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As much as Vitamin D works wonders for our skin and hair growth, being exposed to the sun for far too long can bring about sun damage to our hair.
Prolonged exposure to the sun can damage the outer cover of the hair strands due to harmful UVA and UVB rays.
How does the Sun pose damage to our hair?
Sun damage to hair results in dry and unmanageable hair that cannot hold fancy styles or curls. Too much sun exposure will turn the hair dry and brittle and make it highly prone to breakages.
A study suggested that excessive exposure to the sun can cause structural impairment to the hair shaft. When hair cuticles in the hair shaft are left under the sun for too long, moisture gets absorbed by the heated sun rays, making the hair frizzy and unkempt.
It has also been noted that sunlight breaks pigment and degrades the proteins in each strand of hair, which may eventually lead to hair protein loss. Protein links in the hair create elasticity and hold shafts of hair together, and when devoid of protein, the hair is subjected to static electricity and fractures easily. Over time, our hair will start looking weak and dull.
How to repair Sun-damaged hair
Just like our skin, our hair also needs protection from the glares of the sun. Protecting hair from further sun damage is not as difficult as assumed by many.
These are some steps you can easily adopt today.
1. Trim your hair
Getting a haircut to eliminate split ends does the trick for dry and damaged hair. Split ends contribute to the coarseness of hair texture and makes styling difficult.
People with short hair are not entirely safe from split ends as well. Should you feel that your hair requires immediate intervention fast, a visit to the salon for a quick snip is called for.
2. Enrich your diet
Vitamins are essential for nourishing the body and there are specific vitamins that can benefit the hair. Vitamins A, B, C, and iron are known for their properties that contribute to healthy hair.
Vitamin A is essential for cells to grow and promotes the formation of sebum which moisturizes the scalp and keeps hair strong. It has been noted that people who are vitamin A-deficit often suffer from hair loss too.
Vitamin B helps produce red blood cells which are responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles – vital for hair growth.
Vitamin C contains a collagen protein that plays an important part in the hair structure. Besides, it also helps the body absorb iron content better, a requisite mineral for continuous hair growth.
Iron is needed for red blood cells to carry oxygen in the blood stream. Iron deficiency typically leads to anemia, which is a major cause of hair loss, especially in women.
3. Avoid heat styling when possible
For some, using heat to dry, straighten, or curl our hair has been a daily must-do. Despite its effectiveness in making the hair appear presentable, it is another factor that contributes to drying out sun-damaged hair.
Try to avoid using the hair dryer and instead, wrap the wet hair with a towel to dry your hair.
4. Use hair products containing SPF
Sun Protecting Factor (SPF) denotes the amount of rays the product can block. For example, SPF 60 would mean only 1/60th of UV radiation will penetrate the skin and hair. When shopping for new hair care products, do consider those with higher SPF for added protection.
Hair oil has also become the go-to sun-protecting home remedy for damaged hair. Coconut oil makes for an exceptional moisturizing product that seals moisture in the hair to stop split ends and hair breakage. Meanwhile, argan oil is full of fatty acids and have proven its effectiveness in maintaining moisture in hair and skin.
Hair masks are advantageous for many different types of troubled hair but in terms of hair damaged by the sun, it moisturizes and tames frizz. As natural ingredients such as honey, coconut oil, and avocado can be used to create a hair mask, both the hair and scalp become stronger to prevent further damage from happening.
Leave-in conditioner should be applied to towel-dried hair right before you style it. As they should not be washed out, extra moisture is locked in the hair to protect it from UV rays or other variable environmental harm.
What are my hair treatment options for Sun-damaged hair?
Sun damaged hair might seem irreversible, but you can start picking up better hair care habits and give your hair the TLC it has been missing all along.
Still unsure on what went wrong and what lifestyle changes you should make to have healthy and strong hair again? Schedule a consultation with our trichologists for an assessment of your hair and scalp today.