As you shield your skin from the sun this summer, don’t neglect your hair
Just as we love glowy, sun-kissed skin, we love to see the golden highlights that appear on some hair types once embraced by the sun. However, using SPF on hair should just be just as much of a no-brainer as applying sunscreen on our skin. The same harmful UV rays apply whenever the sun is concerned.
“Your hair is constantly exposed to external disturbances, such as air pollution and the sun. Heat and sun damage will not only brittle and dry your hair, but it will also fade your hair colour,” says Kaj Pronko, a Finnish hairstylist who recently made his hairstyling debut at the spring/summer 2023 Menswear Paris Fashion Week. “The sun is also the worst enemy of freshly-dyed hair, so to maintain your hair in a good condition and to assure the colour stays bright and vibrant, it’s crucial to shield your hair against heat and the UV-rays.”
According to a recent study, the most significant harm that sun exposure can have on our hair is to its structure. UVA-rays fade the colour and UVB-rays weaken the hair, resulting in breakage, low elasticity and lack of shine. Pronko agrees: “The damage done by heat and sun’s rays is quite similar, and an exposure to harsh UV-radiation will harm your hair permanently, drying and weakening your strands to a great extent.”
Although all hair types are prone to sun damage, the most vulnerable to UV damage is fine or light-coloured hair, which lacks the thickness or pigmentation to protect the hair against the sun's rays. It's also good to bear in mind that although we love the "natural" highlights emerging on our hair come summer, the sun's rays essentially act like bleach, which is notoriously damaging to the hair. So if you've highlighted or bleached your hair and go into the sun without SPF on your lengths, the harm done by the UV rays can be even more significant.
Even though all of this may sound daunting, fret not – luckily, there are ways to protect your hair against the sun and products that don't feel like swathing your strands in sticky sunscreen. "The best way to shield your hair from the sun is by wearing hats and scarves, of course," says Pronko.
"However, there are haircare and styling products that ought to be used as well, containing ingredients that protect the hair from heat and the UVA- and UVB-rays. To maintain your hair's colouring and keep your hair's structure intact, I recommend using products from Kevin Murphy's new Everlasting.Colour –range. They lock in the colour and protect and strengthen hair that's been damaged by the sun."
Other effective products that shield your hair from the sun include L'Oréal's mist-in protector and Balmain's Sun Protection Spray, specifically designed for UV rays, chlorine and salty seawater. Or, this summer, try switching your dry shampoo into one that will also protect your hair from the sun, like Bumble And Bumble's Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo will do.
Shield your hair from the sun
Everlasting.Colour Leave-in Spray
Serie Expert Solar Sublime UV Filter Spray
Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo
Bumble and bumble
Invisible Defense Heat Protectant Spray
Hair In The Sun
Sun Protection Spray
Crème UV Sublime leave-in