Why your hair needs sun protection
That’s right, sun protection for hair is a thing. Hair sunscreen might sound strange but Tarryn Cherniayeff, hair director and co-founder of Sydney’s MOB Hair, says that it’s fundamental for healthy hair. “There are no immediate signs of sun hair damage,” she says. “Instead, after a few weeks your hair gets unresponsive, thin and dry.” Yikes! No thanks.
So with the warmer weather fast approaching, it’s time to start upping your sun protection game. We spoke to Tarryn about why UV hair protection is so important and the best sun protection for hair products to stock up on.
Why do we need sun protection for hair?
Just like your skin, according to Tarryn your hair can also needs protection. “The sun’s UV rays are harmful to your hair as they cripple the protein bonds that support the structure,” she explains. “UV rays burn the inside and outer layers of the hair follicle, resulting in brittle ends. So like your skin, your hair can get sunburnt.”
Can the sun affect your hair condition?
Thought those split ends were the result of your hair brush? Your hair might just be overexposed to the sun. “The UV rays from the sun react with your hair texture, leaving you with a dimmer and dryer appearance,” says Tarryn. “They are damaging your hair from the cuticle to the inner structure, leaving your strands brittle and vulnerable to split ends.”
According to Tarryn, the sun’s UV rays can also affect your hair colour. “The sun’s UVA and UVB rays damage the outer layer of your hair cuticle,” she says. “Once damaged, the hair cuticle can no longer hold on to colour due to the oxidation process, lack of moisture and general distress.” This means that that colour that you’ve worked so hard to build with your hairdresser might start to fade a whole lot quicker.
Tarryn also points out that colour-treated hair is particularly susceptible to sun damage. “Sun rays don’t discriminate against hair colour or type, although chemically-treated hair is delicate and therefore more likely to suffer moisture loss.”
How can we protect our hair from sun damage?
“You don’t need to slather sunscreen on your hair, instead incorporate more hydrating products into your regimen,” says Tarryn. “I’d also recommend wearing hats and scarves when you are going to be in the sun for an extended period of time.” You can also minimise sun damage by styling your hair in certain ways. “Your best styling option is a loose, single braid pulled straight back without any parting,” says Tarryn.”If you’d rather a style with a strict part, you’ll need to slop on sunscreen on your scalp.”
When it comes to products, Tarryn suggests finding a formula with UV protection. “The KEVIN.MURPHY YOUNG.AGAIN not only protects you from chlorine but their products also have UV protection to help minimise any sun damage,” she says. “The Balm d'Or from Oribe is another leave-in with a great UV protection, helping to protect colour fading as well as sun damage.”