I love keeping my hair healthy, hydrated, and frizz-free (as much as I can) year-round. I mean, who doesn’t? In the winter, I give my hair a little extra love with hydrating masks and oils. In the summer, I am all about hair sunscreen and sun protection spray. But I had never heard of hair SPF, much less hair sunscreen, until recently.
Whether you are looking to protect your hair this coming summer or treat hair that already has some damage, read on to find out how important sun protection for hair should be for you.
Growing up, I remember playing outside a lot in the summertime. I loved spending all day at the beach and swimming in chlorinated pools. As a result, my hair was lighter than usual, but it wasn’t always its healthiest. Once, a friend’s mom pointed out how my hair color had lightened. It was frizzy and dry. “Your hair feels like straw,” she remarked. “It might be damaged from the sun.” Ouch.
Though I didn’t do anything about it for years, it was unfortunately true. I was well-aware of sun protection for my skin, but for my hair? It never crossed my mind to use hair SPF. I didn’t even know hair sunscreen existed or that using sun protection spray for hair was an easy way to combat the damaging effects of being outside for too long.
Now, I’m a little older, and a little wiser about the products that I use for my hair. UV hair protection is on my mind as much as UV skin protection. As summer quickly approaches, I’m reminded to be conscious of UV hair protection methods and give my hair more TLC with products specifically formulated for sun protection for hair.
Why Sun Protection for Hair is So Important?
Most of us do our best to protect the skin on our bodies from the damaging effects of the sun, but we forget about our hair and the skin under our hair. Our hair and scalps need sun protection too! A 2019 study found that UV rays not only affect the skin but hair can be damaged by prolonged sun exposure as well. Nothing hurts quite as much as a sunburned scalp. Hair SPF is just as important as body SPF.
Prolonged sun exposure can be harmful in many ways, including premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. This is why UV hair protection is so important. For the hair specifically, the harsh UV rays damage the hair's cuticle layer and harm hair keratin levels. Keratin is the protein in your hair that makes it look shiny and healthy. Without keratin, our hair is left sun-damaged and dull. Products like sun protection spray for hair create a barrier between the sun rays and the hair.
Sun protection spray for hair can be a powerful hair care product. While we lather our arms and legs in sunscreen, let’s also remember about hair sunscreen. More on that later.
Signs of Sun-Damaged Hair
Sun-damaged hair is fairly common, especially in the summer months. The sun dries out hair strands and follicles, and as a result, hair is less healthy-looking. If you’ve been spending excess time in the sun, it might be time to check your hair for damage. The most obvious signs of sun-damaged hair are:
- Faded hair color
- Split ends
- Flaky scalp
- Sunburnt scalp
Hair color fading is the last thing you want if you’re paying for your hair to be colored in a salon. And if you’re blonde, you may see slightly brassier tones in your hair (thank goodness for purple shampoos to keep blonde tones cool and fresh).
Overall, sun-damaged hair can make your hair unmanageable and make it appear unhealthy. Luckily, there are ways to give your hair all the hair SPF and UV hair protection it deserves.
How To Protect Your Hair From the Sun
UV hair protection doesn’t have to be difficult. Even a minimal amount of sun protection for hair can go a long way.
Use a UV Protection Spray for Hair
There are still ways to have fun in the sun without damaging your hair. A spray is the obvious and easy solution. Just spray on some sun protection spray for hair when you're putting on sunscreen on your skin and you're good to go! Plus, a hair sunscreen usually contains some other good nourishing ingredients for hair so it can act as a hydrating leave-in conditioner at the same time.
Accessorize with a Hat
Another great way to ensure UV hair protection is to wear a hat. The hat protects your eyes and acts as a fun accessory. It’s also optimal for sun protection as it creates a barrier between UV rays and your hair.
Stay Out of the Sun
One way to protect your hair and scalp is to avoid the sun altogether by staying in the shade. Whether you enjoy your pool day under an umbrella or stay at the beach under a palm tree, staying out of direct sun is the ultimate sun protection for hair and skin. But let's face it, no one can avoid the sun rays completely and you can get sunburnt even in the shade, so don't forget your (hair) sunscreen!
No Hair Part
If you find yourself in the sun without a hat, avoid parting your hair. At the very least, this will minimize direct sun exposure to your scalp.
Best Products to Use for Sun-Damaged Hair
Certain products can help you on your UV hair protection journey. Whether you are looking to protect your hair from the sun or reverse damage that has already been done, the right products will be able to keep your hair healthy and keep signs of sun damage at bay.
