Sun Protection 101

It’s summertime and the living is easy: We’re talking beach weekends, pool parties, camping trips, afternoon hikes…

But all that fun in the sun can wreak havoc on your hair and scalp: Not only is your scalp at risk of sunburn, but UVA/UVB rays can weaken and dry out hair. If your hair is colored or chemically treated, the sun can cause hair color to fade, dull or take on a reddish hue, too. Yikes!

Celebrity dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman explains, “The hair on the top of the head has more exposure to the sun, heating tools and also being pulled and touched more than some other hairs. With the sun, it shields the hair below absorbing all the UVA/UVB rays. It damages the cuticle, allowing harmful rays and heat to penetrate deeper.”

She adds, “Your scalp contains many sebaceous glands, which produce oil, or sebum, that protects hair. Because of the abundance of sebaceous glands, it's important to protect your scalp. Even with hair, your scalp is at risk of burning and later peeling.”

Protecting your hair and scalp from the sun is easy, though. Here are a couple of no-brainers:

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Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
Apply sunscreen to your scalp “at least 30 minutes before sun exposure,” Dr. Engleman recommends. Look for a spray or powder for easy application, and make sure it provides UVA/UVB protection. Try waterproof, non-greasy Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray or Aveda Suncare Protective Hair Veil, which forms and invisible screen to protect hair from damage. Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Mineral SPF 45 is a transparent powder you can easily brush into your scalp, paying close attention to your part.  

Make Hats and Accessories Your Friends

Invest in good summer hair accessories like hats and scarfs. When it comes to hats a wide-brimmed style will give you the most protection, but there are plenty of great options for summer 2018: Check out this bandana-trimmed straw number from Madewell, an easy-breezy Siggi cotton flap cap hat and Rag & Bone’s smartly striped baseball cap.

As for scarfs, use your favorite one as a head wrap. If you need inspiration, look to Instagram for ways to twist and tie to your heart’s content. Pairing beachy waves with a wide headband is a great choice: You can offset a black or white suit with a pop of tropical color, go athletic to pair with your sporty new one-piece, or keep things fancy if you’re a heels-at-the-pool type of girl.

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Your Style is a Form of Protection, Too

While we love parted hairstyles, when you’re out in the sun they are not the best option for protecting your scalp. Insead go for classic pulled back styles like a ponytail, bun, or braid. Double down by protecting you scalp and strands with our Smooth Hair Oil - apply from root to tip, then twist your hair up in a unparted chignon, pony, two-tiered pony or top knot. It’ll act as a hot oil treatment as the sun warms your hair, and your scalp will be totally covered.

After-Care is Key

Be nice to your hair after a long day under the sun. Treat your strands with our Repair Treatment Masque that has: bamboo stem cells to strengthen, smart keratin to reinforce and protect, argan oil to add moisture and prickly pear oil to shield from free-radicals .