It is Carnival time again in Trinidad and Tobago. For nationals and tourists alike Carnival means fun in the sun! Whether you are jumping up in the band or laying in the sand the sun is going to affect you and your hair. You probably never thought as you slather on the sunscreen on your skin that you should protect your hair but; the sun rays can bleach and over-dry your hair and can result in breakage.
Green People discusses how the sun affects your hair:
Everyone knows that the sun damages your skin but have you ever thought how the heat and UV rays might affect your hair?
The sun’s rays are very powerful – we can all recognise that through how fast sunburn can develop on unprotected skin – so it is only logical that they 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. If you wish to keep your skin in good condition this summer, why not complement your beautiful skin with beautiful 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
Here are some tips to protect your hair while in the sun:
UV Protection: Let the Sun Shine on Your Hair!
Of course, you know how skin care and UV protection go together like summer, beaches and fun. Many forget to include their hair in this protection. However, the hair needs UV protection and extra TLC just like the skin especially when it is exposed to intense sunlight. Read on, we want you to have the hair of your dreams this summer
While hair does not get sunburned, it is still damaged by the sun, wind, salt water or chlorinated pool water. Exposure to these elements disturbs the otherwise smooth cuticle layer of the hair. As a consequence, the hair gets dryer, rougher and more brittle to the point of appearing straw-like. The hair’s colour pigments are bleached out at the same time. Luckily, this is not inevitable. Simply use our winning hair care strategies along with some clever UV guards and your hair will be as splendid as summer’s glory.
- Push-Button Sun Hats
- Diving and Swimming without Unpleasant Surprises
- Summer Fun without Bleaching Your Hair
- Hair Care after Sunbathing
- Nature’s Protection (Fruits and Vegetables)