6 SECRETS TO PREVENT AND HEAL SUN DAMAGED HAIR

With summer upon us, it’s important to have sun safety on top of mind while we’re sizzling in the sun. Most of us have the basics covered already, right? Reapply sunscreen regularly, check. Stay in the shade, check. Throw on a long sleeve shirt, check. Keep a blended cocktail with a tiny umbrella in hand, check. Although these are things to keep in mind, many of us are missing out on the first place the sun rays actually penetrate on us – our HAIR and SCALP. Sun care basics include protecting your tresses from the harshest season of them all. Just like your skin, it all comes down to protection. Physical barriers are the best way to block harmful UVA and UVB rays from damaging your hair. The harsh rays can break down the outer cuticular layer, leaving it dehydrated and dull. The good news is, the summer is the season when your hair actually grows the fastest!  However it is important to still take precautions to protect your hair from the sun to ensure you are creating a healthy environment for the new hair to grow. Check out my savvier summer-specific habits to beat the heat and stay protected. 

1- LET’S STAY AHEAD OF IT

It seems simple enough, but wearing a hat is the perfect way to catch the kind of shade you actually want. Refresh your wardrobe with one of the latest hat trends while protecting your hair and scalp. Whether you’re heading to the beach or trying to hide your bedhead, wearing a hat is essential. Always be sure to have one with you because you never know when you’re going to be caught without shade. I have two hats in my car at all times: a sun hat and a baseball cap (chosen in accordance to my outfit, of course). Cooli Bar makes hats with SPF material built into it. These are my favorite for summertime sun protection because they’re lightweight, portable and protect you from every angle. If you can remember to keep one with you all times, hats off to you! Consider yourself ahead of the game.  Remember friction is our enemy when it comes to hair.  When purchasing hats, I recommend a looser fit to allow for full circulation of oxygen as well as less friction on the midshaft of your hair. My hats are about a half size bigger where I feel most protected- but don’t let it get blown away with heavy winds!  I almost lost mine off the coast of Positano in the pic above.       

2 – IT’S TIME TO RAYS THE BAR

When it comes to sun protection, your hair needs SPF just like your skin. Most hair care is inspired by the same ingredients that you would find in skincare. The rays from the sun act much like bleach on hair. Although we love that light sunkissed-beach-hair-don’t-care look that occurs after only 15 mins after sun exposure, the reality is you’re better off getting those highlights applied  by a professional. When hair is overexposed by the sun, it can cause oxidation which leads to discoloration, broken and  brittle strands, as well as frizziness. Applying SPF to your hair is the same idea as when you apply it to your skin. It protects your strands with UV-filtering and acting as a barrier. Not only does it work against the sun’s rays, they also acts  as a great styling cream as well. If you prefer a spray application for touch-ups as the day progresses, I recommend Solaire Protective Summer Oil. It’s a  lightweight spray product with water-resistant protection against the sun, salt and Chlorine. I don’t mean to rays the alarm, but grab some sunscreen for your strands, asap and don’t be caught with out it.

3- IF YOU CAN’T STRAND THE HEAT

Beach days, backyard bbs, afternoon hikes, and road trips (all within CDC guidelines, obviously). With summertime in full swing, that means most of us will be spending more time out in the sun and its harmful rays. Summer is also one of the harshest seasons because of other factors like salt and chlorine. Who doesn’t love a rooftop pool party or midnight swim in the ocean? With all of that time in the water, salt and chlorine can do a real number on our hair. Again, it’s all about protection by creating a barrier between your strands and these harsh summertime elements. I recommend this leave-in serum by Mizani. It contains shea butter which is a large molecule, keeping it on the outside of your hair. Before going into the water, I always apply 5-6 pumps to my midshaft and ends to prevent too much absorption of salt and chlorine. Not only that, it’s a great protector from your heat tools as well. About the size of a nickel for shoulder length hair before you brush after the shower (more or less depending on your length and density)  Remember above when I said hair care is inspired by skin care? This Mizani Thermastrength leave-in actually feels like a hand lotion and excess doubles as a hand hydrator.  Whenever you find yourself in the heat of the moment, add a leave-in serum.

4 – WASH OUT, THE HEAT IS ON

Chlorinated and salty water, as well as other summer stresses can make your hair feel dryer than the desert roads to Joshua Tree. One of the best things you can do to prevent damage is to wash your tresses after you’ve been exposed to the elements.Clarifying Cleanser by Nioxin is a a chelating based shampoo .  A chelating shampoo deploys active molecules called chelating agents. They do the heavy lifting of sediments and minerals present in the hair structure. These agents grab on to minerals, dirt particles, and left over shampoos to make a new ring structure. They form a cage around the nasty stuff, so the shampoo can rinse the entire complex from your hair. This shampoo is not for everyday use as it  WILL STRIP YOUR COLOR with frequent use.  It removes chlorine, water mineral deposits, environmental stressors, and styling products from building up in your hair. As soon as you get out of the pool or head back from the beach, give your hair a gentle wash to remove whatever might be weighing it down. Follow up with any scalp therapy or treatment as usual and be sure to keep it down while it dries. Your hair will thank you.

5 – MASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE

Okay, so you’ve spent the entire weekend at social distanced backyard bbqs, beach days and bonfires. It’s time for #SelfCareSunday and you realize your hair is completely fried. Some signs that your hair is sun damaged include brittle strands, splitting ends, discoloration, frizziness, and lack of manageability. Summer can be incredibly harsh to your hair, that’s why it’s so important we protect it. However, if you do find yourself in this situation, I highly recommend using a mask to help your hair heal. At the top of my list is the Masque Quintessence by Leonor Greyl. This high-end product is a good balance of moisture and protein. This brand creates clean products that are free of SLS, silicone, parabens, and coal tar. It’s cruelty-free, color safe and made from natural ingredients. This French mask will have you saying, “Oui” to its magical moisturizing powers.  Check out my Tik Tok on July 3rd where I go to Saks and stock up –  username: RT HairColor

6 – TAKE THIS MASK TO TASK

Spending $149 on a French hair mask might not sit well with your financial advisor. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t heal your sun damaged hair. I’ve got another Frenchie favorite that won’t break the bank. The Solaire Intense Nourishing Repair Mask from Furterer is an after-sun product that is made especially to heal the harshness of summer. Whether you’ve been splashing around the pool or making waves at the beach, this mask will intensely condition your hair with fatty acids, Jojoba and a rich complex of restorative ingredients. Brittle, dry hair can be a real bummer, but this affordable and effective hair mask can help your sun situation. 

When things are heating up, be sure to follow these simple tips and tricks to keep summer hair damage away. Because at the end of the day, we all just want to have sun!

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