Does your hair need protection too? Here’s why UV filters are all the rage in haircare
Your hair is just as in danger of UV damage as your skin — and needs protection too. Here’s everything you need to know about UV filters in haircare
SPF is likely already a non-negotiable in your skincare regimen, but have you stopped to think about what happens north of your eyebrows?
Yes, your hair can get damaged from the sun’s harmful UV — ultraviolet — rays, just like your skin. While lying out and catching some vitamin D might seem tempting, the sun can wreak havoc on your strands if they’re not protected.
Dry, brittle locks and a change in texture are just some of the casualties that hairdressers see every summer. For those with coloured hair, the sun can also shift the hue. On brunettes, the sun can bring unwanted warmth to the hair while blondes risk having their colour fade rapidly.
While the best protection is, obviously, wearing a hat, there are likely to be times when that is not an option.
Enter: the new genre of innovative hair care products that offer UV filters in order to protect locks from the damaging effects of the sun.
New York-based Irish hairstylist Jen DeBarra offered some helpful ways to incorporate extra protection into your styling routine.
“Sunlight breaks down the protective outer layer of our hair: the cuticle,” Jen explained. “This leads to protein loss and colour fade. The sun also zaps moisture from our hair leaving it dry, frizzy and weak.”
The Kerry-native, who has lived in New York tending to tresses for a decade, personally prefers to use a priming spray that offers UV protection. She’ll apply this cult-favourite from Bumble & bumble after every shampoo, as she “loves products that multi-task”.
Jen maintained that utilising hair products enriched with UV filter technology – whether you look to a sunscreen, oil or leave-in conditioner – will help protect your colour, moisture levels and scalp from harmful rays.
She also recommended to ‘slick back’ hair to prevent sunburn on your parting or to use a sunscreen on any area of thinning hair.
Jen’s top three tips for summer-proofing hair:
- Chlorine and saltwater wreak havoc with our tresses. Coat hair with a leave-in conditioner or freshwater before swimming; it won’t absorb as many pool chemicals or salt water if you do this. Rinse with fresh water, as soon as possible after swimming.
- Opt for leave-in creams/gels/sprays that contain UV filters. These products will help with styling whilst offering protection against colour fade and dehydration caused by the sun. Skip hot tool usage where possible.
- Switch to a moisturising shampoo and conditioner in the summer months. I love to add a clarifying shampoo to my routine once a week. This removes a build-up of mineral deposits, products and environmental aggressors from the hair. I follow with a rich, hydrating mask to replenish all the lost proteins and restore moisture to my hair.