Hair reacts negatively when overexposed to the sun. Similar case is with skin, yet we tend to shield it against UV radiation using face and body sunscreens. But why don’t we provide the right care to hair as we do this with our skin? How does sun affect hair and how to protect strands against it? What hair products, including the ones which aim to regenerate strands, should be applied during the summer? What’s nourishing hair sauna all about?
How Does Sun Affect Hair?
You’ve probably noticed that hair gets highlighted when being kept exposed to the sun for a few days. Such natural balayage looks really effective but it’s the consequence of ravaging UV radiation. How does it happen? The sun unseals hair protective layer, which is made of overlapping cuticles, and reaches cortex of hair shaft. As a consequence, this leads to water loss and melanin oxidation – a pigment constituting a natural sunscreen. This is how the dangerous free radicals, which damage the inner hair structure, are created.
Natural Colour Protects Best
The most sun-resistant are naturally dark hair since it contains the highest amount of melanin. Fair hair is a little bit worse at this, and the worst – both dyed and bleached hair. Why is that? In short, while exposing hair to colour treatment, melanin gets damaged and the synthetic pigment doesn’t deliver protection at all. Additional damages are done by water, especially when chlorinated or salty. Drops of water work like lenses that focus solar rays. Also, both chlorine and salt might irritate scalp. Therefore, in the summer hair is frequently damaged, which means that it’s dehydrated, brittle and deprived of natural shine and elasticity. This makes the hair hard to comb and style. In order to prevent such havoc, strands must be provided with protection and regeneration which can be easily accomplished by applying the right hair care products.
How to Protect Hair against the Sun?
Hair sunscreens contain UV filters and a high concentration of moisturising and nourishing substances. Also, such hair care products effectively fight back free radicals. Basically, cosmetics designed to shield hair against the sun feature ceramides, vitamins A, E and H, B5-group vitamins, sea collagen and vegetable oils.
Naturally, if you want the cosmetic to serve its purpose, it mustn’t be rinsed. For that reason, shampoos, which frequently comes with waterproof filters, don’t offer effective protection against colour loss. Therefore, after using the very shampoo, hair must be treated with either a leave-in conditioner or hair styling product that should be reapplied every few hours. In this case, especially hair mists and waterproof hair oils are highly recommended. The latter should also be found useful on the beach because they don’t only protect from the sun but also against sea salt and chlorine in a swimming pool.
Which Hair Care Products to Apply during the Summer?
Even if protected from the sun with high UV filters, strands get sensitized due to solar radiation. Hair, which external protective layer has been disturbed, needs tender and conscious care. On hot days, it’s better to wash it regularly so as to free scalp and hair from sweat as well as the residues of hair styling products. Moreover, hair must be washed after every swimming taken in either salty or chlorinated water, even a few times a day if necessary. For that reason, a shampoo used should be super gentle as well as rich in hair nourishing oils, waxes and ceramides that rebuild hair structures. Also, such a shampoo should feature substances responsible for bringing relief to irritated scalp, e.g. allantoine. After rinsing the shampoo from the hair length, it’s a good idea to follow with a strongly moisturising and regenerating conditioner. This product shouldn’t be rubbed into scalp since this practice encourages sebum secretion. Conditioner should remain on hair long enough to let it penetrate hair structures (the time is given on the packaging or leaflet). When rinsed too fast, indeed, it will facilitate combing but it won’t leave hair sufficiently regenerated. At the end, it’s a good idea to pour lukewarm water over hair – thanks to this, hair cuticle will close which makes hair look smooth and shiny.
If you happen to use a flat iron or a hair-dryer during the summer, it’s suggested spraying hair with a special heat protection product first.
Hair Regenerating Products
In order to improve condition of hair that is fatigued by the sun, you can give a try to cosmetics which work more intensively than regular conditioners. Such preparations contain highly concentrated portions of substances that rebuild dehydrated and damaged hair. Namely, such products feature strenghtening proteins, moisturising extracts, vegetable oils, ceramides and vitamins. The most popular are masks that are designed for weekly use. In short, they have to be applied to freshly washed, still wet hair or to hair and scalp (check a leaflet). It’s suggested wrapping head with foil and a towel to produce warmth. Basically, such a hair mask might be applied while bathing; in a high temperature hair cuticles rise which facilitates absorption of all the nourishing substances a particular hair mask offers.
Another effective solution is provided by ampules. These are concentrated plant extracts enriched with vitamins and minerals of incredibly potent action, which are able to rebuild hair structure and boost scalp blood flow which translates into better nourished hair follicles. In most cases, such treatments depend on rubbing an ampule into scalp. Some of them can be applied in the morning to freshly washed hair because they neither leave strands overburdened nor intensify sebum production. The selection is rather wide since you can choose among ampules, oils and liquid silk. Ampules are used in the same way as hair masks, which means that they have to be distributed along washed hair that is still wet to be rinsed after a defined time. It’s worth adding that ampules intensively moisturise hair and leave it visibly smoother. Similar case is with oils and liquid silk that additionally regenerate hair. For that reason, they are applied to fix damaged hair with split ends. Both oils and silk should be put on hair in the morning because they facilitate styling and delivering the final touch to hairdos. Their additional asset is that oils and silk protect colour of dyed hair from fading.
Nourishing Hair Sauna
After returning from summer holidays, it’s worth arranging a visit at a hairdresser’s to trim hair and expose the strands to regenerating sauna. The latter depends on coating hair with a specially made moisturising and regenerating preparation and turning on a device that emits warm steam. Thanks to this, hair cuticles rise, therefore, the active substances that a particular preparation has are able to penetrate hair easier. At the end, hair must be rinsed. The effects of the treatment are clear to notice almost immediately.