You know all about how damaging the sun can be to your skin causing wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin and dehydration…
But there’s another way the sun can damage your appearance — and it’s probably something you don’t even think about.
I’m talking about your hair.
That’s right — your hair can get damaged by the sun JUST as much as your skin...but you may not even realize it’s happening.
After all, your hair doesn’t get a tan, dark spots, or a sunburn… so unlike your skin, it doesn’t have any way to “tell” you it’s being damaged!
But I just read a great article by The Cleveland Clinic’s Family Health Team that explained sun-related hair damage in a nutshell 1:
Basically, UVA and UVB rays break down your hair’s cuticle — the outer “coating” that protects each strand from root to tip, and keeps it shiny.
But once the cuticle is damaged, your hair is no longer protected — which can result in breakage, dullness, and even color changes.
But it gets worse…
A 2008 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that not only are the sun’s rays damaging your hair’s cuticles, but can also do lasting structural damage deep within each hair.
And the only way to “fix” that deep damage — the kind that looks and feels brittle, dull, dry, and lackluster — is to cut it off.
So what can you do to protect YOUR hair from a sun-related disaster?
Here are a few of my favorite tips for keeping sun damage at bay… and keep your hair looking shiny, full, and strong!
1. Style Smart. When it comes to sun protection, the way you wear your hair matters.
That’s because the ends of your hair are usually the most vulnerable, since they’re the furthest away from the natural protective oils produced by your scalp.
So protect your ends by tucking them into a bun or wearing your hair in a braid. That way you can keep ends “hidden” from the sun… while maintaining a stylish, comfy look!
2. Protect wet hair. Even the strongest, thickest, healthiest hair is weakest when wet.
That’s because water actually changes hair’s structure temporarily...and it doesn’t go back to normal until it’s COMPLETELY dry.
So while your hair is wet, it’s super-susceptible to breakage and — you guessed it — sun damage.
That makes it extra important to use a scarf, hat, or umbrella when you go outside with wet hair...or, try washing your hair at night so it’s nice and dry when you step out in the morning.
3. Make a “shampoo omelette.” OK...it’s as crazy as it sounds, but it works WONDERS on sun-damaged hair...and all you need is an egg.
Thanks to the remarkable balance of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, the egg yolk may help restore some of the nutrients that keep strands strong and healthy-looking...and it’s easy to make.
To try it for yourself: Mix an egg yolk in with your normal shampoo once a week, and wash your hair as usual — just make sure to use cool water so the yolk doesn’t cook!
4: Condition Backwards. No matter what you do, the summer sun will zap some of your hair’s moisture...but what the sun takes, you can give back…
And all it takes is using your regular conditioner in a new way: BEFORE you wash your hair.
If you’ve had a particularly harsh day in the sun, simply slather damp hair with conditioner (the richer, the better), and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Then rinse, shampoo, and dry as normal. (For extra dry hair, you may want to re-condition after you shampoo.)
Now, as summer approaches, remember… when possible, stay out of direct sunlight. That will be the BEST way keep your hair shiny and gorgeous all summer long.
But when you do go out and enjoy the sunshine, give your hair the same consideration you give your skin...
Because great hair is an important part of having a youthful, healthy look too!
And I want you to feel poised, beautiful, and polished... each and every day.