Hey Ms. Nikki,

I don’t know if you or Tiffany can even answer this for me, but I thought I’d shoot it your way anyway. I’ve come across products here and there that says contains sunscreen or protects from sun damage. I’m a light haired curly natural, redhead to be exact, and I’ve always thought this California sun has done a number on my hair whether its been a change in my color or just drying it out. So my Question is…Is there any truth to the products? Is there an actual “sunscreen” for hair? If so, what is the ingredient and is it good for curls?

If you have never seen this on a product one that comes to mind is IC Leave-in Moisturizer Hair and Scalp Treatment with Aloe Complex which claims to have sunscreen in it.
Thanx for your help
T.

Tiffany:
While virtually everyone is familiar with the damage sun can do to skin, few are aware of its effects on hair.

Sunlight comes in different wavelengths, with the most familiar being the ultraviolet rays UVA and UVB (there is actually a UVC ray as well, which is the strongest ultraviolet ray and can actually be fatal, but it is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not actually reach the earth’s surface). Both UVA and UVB rays can cause damage to the hair and scalp if adequate protection is not taken.

UVA – aka, the “aging” ray. The UVA ray remains at the same strength all year round, regardless of the season; other than the UVC, this is the strongest ray and can penetrate deeply into the cortex. UVA rays can burn the cuticle of the hair, leading to porosity issues, and can damage melanin, the color pigment in our cortex responsible for our natural hair color. UVA rays can also sunburn the scalp and damage the hair follicles, leading to the risk of permanent hair loss over time.

UVB – aka, the “burning” ray. The UVB ray is the weakest strength ray and will have different strengths at different times of the year, depending on your location’s proximity to the sun. This ray can still do some substantial damage to your hair, however; in addition to drying hair out, it can cause fadage in color-treated hair without protection.

So, if you live in an area where the sun’s rays are strong, it is definitely not a bad idea to make sure your hair care products include a sunscreen or UV filter. The product ingredients you should look for on the label include:

– Benzophenone-2, ( or 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
– Benzyl salicylate
– Benzylidene camphor sulfonic acid
– Bornelone
– Ethyl cinnamate
– Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
– Octoxynol-40, -20
– Octyl methoxycinnamate
– Octyl Salicylate
– Oxybenzone
– Phenyl ketone
– PEG-25 PABA
– Polyacrylamidomethyl benzylidene camphor

And, if all else fails, there is always a hat!

For more of the lovely Tiffany, check out her website, HERE.