How to repair hair from sun damage
The warmth and feel good factor the sun grants on a bright summer day is undoubtedly blissful, but along with its radiant glow comes the potential for hair damage. Just as our skin can suffer from the sun's harsh rays, our hair too can fall victim to its damaging effects if we're not careful. Sun exposure can lead to dryness, brittleness, and loss of shine, leaving us with lacklustre locks. So what do you do if you've enjoyed a bit too much sun over the summer months and your hair is feeling a bit worse for wear?
Read on to learn 5 ways you can repair your hair from sun damage. But first, let's look at what sun damaged hair looks and feels like.
What does sun damaged hair look like?
Sun-damaged hair can display a range of visible and textural changes that reflect the effects of prolonged exposure to the sun's harsh rays. Here are some common signs of sun-damaged hair:
Dryness and Brittle Texture: Sun exposure can strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and a brittle texture. Damaged hair might feel rough to the touch and lack the smoothness and softness associated with healthy hair.
Fading Colour: If you have colour treated hair, sun damage can cause your hair colour to fade more quickly. The UV rays break down the pigments in the hair, leading to a dull and washed-out appearance.
Split Ends and Breakage: Sun damage weakens the hair's structure, making it more prone to split ends and breakage. You might notice frayed ends, uneven hair lengths, and hair that easily snaps off.
Lack of Shine and Lustre: Healthy hair is characterised by its natural shine and lustre. Sun-damaged hair often appears dull and lacks the vibrant sheen that well-nourished hair exhibits.
Tangled and Hard-to-Manage Hair: The loss of moisture and elasticity due to sun exposure can make your hair more prone to tangling and difficult to manage. This can lead to increased hair loss when combing or brushing.
Thin and Thinning Hair: Prolonged sun exposure can weaken the hair follicles, leading to thinning and hair loss. If you notice that your hair seems to be thinning in certain areas, it could be a sign of sun damage.
Rough Cuticle: The outer layer of the hair, known as the cuticle, can become rough and raised due to sun damage. This can lead to further moisture loss and a compromised hair structure, exposing your hair to further damage from things like heat styling as a result of being weakened.
Changes in Texture: In some cases, sun damage can alter the natural texture of your hair. For example, curly hair might become frizzy and harder to manage, while straight hair might develop a wavy or uneven texture.
Can the sun permanently damage hair?
The short answer to this Yes. Prolonged and excessive sun exposure can potentially cause permanent damage to hair however this damage only affects the hair that is exposed to the sun meaning the top surface is the worse off. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can have detrimental effects on the structure and health of your hair over time. Note however that you can take measures to prevent this damage by protecting your hair from sun damage with the proper and correct hair care.
One of the main reasons hair is damaged by the sun is due to the breakdown of Keratin. Hair is primarily composed of a protein called Keratin. UV rays can break down the protein bonds in the hair, leading to weakened and brittle strands. This damage can accumulate over time, resulting in hair that is more prone to breakage and split ends.
5 things you should do to repair your hair from sun damage
When it comes to repairing your hair hair from sun damage it is key to create a multi faceted approach and to be consistent with patience. Repairing your hair from sun damage naturally won't happen over night but if you take the steps below you will be able to recover your hair to its former glory over time. So let's look at the following tips for how to repair hair from sun damage:
1- Hydration is Key: Deep Conditioning Treatments
The sun's rays can strip your hair of its natural moisture, leaving it dry and prone to breakage. To counteract this, treat your hair to deep conditioning treatments regularly. Opt for products rich in natural oils like Argan, Coconut, and Jojoba, as they penetrate the hair shaft, restoring moisture and promoting elasticity. Weekly deep conditioning can go a long way in reviving your hair's health and shine.
(You can find Argan, Coconut and Jojoba Oils within our award winning En-Root Scalp Oil, add a few drops into the Daily Calma Repair Conditioner and apply to damp mid lengths and ends for a deeply restorative, conditioning hair mask that will help to recover hair from sun damage.
Trim the Damage Away: Regular Haircuts
While it might seem counterintuitive to cut your hair when trying to repair it, regular trims are essential for maintaining healthy hair. Sun exposure can lead to split ends and breakage. Trimming away these damaged ends not only promotes hair growth but also prevents further splitting up the hair shaft. Aim for a trim every 6-8 weeks to keep your hair looking fresh and free from sun-induced damage.
Shield and Protect: UV-Blocking Hair Products
Just as you wouldn't step out into the sun without sunscreen, your hair deserves protection too. Invest in hair products that offer UV protection, such as leave-in conditioners, serums, and sprays. These products create a barrier against harmful UV rays, shielding your hair from damage while also preventing colour fading for those with dyed hair. Make it a habit to apply these products before stepping out into the sun.
Gentle Cleansing: Sulphate-Free Shampoos
Choosing the right shampoo can make a world of difference in repairing sun-damaged hair. Opt for sulphate-free shampoos that are gentle on your hair and scalp. Sulphates can strip your hair of natural oils, exacerbating dryness caused by sun exposure. Look for shampoos infused with moisturising ingredients like aloe vera, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid to nourish and cleanse your hair without further damage.
want to learn more about Sulphates? Check out this article - 5 reasons you should avoid Sulphates in your shampoo
Nourish from Within: Balanced Diet and Supplements
Repairing your hair isn't just about external care – what you put into your body matters too and knowing the best vitamins for repairing hair from sun damage can really help. A balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients supports hair health from within and is vital for strong healthy hair growth. If you improve your nutrition the benefits are phenomenal for your overall health, well-being and beauty. Vitamins like A, C, and E, along with biotin and omega-3 fatty acids, are known to promote healthy hair growth and combat sun damage. If your diet lacks these essentials, consider adding supplements to ensure your hair gets the nourishment it needs.