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Although overexposure to the sun cannot give your hair cancer, long-term exposure to the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays can damage the hair cuticles. After summer, you'll need to ramp up your hair care routine to revamp your locks. Learn how below.
Cases of skin cancer have increased every year for the last 30 years in the United States and although more and more people are now aware of the potential risks of too much sun exposure to their skin, very few people are aware of the potential risks to their hair.
When the skin is exposed to too much sun, it might burn and turn red and in severe cases, will blister. When hair is damaged, however, the effects are a little less obvious.
Your hair might appear frizzy or dry but this doesn't tell the whole story. Hair that has been exposed to too much sun will be brittle, weak and dry and will make it much, much more susceptible to split ends.
The heat of the sun and the damaging UVA and UVB rays effectively dehydrate hair, stripping it of some of its natural oils and moisture, which is what turns soft, supple and lustrous locks into a frizzy, dry and unmanageable mane. UVA and UVB rays damage the cortex of each hair follicle, in turn damaging the cells inside the cortex that provide hair with its elasticity and strength.
Sun Damaged Hair Can Even Change Color
The American Academy of Dermatology explains that unprotected and untreated brunette hair can turn reddish when it has been exposed to too much sunlight, while chemically treated or bleached hair can develop a yellowish tint.
Most hair colors can turn dull when exposed to too much sunlight and this is due to the UVA rays that destroy the color pigments. People with chemically treated or bleached hair are also much more likely to experience sun damage than those with untreated hair.
It Can Damage Your Scalp, Too
Overexposure to the sun can not only dehydrate the hair but also seriously damage your scalp. If you're fair-skinned, red-haired or freckly, you'll be more susceptible to sunburn and you'll be more likely to experience sunburn on your scalp - yes, your scalp!
Your scalp is just another part of your skin and it can burn even through the protective layer of hair sitting over the top of it. Rubbing sunscreen into the roots of your hair and onto your scalp is one solution, but although it will protect your scalp, it won't protect the rest of your hair.
Prevention is Key
Protecting your hair whilst you're out in the sun is key to preventing summer hair damage. All of the usual tips, including covering your hair with a wide-brimmed hat, staying out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day when the UV rays are strongest and spritzing hair with an SPF treatment before going into the sun can all go a long way in keeping hair soft and supple. But to truly revamp dry summer hair, you need to completely overhaul your hair care routine.
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