1. Sun Protection Spray for Hair
Sun Defense Hair Mist is your best friend when it comes to hair SPF. This sun protection spray for hair forms an invisible hair sunscreen on your hair and scalp to protect against any damage from sun exposure. This product is made specifically for hair that is damaged, frizzy, or dry, but all hair types can benefit from its protective properties. If there is one product to add to your beach bag this summer, it’s this sun protection spray for hair.
2. Soothing Scalp Treatment
Grow Perfect™ Thickening Spray is made with 99.6% natural ingredients to soothe your dry scalp. While it is not a hair sunscreen, it is a great leave-in product that can help restore your hair after too much sun exposure. This product is especially useful if you accidentally sunburned your scalp and now are dealing with soreness or peeling.
3. Gently Repairing Shampoo
If you already have significant sun damage in your hair and are trying to reverse the dryness caused by excess sun exposure, you need products that repair your hair. Dry hair occurs when your hair doesn’t receive or retain enough moisture and your shampoo can play a significant role in it. Split Fix™ Shampoo gently cleanses your hair while reconstructing each hair strand to prevent breakage in the future.
4. Protecting Hair Oil
Split Fix™ Hair Oil is based on a nourishing blend of organic sunflower seed, coconut, argan, and apricot kernel oils. It provides natural heat and sun protection for hair to prevent breakage, frizz, and split ends from occurring. It’s a great product that both protects from UV rays and brings back nourishment to sun damaged strands, while making hair look smooth and shiny.
5. Deep Hydrating Hair Treatment
Moisture Hero™ Pre-Shampoo Balm is formulated to deeply nourish your hair, leaving it frizz-free and silky. With ingredients like organic shea butter and vitamin E, this product will leave your hair hydrated and happy. After a day at the beach, it can be the hair treatment you need if you forgot to use sun protection spray for hair.
6. Heat Protection Spray
Using a heat protectant is a must for everyone but especially for those with already sun damaged strands! Opt for a natural, silicone-free heat protection spray like Thermal Shield™ Heat Protectant powered by plant derived DayMoist CLR™ to form a shield of protection on hair, prepping it for blowdrying, straightening and heat styling.
UV Protectant for Hair: Best Ingredients
Are you looking to protect your healthy hair from possible damage? There are specific ingredients in a UV protectant for your hair that are optimal for hair hydration and restoration. Look for these when shopping for a UV protectant for your hair:
- Phytessence™ French Oak Extract - This miracle ingredient is a natural UV filter that protects hair from the drying and damaging effects of the sun.
- Organic aloe vera - Aloe vera has naturally soothing properties. In hair products, this ingredient combats frizz and leaves hair feeling hydrated and smooth.
- Acai fruit extract - Loaded with fatty acids, acai fruit provides lightweight moisture and natural-looking shine to hair.
- Blueberry extract - Blueberries are a natural source of antioxidants. The extract promotes a healthy scalp by improving blood circulation, which is helpful when combating harmful UV rays that cause damage.
- Glycerin - This plant-derived ingredient has humectant properties, which means that it locks moisture into the hair for long-term hydration. Goodbye, static hair and frizz.
You can find all of these amazing ingredients in Sun Defense Hair Mist, which is my go to sun protection spray for hair. Besides preventing sun damage, it leaves my hair soft, hydrated, and smells wonderful!
Ingredients to Avoid
Moisture is the name of the game with UV hair protection. If your hair is dried out already, avoid products that have silicones or are formulated with drying alcohols. Instead, choose a natural, non-aerosol spray as your hair sunscreen. I always recommend organic-certified products without harmful chemicals.
Treatments for Sun Damaged Hair and Scalp
Has the sun damage to your hair already been done? Then it’s time to focus your efforts on the best possible treatments. Hydration is the name of the game with restorative hair efforts.
Nourishing hair masks and oils are a great starting point to deeply moisturize dry hair. Thick hair masks that treat brittle or dry hair, like Split Fix™ Hair Mask, are essential to bringing life back to hair that has had too much UV sun exposure. This hair mask is the perfect deep conditioning treatment to restore dry, brittle hair.
To make sure you are giving special treatment to the scalp as well as the hair, use Grow Perfect™ Thickening Spray. It soothes and moisturizes irritated scalps.
As mentioned before, using shampoo with natural, high-quality ingredients can up your hair care game. Using gentle, nourishing shampoo is an excellent way to treat your hair. Formulated separately for thinning hair, blondes, and curly-haired folks, you can make sure that your hair is getting the attention it deserves.
All in all, hair SPF can be a great product to help keep your hair nourished and healthy, especially when spending a lot of time outside. Remember that hair can be damaged by the sun the same way skin can be, so UV hair protection is crucial to implement into your hair care routine if you want to keep your hair healthy.