As the weather gets warmer and the days get brighter, many of us will be thinking about how to change up our beauty regimes.
But while most people are rushing out to get a fresh haircut and colour in time for summer now that hairdressers are back open, many don’t have the correct knowledge when it comes to caring for their manes in the heat.
In line with Sun Awareness Week this week (May 3-9), Hair Expert Nicole Petty at Milk + Blush has compiled a list of the best sun protection tips and tricks for your hair…
Sun protection for your hair – Wear a Hat/Cover
A common myth surrounding hats is that they’re only necessary for people to wear in the sun if they have little to no hair as they protect the scalp from sun damage, but that is wrong.
While hats do provide extra cover for the scalp against strong UV rays – especially in areas where your hair is thinner – they protect the hair from sun exposure, too.
When exposed to too much sunlight, the UVA and UVB rays can strip moisture from the hair and damage the hairs protein and cuticle, resulting in dry/brittle ends, frizziness, split ends, discolouration or even thinning.
Plus, if you get your hair coloured, wearing a hat is your best bet in locking in your hairdresser’s hard work for longer, as the sun will lighten the colour of the hair by stripping its melanin.
So, grab a hat and make sure it covers your head properly. It’s still possible to get a hat that is a great fashion accessory AND sun protector.
Sun protection for your hair – UV Protection Products
Wearing a hat may seem like a sensible solution, but it’s not the only thing you can do to protect your hair from sun damage.
As for your skin, there are several sun protection products that you can use on your hair and scalp to protect it.
Look for water-resistant UV protection sprays, heat oils/primers, or mineral parting powders that will lock in moisture and colour while protecting your hair from the heat and elements.
And if you’re more for natural remedies, look out for products with ingredients such as coconut oil (SPF of just over 7), Karanja seed oil (SPF of 20), shea oil (good for scalp and hair health) or plum oil (an antioxidant superhero).
Sun protection for your hair – Avoid Heat Tools
It goes without saying that using heat tools can be damaging for your hair health.
However, during the summer months, it’s best to try and avoid extra heat on your hair as the sun’s rays are already adding that extra heat.
Try and avoid using curlers or straighteners where you can, or at least limit your usage.
Instead, try plaiting your hair overnight or use texturising sprays to give it that extra volume.
And let your hair dry naturally in the morning before the sun is at its hottest, or if you’re short for time, turn your hairdryer right down to the lowest setting.
Sun protection for your hair – After-sun care
Give your hair and scalp extra nourishment, and consider deep conditioning treatments overnight after a long day in the sun.
Leave-in conditioners are a great way of adding moisture to your hair.
Lightweight conditioners are best for fine hair, whereas conditioners with a lotion-like texture are best for curly hair and heavier treatments if your hair is thicker.
If you’re after something that you’ve likely never tried before, try rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar before shampooing for clean and glossy locks. Alternatively, try mixing a ¼ cup of mayonnaise, one egg and ¼ cup of yoghurt as a conditioning treatment for half an hour to treat dry and sun-damaged hair. This will leave your hair looking shinier and healthier all summer long.
Avoid brushing your hair too often, instead opt for a gentle wide tooth comb as this will minimise further breakage.
And be wary of shampooing your hair every day. Instead, wash your hair in lukewarm water or use a gentle cleansing shampoo and rinse gently to avoid extra pressure on your scalp.
By Nicole Petty, Hair Expert at Milk + Blush