How to Prevent Sun Damage to Your Hair and Scalp
Summer is in full swing, which means many of us spend our free time outdoors with friends and family. Summer vacations often include swimming or laying out by a pool or the ocean. Many of us now understand the importance of protecting our skin with sunblock, but how much do we know about shielding our hair and scalp from damaging rays? Read on to learn why it's important to safeguard our hair and scalp, and how you can protect it against sun damage.
Why It's Important to Protect the Hair
When we think about sun protection, we automatically think of the skin. Over the years, we've become more aware of the severe damages by prolonged exposure to the sun's rays. As a result, we've started reaching for the sunblock before we head outside to fight off chances of skin cancer and to ward off leathery skin. But, are you including the protection of your hair and scalp in this equation?
If you're wondering if you really do need to protect the hair and scalp, the answer is yes. While the hair is built from mostly proteins and some doctors consider it a non-living part of your body after it emerges from your scalp, it can still become severely damaged from exposure to UVA and UVB rays. The result is dry, brittle hair that snaps and breaks quickly. Couple this with frequent trips to the pool or ocean and you're accelerating the damage.
How You Can Protect Your Hair
The easiest way to protect your hair is through the use of a hat. It's not necessary to apply sunscreen to your strands. It's greasy and unnecessary. Look for a cap that covers your whole head. If you have long hair, try to wrap it up or tuck it under so they aren't exposed to the rays as well. If you can find a product that has UVA and UVB protection that will work too. Give yourself a few extra hair masks in the summer to keep the oil balance at an optimum level.
Why You Need to Protect Your Scalp
Your scalp is skin just like the rest of your body which means you shouldn't skimp on the sun protection. It can become sunburnt just like other areas of your body. Protecting the scalp is essential to keep the growth process healthy. Too much exposure to the sun and the scalp becomes dry and flaky which is not the appropriate foundation for the growth of healthy hair.
It's not enough that we have hair that covers our heads. The sun's rays can still penetrate and possibly cause cancer. If you are balding, sport a cropped cut, or part your hair you are exposing that skin directly to the sun. Too much buildup of flaky skin or buildup and prevent hair growth, so it's important to keep the skin healthy.
How You Can Protect Your Scalp
That hat we were talking about earlier should also be used to shield your scalp as long as it covers your whole head. Try to avoid things like visors, or straw hats with an open weave. If you have long hair and can pull it back, try to wear it in a bun or ponytail and sweep it back in a way that does not permit your hair to part. If this is unavoidable, you must apply sunscreen. A waterproof with a minimum SPF of 30 will work perfectly. Try to give your hair a styling break when you can to avoid adding extra heat to your scalp and consider swapping to a gentler shampoo. When you clean your hair, it's essential that you don't strip away more oils than necessary. A deep condition once a week will work wonders on both the scalp and hair combined.