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?
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
– Ethyl cinnamate
– Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (octyl methoxycinnamate)
– Octoxynol-40, -20
– Octyl methoxycinnamate
– Octyl Salicylate
– 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.
Thank you for the clarification, Tiffany!
Thank you so much for giving me an answer to this Tiffany (& Nik). I thought I was getting sold wolf tickets by Fantasia's IC products because I use a few and they almost all say sunscreen so I just wanted to know what the "sunscreen" actually was. I live in California so it's pretty sunny here for the most part. I'll keep up with those products along with my shea & I should be good for summer.
While ingredients like shea butter, sesame oil, etc. do contain some natural sunscreen agents, they are usually not strong enough to provide adequate protection from the sun on their own. Because of their low SPF properties, you should be cautious about depending on them solely for protection against the sun’s rays.
I really needed this info, I live in Florida. Thanks Tiffany.
Yes I was about to post the same question! According to one website “Shea butter provides natural UV sun protection.” Thanks again Tiffany! I had no idea.
^^ I was wondering the same exact thing.
what about hair butters and oils for those of us who like to dabble in homemade products? shea butter, biberry, and sesame oil are reputed to be a natural sunscreens.