an excellent source of vitamin D. However, summer can also be a damaging time for your hair and scalp, just like your skin, they can burn if not protected.
Summer Damage Defence
You may think that because the sun’s rays are natural, the lightening effect that they have on your hair isn’t damaging. However, it’s actually just as detrimental as applying bleach, and as with bleach, the effects aren’t just confined to colour changes. The sun weakens your hair’s protein structure, de-moisturizes it and reduces elasticity so your hair breaks more easily.
When combined with wind, heat, salt water or chlorine, the results can be disastrous. The following are some ways to keep your hair and scalp healthy, hydrated and protected during the summer months.
- To help protect your hair from the sun, sea and salt water, apply a conditioning hair mask containing SPF, or wear a hat. Be sure to add extra product to the ends of your hair, especially if it is below shoulder length. Your ends are more prone to damage simply because they’re older and have been weathered by previous summers.
- Salt and chlorinated water can discolour and dry your hair. To prevent damage to your hair when swimming in the sea or pool, wear a protective conditioning mask and reapply afterwards, just like you would with sunscreen.
- The sun can burn your scalp, so it’s very important to apply a hair mask containing SPF to your parting. While short-term irritation and flaking are initial problems, recurrent burns and exposure to the sun can eventually cause cell changes and skin cancer anywhere on your body.
To keep your hair hydrated, elastic and shiny during the summer, use an intensive pre-shampoo conditioning treatment at least once a week. Work the mixture into your hair with your fingertips, leave for 10 minutes and then wash off.
Don't Brush Too Often
Guard against split ends by not over-brushing. Sun, salt water, wind and chlorine are enough to cope with; you don’t want to have twice the number of ends as well. Brush gently, and preferably use a saw-cut comb.
Shampoo and Condition Daily
We recommend daily shampooing all year round, but it’s especially important in the summer. Your scalp, as well as your skin, is prone to increased sweating and clogged pores in warmer weather. A healthy, well-balanced diet is always vital to the health of your hair. However, summer is a great time to take advantage of a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood.
Make sure to drink enough water in the summer. Your scalp, just like your skin, can dehydrate if you don’t replenish your liquids.
If you're suffering from sun damaged hair, our clinics based in London and New York specilaise in hair and scalp treatments.