While it seems like everyone is talking about beachy-looking hair lately, actually exposing your locks to excessive sunlight won’t result in the pretty, textured waves you’re after. Just as UV radiation can age your skin, it can make your hair look and feel dull and dry. This is particularly true for those who chemically straighten or colour their hair. And speaking of colour, the sun can turn those caramel highlights brassy real fast, meaning another pricey trip to the salon!
All is not lost. These five simple ways will help prevent sun damage to your precious mane and keep it looking just as fresh come fall.
1. Wear a hat
Make a fashion statement while protecting your tresses. Simple and chic, non? Now, a baseball cap just won’t do. Choose something with a wide brim that will keep all of your hair in the shade. And remember to wear it everyday; it isn’t strictly a beach accessory. When you’re out in the hot sun, whether it’s to run an errand or to a picnic in a park, you’ll need that topper. Try: Joe Fresh Straw Sunhat, $9, joefresh.com.
2. Protect your scalp
So you’re not a hat person. Besides wearing shades and slathering your face with sunblock, your hair and scalp need protection, too. Don’t just spritz your locks and call it a day, apply the same sunblock you used on your face to your scalp where you normally part your hair. This is especially important if you’ve decided to pull your hair back into a trendy braided ‘do. While your scalp may seem like a lower maintenance region of your body, you’ve probably exposed your scalp in multiple places and now need to apply sunscreen all over your head.
3. DIY sunscreen for your hair
You don’t have to buy a hair-specific SPF product. Simply mix one cup of water with two to three tablespoons of your regular sunscreen in a spray bottle and spritz your hair. While this won’t make your locks quite as greasy as slathering on full-strength sunscreen, it’s not going to condition, fight frizz or hold your style like a professional product will. Remember to shampoo really well to remove any sunscreen build-up from your hair.
4. Use a sun-protecting hair product
There are lots of UV-fighting hair products on the market and the most effective ones come in the form of sprays. While shampoos and conditioners are great for those who dye their hair (because they don’t have harsh ingredients that can dry out chemically-treated hair and make it more vulnerable to the sun), you should follow with an SPF product that doesn’t get rinsed out in the shower. Kérastase Soleil Micro-Voile Protecteur is a favourite among beauty buffs and promises to leave hair shiny, silky and soft, as well as protected. Try: Kérastase Soleil Micro-Voile Protecteur, $43, kerastase.ca.
5. Avoid damaging ingredients
Products that promise to lighten your hair in the sun are bad news. They dry hair out and leave locks ripe for damage. This goes for lemon juice and any hair product with high concentrations of alcohol. So take a look at the ingredients list on your favourite hair spray before spritzing and going out into the sun.
So simply combine a hat, sunscreen on your part and a hair-healthy spray for gorgeous hair all summer long. And create those beach waves at home with your hair dryer!