How to Protect Your Hair from UV Damage
Hair plays a positive role in our self-confidence and is an important aspect of our appearance. Thus, it reflects our character and any hair damage is considered cosmetic imperfection and social handicap.
Excess exposure to UVA light and UVB radiation is the primary cause for the exposed damage. We are well-versed with the negative effects caused by UVA and UVB radiation from the sun on our skin. Not only this, these harmful rays pose negative consequences on our hair health as well.
Sun damage can affect most hair types, but you can take steps to ensure your hair and scalp are in good health. Just like your skin, your hair also requires UV protection. In this comprehensive guide, Dr. Pavitra HN explains how sun damage can affect hair and the best ways to protect your locks in the most effective methods during the sun.
1. Understanding UV Damage on Hair
A. What is UV Radiation?
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a type of energy that the sun produces. Since its wavelengths are shorter than visible light, you cannot easily detect UV radiation.
The sun’s energy reaches Earth and supplies vitamin D to your body, which helps you endure. There is also UV radiation in human-made sources such as tanning beds. Too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation can increase your chances of developing various skin threatening diseases.
B. The Different Types of UV Rays and Their Impact on Hair
UVB radiation causes the loss of hair protein, whereas UVA radiation is the reason for color changes. The absorption of radiation by amino acids that are photosensitive in hair and the degradation of their photochemical properties creates free radicals. They are harmful to hair proteins, particularly keratin.
C. How UV Rays Penetrate the Hair Cuticle?
Because of its wavelength, UV radiation can penetrate the cortex and cuticle layers within the hair. It is responsible for the majority of the changes in hair pigmentation. Excessive exposure to UVA radiations degrades the fatty acid on the cuticle’s surface, known as 18-methyl eicosanoic acids, that give hair a soft and shiny appearance.
D. Common Signs of UV Damage on Hair
Some signs include:
- Dull and Lustre-less hair
- Frizzy and Rough Hair
- Hair feels dry and crunchy
- Becomes brittle and more split ends
2. The Effects of UV Damage on Hair
A. Fading and Discoloration of Hair
Hair color may fade for a range of reasons, and the most frequent among them is exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. It happens when the sun’s UV rays weaken proteins that compose hair.
B. Dryness and Brittle Hair
Exposure to UV radiation could cause damage to hair fibers, leading to dryness, decreased strength, rough surface texture, loss of color, reduced luster, stiffness, and brittleness.
C. Split Ends and Breakage
UV radiation could damage amino acids of protein which can cause the loss of hair’s structure and loss of moisture, and ultimately dehydration. This ultimately results in the breaking of hair, causing split ends.
D. Impact on Hair Growth and Scalp Health
The UV light in the sun causes hair to become lighter and deteriorates the scalp’s health.
3. Tips to Protect Your Hair from UV Damage
A. Wear Protective Clothing and Accessories
1. Sun Hats
Looking for the best way to ensure your hair color stays in good condition and protects your hair from sunburn? Wear a hat. It provides great protection for your hair from the sun. Make sure you opt for a model that provides UPF protection. We recommend wearing a three-inch hat with an elongated brim to prevent the sun’s radiation from reaching the hair and face.
2. Scarves and Head Wraps
Wrapping a scarf or using head wraps over your head or wearing an oversized hat or an umbrella is great to protect your hair from harmful UV rays.
B. Use UV-Protective Hair Products
1. UV-Blocking Shampoos and Conditioners
Many items for your hair are available specifically created to shield the hair against UV damage. Find products with ingredients like avobenzone and octinoxate, which helps block UV Rays. Certain products also have antioxidants, which keep hair safe from the damage caused by free radicals.
2. Leave-In UV Protectors
Indians have a long-standing custom of applying hair oil before leaving home. This provides the hair needed nourishment and acts as a barrier that protects the hair and the environment. You can also apply leave-in conditioners. Don’t forget to discuss the products with a licensed clinical specialist before using the products.
C. Limit Sun Exposure for Your Hair
If possible, try to limit your exposure during excessive heat days. Moreover, play safe by wearing hats and scarves.
4. Healthy Hair Habits to Minimize UV Damage
A. Proper Hair Care Routine
A proper hair care regime will ensure your hair appears healthy. An improper hair routine may harm your hair quality and even worsen it.
1. Gentle Shampooing and Conditioning
Deep shampooing and conditioning offer a variety of advantages to your hair health. The most important is moisturizing and other benefits include detangling, shininess, and frizz reduction.
2. Regular Trimming
Perhaps you grew up thinking that split ends were the only sign to look out for. However, split ends indicate that you’ve waited too long. Trimming your hair is an essential grooming process to keep your hair’s appearance and overall wellness. It can benefit your hair in endless ways.
B. Hydration and Nutrition for Hair Health
If you are facing hair loss that isn’t caused by any other reason, be concerned about your nutrition and hydration levels. Maintaining proper levels is crucial for hair health and boosts hair growth. Dehydration is when your body lacks water levels in its system. Iit requires sufficient water intake to keep it out. We recommend taking proper nutrients and drinking plenty of water to maintain healthy hair growth.
C. Avoiding Heat Styling and Harsh Chemical Treatments
Avoid products containing harmful sulfates, silicones, and parabens, as all these make your hair dry and frizzy. Additionally, using a heat protection product before blow-drying and styling hair using any other heat tool is necessary to protect your hair from harm.
Yet we have so many summer lovers and plenty to do. Do not let the sun’s rays limit your fun. Don’t forget to protect your hair when you next go out in the sunlight. Although these suggestions offer general guidelines, specific hair types, and conditions may require specific approaches. Talk to a dermatologist or a hair-care professional at Aarna Clinic in Bangalore to ensure healthy, natural hair.