During the summer, the days of endless fun in the sun can take a heavy toll on your locks. Dryness, discoloration, split ends, sunburns are just a handful of issues that may turn your once-glorious mane into a lifeless eyesore. Besides the damage done by chlorinated pool water, seawater, and dehydration, your strands also have to cope with tons of sun damage, which is the worst.
Experts warn that if your tresses have been color dyed, bleached or heat treated they are already stripped off of their natural oil barrier and depleted, therefore the summer heat and direct sunlight can only make things worse. So, upping your summer haircare game is a BIG must, if you want your hair to get back to its normal, fantastic self.
How Does the Summer Sun Damage My Hair?
Prolonged UVA and UVB exposure especially during the so-called "prime time" sun hours can irreversibly damage the outer layer of the hair shaft, also known as the cuticle. This protective layer is the first line of defense against environmental damage, including mechanical damage and sun damage. If the cuticle has been breached or worn away, your hair will become dry, brittle, and dehydrated as there is no longer a barrier to prevent the moisture in your strands from vanishing. What’s more, the summer weather will open the cuticle and make it more porous, letting more moisture out, which in the end will lead to dry and brittle hair if you do not properly care for it.
UV rays darken your skin but bleach your hair. That’s because melanin, the pigment that tries so hard to prevent harmful radiation from reaching the DNA in your hair and skin cells, breaks down when there is too much sun exposure. As a result, the hair gets irreparably bleached and you’ll have to wait for fresh hair to grown and bring a new supply of melanin to undo the damage.
The summer sun is also very risky for dyed hair. Just like prolonged exposure to UV light causes the colors in a painting or photo to fade, the same phenomenon causes discoloration in color-treated hair. That’s why sporting a hat when going out there in the sun will pay dividends in the long run.
Your scalp is at risk too. The summer sun can be quite harsh on your scalp without adequate protection. There’s a common misconception that the scalp is safe from UV radiation due to the shade provided by your hair. In reality, too much sun exposure can leave your scalp dry, itchy, and sunburned. And since a damaged and dry scalp leads to damaged and dry hair from the roots up, taking care of your scalp is a critical step for the overall health of your locks.
Best Ways to Protect Your Hair from the Sun This Summer
Don’t Overwash Your Hair
In the summer, your hair is already facing a higher-than-usual risk of dehydration so don’t add fuel to the fire by overwashing it. The oils naturally produced by your scalp will no longer be able to create a protective barrier against sun damage and dehydration if you flush them out daily. If you really need to clean your hair on a daily basis, use a mild shampoo. For greasy hair, a good dry shampoo will remove the unsightly oil while prompting the scalp to produce some more.
Let Your Hair Air Dry
The summer heat is already enough to dry out your hair. You don’t need to use a blow drier, hot flat iron or roller to make things worse. Let your tresses air dry after a shower or swimming session, or use the low setting on your blow dryer and start befriending some good heat protectants.
Protect Your Locks Out in the Sun
When going outdoors, make sure that you take all precautionary measures to shield your hair from the scorching sun. The safest method to keep your scalp, locks, and face protected in the summer heat is a wide brim hat. Look for a hat made of tightly woven material, and if it has been treated for UV protection, even better. If wide brim hats are not your style, go for a baseball hat, a scarf, or an umbrella.
But if hats are really out of the question, you can create a protective barrier by slathering some mineral sunblock onto those areas of the scalp that are exposed to solar radiation, where your hair naturally parts or has gotten thinner. It is important to rub the sunblock directly into your scalp not just apply it onto the strands. Opt for physical blockers, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, instead of chemical sunscreens, as the latter can be very toxic once absorbed through your pores.
Give Your Scalp Some TLC
Beside solar protection, your scalp needs to be nourished and moisturized on a constant basis in the warm season. To offset the sun damage, you’ll need to use some moisturizing agents that can help the hair and scalp regenerate and keep moisture locked in. Solar exposure does not only affect the hair cuticle, it also negatively impacts keratin, namely, the protein in your hair that protects it from heat damage, breakage, and frizz.
So, look for a plant-based oil that can naturally ramp up keratin production, strengthen the hair, and keep it moisturized. A great treatment for stressed and damaged hair is CBD oil. The little-known ingredient packs all the said benefits under one roof, while also being a highly effective antioxidant which feasts on the free radicals resulted from the sun damage, lowering the risk of skin cancer.
For maximum benefits, apply CBD onto your scalp and strands as a DIY hot oil treatment. Just warm a bit of our KINO CBD Kukui Nut (Coconut & Lilikoi) Face, Hair & Body Oil in a microwave, rub it into your scalp and hair and let it sit in for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly.
CBD oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory as well, so it will help calm and soothe an itchy scalp. It can also add much-needed moisture to the skin and lock it in without blocking the pores or making your scalp greasy. The KINO CBD Kukui Nut Oil has been infused with coconut oil to help stimulate hair growth, tame dandruff, and offer a somewhat modest sun protection.
Give Yourself a Regular Trim
To prevent (or fix) hair breakage, split ends and brittle hair, it is best to get a regular haircut. Regardless of the length of your locks, cutting your hair ends regularly, especially if they have been sun-damaged, is a surefire method to prevent further damage and promote hair growth.
For ladies, get a regular trim every 3 months or earlier, depending on your hair length and level of damage. For men, every 2 to 4 weeks, pay your barber a visit. Your mane will thank you for it.