Here’s how you can save your hair from sun damage, says Dr Blossom Kochhar.
Who doesn’t love being outdoors with friends, visiting exciting places, or just chilling on the terrace. Although all this sounds fun, it can lead to heavy damage to skin and hair and tanning during the hot summer days. In such times, we take care of the tan on our skin but forget about our sun-damaged hair, only to wonder later about the dryness, brittleness and frizzy hair easily prone to breakage.
Haircare is a must
Sun damaged hair needs appropriate care, especially if you are out in the sun often or if your hair is chemically treated. The UV rays of the sun weaken your hair shaft and fade the colour of your hair; when you feel that your hair colour is turning yellowish know that your hair has been sun-damaged.
Now that we know how the sun can damage our hair too and what it will look like, let’s look at some ways to tackle and reverse this hair damage.
Oiling regularly: There is nothing that oil can’t treat. Mix olive and coconut oils together, apply it thoroughly into your hair and give yourself a nice champi. Since your hair is already damaged, avoid giving them steam after oiling. Keep the oil for at least 1-2 hours, and then rinse it off. If you want to blow dry your hair, go for cold air rather than hot.
Using a protective shampoo: Like we layer our skin with sunscreen to protect it from UV rays, similarly we need to have a protective layer for our hair before stepping out in the sun. No, I am not asking you to apply a cream but washing your hair with a UV-protective shampoo and conditioner. This will form a protective layer around the hair shaft and help tame the damage. Look for shampoos containing UV, which will protect your hair from both UVA and UVB rays. You can also look for shampoos that have oils like coconut, olive, or argan oil in them. Those with oily hair might have to avoid oil-based shampoos, and instead use moisture boost shampoos and conditioners.
Visiting a salon: Remember, a visit to your salon will definitely help if the damage is immense. You can trim the damaged tresses, if they are making your hair look limp and brittle. After your trim take a good hair spa and let your hairdresser use UV protection creams, to provide nourishment and infuse life into your hair.
Applying hair mask: Looking for an effective and nourishing hair mask that you can make at home? This is the one you should try. Mix one banana with 1 tsp of cream, and a quarter teaspoon of castor oil. Apply it all over your hair and scalp, keep it on for 30 mins and rinse it off thoroughly. It might take 1-2 washes for the banana to completely leave your hair strands, but it’s the best nourishing hair pack you can easily prepare at home.
Now, let’s list down things you must absolutely do to avoid further damage to your hair.
Wearing a hat / scarf: When stepping out in the sun, cover your hair with a hat or scarf. These accessories protect your hair and look trendy too.
Using a silk pillowcase: When your hair becomes brittle and breaks too much, use a silk pillowcase rather than a cotton one. This will reduce breakage and leave your hair silky in the morning.
Massaging your scalp: Dedicate at least five minutes in the day to massage your scalp. This help to increase the blood circulation and initiate hair growth. You can do it with a light oil or with no oil.
Avoid using heating tools: I can’t stress more on not using heating tools when your hair is sun-damaged. Your hair has already been exposed to heat so you don’t want to further add to that. There are other ways to style your hair, like braiding, or tying them in a bun, and later opening the bun to get natural curls.