Friday, January 19, 2018

Care for Sun-Damaged Hair

October 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

care for hair 1

Is your hair a tangled mass of dry ends thanks to a summer spent in the sun? All it needs is the right attention to restore it.
Tresses harmed by the sun resemble hair done in by flat irons or over-processing. It’s dull, dry, and unmanageable, and usually lighter in color. It’s easy to look in the mirror and give up hope, but according to Anabel Kingsley, a hair and scalp specialist, when you give it some additional moisture and use the right products, your hair will be strong and shiny again.

care for hair 2“Sun-damaged hair is less elastic and has reduced moisture content. It is therefore often brittle and dull,” explains Kingsley, director of communications for Philip Kingsley and a Philip Kingsley trichologist. “As such, the best treatments are those that restore strength, shine, and hydration to strands.”

Weekly pre-shampoo conditioners left on the hair long enough (from 20 minutes to overnight) to penetrate effectively work well; Kingsley recommends the PK Elasticizer. Moist heat helps to maximize a treatment’s benefit, so use them under a steamer at your salon, apply them before going to a sauna, or wrap a moist, warm towel around your head or wear a shower cap when using the product at home.

Be cautious about brushing sun-damaged hair, Kingsley cautions. “Excessive sun exposure can raise and damage the hair cuticle, causing hairs to interlock and tangle very easily. Brushing through tangles can cause further breakage.” A moisturizing detangling spray with UV filters, such as PK Daily Damage Defence, closes the cuticle. This allows hairs to be separated easily, lessening the problem of knots and preventing further harm.

Spending time on the water is hard on hair, as the sun’s rays not only do harm from above, but also as they reflect back from the water. On top of that, the wind creates tangles that may cause breakage if they are improperly brushed out. If the hair is thin or otherwise fragile, its weakness makes it further prone to issues, so sun-loving boaters must protect their hair from the first exposure each season.

“As soon as your hair is exposed to the sun, its protein structure starts to change,” says Kingsley. “These changes weaken the hair, and the more your hair is exposed, the more severe this damage is. One day on a boat is not going to ruin your hair, but it can still be drying. If you add all the summer elements together — UV rays, salt water, and wind — a week of boating could leave your hair in quite bad condition. If your hair is already in bad condition, this could occur faster.”

The things we do to hair to make it more attractive may make it more vulnerable, adds Kingsley, noting that, “hair that is bleached, colored, or has been weathered by styling, will be less elastic. As UV rays further decrease elasticity, damaged hair will split and break much more easily than healthy hair when it’s exposed to the sun.

“This also applies to hair that is below shoulder length. As the ends have been there for some time, they will already be weaker. Fine hair may also be more vulnerable to sun damage than coarse hair. Due to the smaller surface area of fine hair, its protein structure can degrade at a faster rate.”

How can boaters protect their hair? Start with a tightly woven hat with a wide brim that prevents UV rays from hitting your strands and scalp. Seeking the shady side of the boat or hanging out in the cabin when the sun is at its highest also helps, but if you’re determined to be on deck or go swimming, there are products that can protect your strands when physical barriers aren’t possible.

Leave-in conditioners and hydrating, water-resistant UV protective creams help resist harmful rays and the effects of salt water as well. Kingsley says, “We make Swimcap Cream; it was originally formulated for the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swimming Team. It guards the hair from environmental damage, whilst giving it a moisturizing treatment at the same time.”

Don’t forget about your scalp when you’re boating. It is susceptible to burn and skin cancer. “The scalp can sunburn and repeated UV exposure could lead to skin cancer. It is therefore vital to protect your part when you are in the sun,” cautions Kingsley. “If you have thinning hair, this is even more important as more of your scalp will be exposed. You can apply your regular sunblock to exposed areas, or any thick cream containing UV protection.”

By Carly Zinderman


is a freelance writer from Los Angeles who loves to try new foods. She has written for many websites on topics including travel, health, beauty, food and drink; she tries to go green whenever possible.

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