Trips to the beach, alfresco lunch dates and outdoor workouts…There’s a lot to love about summer! However, there’s one warm weather reality we could do without. And that’s the dry, brittle strands and painful sunburnt scalps that often come with too many hours spent soaking up the sun.
You CAN enjoy the summer sunshine without sacrificing your hair, however – and we’re here to tell you exactly how to do it! From DIY hacks to hot hairdresser & expert tips, here’s how to protect and repair your hair and scalp from sun damage. Read on!
How does the sun damage your strands?
Just as too much UV exposure causes serious damage to the skin on your face and bod, it can also wreak havoc with your hair and scalp. According to Melbourne-based hairdresser Sofia Basile, “While we all love sunny days, you can get too much of a good thing. Unfortunately, too much time spent in the sun can definitely cause damage to the hair’s outmost layer – the cuticle – and weaken the hair shaft.
“This can result in dry, dehydrated and brittle strands, with a dull, uneven texture and frizzy or split ends. Not exactly a good look!”
What’s more, she adds that sun damage fades your colour, and makes your strands much less manageable and harder to style or curl.
What about your scalp?
Out of sight out of mind, right? Wrong. While your hair does provide a degree of UV protection, your scalp is still susceptible to sun damage – especially since most of us neglect it when applying SPF.
According to Basile, sun damage on the scalp shows up as dryness, itchiness, flaking and discomfort. In severe cases inflammation caused by sun damage can result in hair loss – and there’s also the very real risk of developing skin cancers such as melanoma.
“Skin cancer is very common on the scalp in thinning individuals — males and females — since it usually stands out to get direct sun exposure,” says Dr. Paul McAndrews, clinical professor at the USC School of Medicine.
Are all hair types vulnerable to sun damage?
The sun doesn’t discriminate, and excess UV exposure is detrimental to any hair type. However, it’s most damaging to those with fine hair and lightened locks.
“Bleached hair is the most susceptible to sun damage,” says Basile. The sun’s rays act like bleach so I always stress with my blonde clients the importance of a little TLC to protect their investment on coloured hair.”
How can you prevent sun damage to your hair & scalp?
Thankfully, one of the best ways to protect your hair and scalp from sun damage is also the easiest. And that’s wearing a hat if you’re outside during peak UV hours (which you’re doing already, right?)! Pulling your hair into a pony or topknot is another way to help prevent a sunburnt part, and Basile also recommends applying a UV protection spray to your scalp and strands.
Heading to the beach? To keep hair healthy and strong, she suggests doubling down on the protection by applying a thick conditioner or protein treatment.
What can you do to repair sun damage to your hair & scalp?
So, you’ve missed the memo and spent too long in the sun with your strands and scalp exposed. Is there anything you can do to help repair the damage?
Yup, and according to Basile it’s all about restoring “moisture, moisture, moisture”. Her favourite DIY remedy is to apply coconut oil or olive oil to the hair and scalp. She also recommends using haircare products containing these and other hydrating ingredients (like the coconut-infused Coco & Eve Like a Virgin range), as well as Vitamin C which is great for repairing a damaged cuticle.
Scalp sore and irritated? Basile suggests applying aloe vera, or her mother’s favourite remedy – yoghurt.
Which Coco & Eve products can help?
To return strength, shine and softness to sun damaged hair, hydrating and strengthening ingredients are vital. Luckily, the Coco & Eve Super Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner are bursting with both! Free from drying sulfates, our coconut and avocado-oil enriched shampoo uses ResistHyalTM Hyaluronic Acid technology to deliver 26 times more hydration to frazzled strands.
Meanwhile, our lush, creamy conditioner contains Basile’s go-to ingredient to strengthen and repair strands – protein. Instantly detangling hair for less breakage, the pea protein-enriched conditioner helps repair and reduce damage by 65%, while sealing unsightly split ends.
To resolve scalp flaking, dryness and irritation, the Deep Clean Scalp Scrub is your BFF. Removing dead skin cells with a blend of physical exfoliants and AHAs, the caffeine-infused formula helps to stimulate the hair follicles as coconut oil hydrates and peppermint oil cools and soothes.
And for extra-intensive care for sun damaged hair? There’s the 5-in-1 Like a Virgin Nourishing Hair Masque. Working from the inside out, our multi award winning mask works from the inside out to repair, tame, restore, revive and condition stressed strands in just 10 minutes.
Finally, our Multi-Use Miracle Hair Elixir (aka the perfect finish to every haircare routine) contains antioxidant properties from Coconut Oils and Fig Fruit Extracts to help fight free radicals damage on hair caused by sun-exposure. This powerhouse is also rich in Vit C, E and K which softens, smooths frizz and adds shine to hair! While its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe and calm the scalp — definitely a must have!
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya