Sun, sea, and sand - the perfect ingredients for a summer escape. While basking in the warm sun can be rejuvenating, it may cause more harm than good to your luscious locks. Sun damage can leave hair dry, brittle, and dull, removing the shine and smoothness you once had. But fear not! In this guide, we will explore how to restore your hair's health using Aveda products and some of our other favorites, so you can enjoy sun-kissed days without compromising your hair's vitality.
What is Sun Damage?
Sun damage occurs when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate the hair shaft, breaking down the hair's structure and weakening its natural protective barrier. Two types of UV rays can cause harm to your hair:
UVA rays penetrate deep into the hair shaft, damaging the cortex (the inner part of the hair). UVA rays can cause structural damage and fade your hair color, making it look dull and lifeless.
UVB Rays: These rays primarily affect the outer layer of the hair, known as the cuticle. UVB rays can cause the cuticle to lift, creating an uneven and porous surface. This results in hair being more prone to breakage, frizz, and tangling.
How Does Sun Damage Affect Your Hair?
When the sun's UV rays damage the hair, it can lead to various problems. Here are some of the most common effects of sun-damaged hair:
Dryness: Damaged hair cuticles can no longer retain moisture effectively, leading to dry and brittle strands.
Frizz: As the hair's cuticle lifts and becomes uneven, the hair can become more susceptible to humidity and frizz.
Breakage: Weakened hair is more prone to breakage and split ends, making it difficult to manage and style.
Color fading: The sun's rays can break down the pigments in your hair, causing your color to fade, whether it's your natural color or chemically treated hair.
Loss of shine: A healthy hair cuticle lays flat and reflects light, giving your hair a shiny appearance. Sun damage disrupts this natural structure, making your hair dull and lackluster.
Identifying Signs of Sun-Damaged Hair
If you're worried that your hair may be sun damaged, look for the following signs:
Dry and brittle texture: If your hair feels dry to the touch and easily snaps or breaks, it may be sun damaged.
Frizz and unmanageability: Sun-damaged hair often becomes challenging to manage, with increased frizz and tangles.
Split ends: If you notice an increase in split ends, this could be a sign that your hair has been weakened by the sun.
Faded color: If your hair color appears dull or has noticeably faded, this may result from sun damage.
Lack of shine: Sun-damaged hair often loses its natural shine, making it appear dull and lifeless.
Protect Your Hair Before Exposure
Use a UV-protective hair product: Just like you protect your skin with sunscreen, you can use products specifically designed to shield your hair from the sun's UV rays. These products usually come in sprays, creams, or oils that you apply before sun exposure.
Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil: This lightweight, water-resistant spray creates an invisible shield to protect your hair from sun damage. It contains UVA and UVB filters and a blend of organic oils and antioxidants that help nourish and condition your hair.
Wear hats and scarves: A physical barrier like a wide-brimmed hat or a scarf can protect against the sun's harmful rays. They shield your hair and protect your scalp and face from sun damage.
I personally love this wide-brimmed hat from Furtalk.
Opt for Gentler Hair Care Routines
Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo: Harsh shampoos can strip your hair of its natural oils, making it more susceptible to sun damage. Opt for a mild, sulfate-free shampoo that cleanses without compromising your hair's natural moisture balance.
Aveda Damage Remedy™ Restructuring Shampoo: This gentle shampoo helps to repair damaged hair while protecting it from further environmental damage. It contains quinoa protein to strengthen and repair and plant-derived cleansers that gently cleanse without stripping your hair.
Use a nourishing conditioner: A hydrating and nourishing conditioner can help to restore moisture to sun-damaged hair, making it more resilient against the sun's harmful rays.
Aveda Damage Remedy™ Restructuring Conditioner: This conditioner is formulated with quinoa protein, organic plant oils, and essential fatty acids to help repair and strengthen damaged hair while providing deep hydration.
Maintain a Healthy Diet for Stronger Hair
Your diet plays a crucial role in your hair's health. By consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats, you can strengthen your hair from within, making it more resistant to sun damage.
Protein: Hair is primarily made up of protein, so include lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts to promote hair growth and strength.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These healthy fats help to nourish and protect your hair. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. I utilize these fish oil supplements to make sure I get enough.
Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins A, C, and E, along with biotin and zinc, are essential for maintaining healthy hair. Ensure you consume a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to get these nutrients.
Deep Conditioning Treatments
Sun-damaged hair often lacks moisture, making it dry and brittle. Deep conditioning treatments can help replenish lost moisture and repair damaged hair.
Aveda Damage Remedy™ Intensive Restructuring Treatment: This intensive treatment is designed to repair and strengthen damaged hair. It contains quinoa protein to help fortify the hair, along with plant-derived oils and conditioners to provide deep hydration. Use this treatment dailyh for the best results.
Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector This at-home treatment works by rebuilding the broken disulfide bonds in your hair, which can be damaged by sun exposure. Use it weekly to strengthen and repair your hair from within.
Hair Masks for Hydration and Nourishment
Hair masks can provide an extra boost of hydration and nourishment to sun-damaged hair, helping to restore its natural softness and shine.
Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask (Amazon): This deep-conditioning hair mask is infused with argan oil, known for its nourishing and hydrating properties. It can help to repair sun-damaged hair, restore shine, and improve elasticity.
Harnessing the Power of Hair Oils
Hair oils can work wonders for sun-damaged hair, providing nourishment, hydration, and protection from further damage.
Aveda Dry Remedy™ Daily Moisturizing Oil: This lightweight hair oil contains buriti oil, which is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants. It helps to moisturize and nourish sun-damaged hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and manageable.
This versatile hair treatment is infused with argan oil, which can help to repair sun-damaged hair, reduce frizz, and add shine. Apply a small amount to damp or dry hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.
Trimming Damaged Ends Regularly
Getting regular trims can help to remove split ends and prevent further damage. Aim to trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to keep it looking healthy and robust.
Temporary Color Correction
If your hair color has faded due to sun damage, you can use color-correcting products to restore its vibrancy temporarily.
Aveda Full Spectrum™ Hair Color: This professional hair color system is formulated with plant-derived ingredients and provides long-lasting, vibrant results. Consult your Belt Salon hairstylist for the best color options to refresh your sun-damaged hair.
Professional Salon Treatments
If your sun-damaged hair requires more intensive care, consider consulting a Belt Salon hairstylist. They can recommend specialized treatments, such as keratin treatments, bond repair treatments, or gloss treatments, tailored to your hair's specific needs and condition.
Keratin treatments: These salon treatments can help to smooth and strengthen sun-damaged hair by infusing it with keratin proteins. They can also help to reduce frizz and improve manageability.
Bond repair treatments: Professional bond repair treatments, like Olaplex, can help to rebuild the broken disulfide bonds in your hair, restoring its strength and resilience. These treatments are particularly beneficial for hair severely weakened by sun damage.
Gloss treatments: Gloss treatments can help to revive the shine and vibrancy of sun-damaged hair by sealing the hair cuticle and adding a sheer layer of color. They can be customized to match your natural or desired hair color and usually last several weeks.
Follow a Consistent Hair Care Routine
Keep using gentle, sulfate-free shampoos: Continue using gentle, sulfate-free shampoos that cleanse your hair without stripping its natural moisture. This will help to maintain your hair's health and protect it from further damage.
Condition and deep condition regularly: Don't skip conditioning your hair after every wash, and continue to use deep conditioning treatments or hair masks at least once a week. This will help to keep your hair moisturized, strong, and manageable.
Detangle gently: Use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush to remove tangles from your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up to the roots. This will minimize breakage and help to maintain your hair's health.
Protect Your Hair from Environmental Damage
Continue using UV-protective hair products: Even after treating sun-damaged hair, it's essential to protect your hair from the sun's harmful rays. Use a UV-protective hair product, like Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, before sun exposure to shield your hair.
Wear hats and scarves: Whenever you're spending time outdoors, especially during peak sun hours, wear a hat or scarf to provide an additional layer of protection for your hair.
Limit heat styling: Excessive heat styling can further damage your hair, undoing the progress made from treatments. Limit heat styling tools and opt for heatless styling methods whenever possible.
Nourish Your Hair from Within
Maintain a healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats is essential for maintaining your hair's health post-treatment. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet to provide your hair with the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy.
Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help to keep your hair hydrated and healthy. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to ensure optimal hydration.
Sun-damaged hair can be challenging, but with the right products and consistent care, you can restore your hair's health and keep it stunning all year round. By incorporating Aveda and top-rated Amazon products into your hair care routine, you can enjoy the sun without sacrificing your hair's vitality. Soak up the sun responsibly, knowing your locks are well-protected and nourished.