Tips to protect your hair from sun damage

Whether packing for a beach vacation or simply stepping out in the summer, most of us tend to lavishly apply sunscreen on our face and body. What most forget, is that the hair needs protection too. UV rays can damage the hair shaft, making hair dull, dry and easily breakable. While some advocate the use of sunscreen on the scalp, others feel opting for hair products with sun protection are good enough.

Sisnel Rebello, Saks top stylist says just like our skin, our hair and scalp is also affected with the harsh UV Rays. ‘The sun makes our hair dry and brittle as it affects the cuticles of the hair and our scalp gets parched. If your hair is coloured, then the UV rays make the hair colour dull and it tends to fade quickly. Basically, sunscreen for hair repels the rays of the sun. These products contain UV filters which protect the hair. They also contain Vitamin E, which protects the hair from external aggressions such as dust and pollution and harsh rays of the sun,’ he says. Look for hair care products like mousse and leave in gel, that all contain properties (Vitamin E, Xylos Agent and UV filter) that will protect your hair.

The hair shaft is made up of an outer layer of protein called keratin, which when exposed to UV radiation gets damaged, says Dr Swati Srivastava, dermatologist. ‘UVA damages the melanin content and makes the hair colour fade away. UVB damages the protein content and makes the hair brittle and lifeless, eventually ‘frying’ the hair. Sunscreen for hair helps protect the proteins and lipids from oxidative damage. These are what help make hair look good and lustrous. Hair sunscreen can be either sprayed on damp hair or applied as a leave on conditioner. However, if you are going to be in the sun for more than a few hours, it is best to reapply,’ she says.

Genet Sandrine, style director, Jean-Claude Biguine Salon and Spa India says too much exposure to UV rays causes damage to the outside covering of the hair which is the cuticle and can penetrate into the center of the hair, (the cortex) and cause damage there as well. ‘Excessive sun damage may lead to dry, weak and brittle hair. Research also suggests that UV rays are found to damage the scalp, particularly the hair follicles, where hair begins to grow. Once the hair follicles are damaged, hair growth may be altered or affected. While sunscreen for hair is quite a new concept, it is slowly catching up.

4. Tips to protect hair from sun damage
Always wear a hat or a scarf
Use leave-in conditioners with UV filters in hair.
Avoid blow drying and chemical treatments of hair
Keep your hair tied to avoid more frizz.
Dr Swati Srivastava, dermatologist
Source: DNAsyndication /By SanayaChavda



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