Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
5 Great Reasons You Need Sun Protection for Hair and Scalp Care
By Jacqueline Samaroo
We usually think of sunscreen and its SPF action as only offering protection to our skin. But, did you know your hair needs protection from the Sun’s damaging UV rays, too? Yes, it does! The good news is that there are plenty of products that offer sun protection for hair and scalp care.
Never, heard of sunscreen for hair? No worries! Chances are you have already used a few products that include sun protection for hair in their formulas. We’ll cover how these products work, as well as why your hair, not just your skin needs sun protection.
And, stay tuned… we’ll have a roundup of some products with the best sun protection for hair and scalp in an upcoming post.
Want to find out how sunlight helps your skin make the vitamin D you need for healthy hair growth? Read Vitamin D for Hair Growth – 3 Incredible Benefits.
And, for some vitamin D recipe ideas that include really delicious foods, read 8 Yummy Recipes with Vitamin D Foods for Hair Growth.
How does sunscreen work?
The UV rays in sunlight come in two forms: UVA and UVB. Both have been shown to be damaging to the skin, causing cancer and premature aging of the skin. UVB rays, however, are thought to be far more damaging. UVA and UVB rays damage the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair, too. Products that offer the best sun protection for hair will protect against both.
Products with sun protection for skin and hair actually do two things.
- They block UVA and UVB rays from entering the skin. They do this by reflecting these sun rays away from you. Common compounds in sunscreen that perform this blocking by reflection action are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- They have ingredients that absorb UVA and UVB radiation. These complex chemicals absorb the rays before they get the chance to enter your skin. They then release the energy they absorb from these rays as heat.
Here are a few more of our articles that look at hair damage:
- Can Heat Damaged Hair Be Repaired? Here Are 15 Awesome Tips
- 4 Easy Hair Strand Tests for Damaged Hair + 2 More Ways to Test If Your Hair Is Damaged
- The Top 10 (Fixable) Things That Damage Natural Hair
- 7 Ways to Prevent Heat Damage to Natural Hair
How does the SPF factor into it?
The sun protection factor, SPF, of sunscreen is often mistaken as representing its strength. It is actually a measure of how long the UVB rays (the main culprits) take to cause sunburn when compared to how quickly your skin would burn if you weren’t wearing sunscreen.
That means it will take 15 times longer for your skin to burn if you use a sun protection product with SPF 15. Wow!
5 Benefits of the best sun protection for hair and scalp
The benefits of using products with sun protection on your hair and skin apply to all skin and hair types. Here are five of them.
1. It prevents loss of moisture.
Sun protection products form a barrier, preventing moisture loss. Moisture retention within the strands is vital for keeping dryness and brittleness at bay – both of which can lead to excessive breakage.
2. It helps maintain the strength of your strands.
UV rays damage the cuticle of the hair. Along with leading to moisture loss this also causes weakening of the inner cortex of the strands.
3. It protects your hair color.
Whether your hair is color-treated or not, you will find that sun exposure leads to your hair color becoming lackluster. By blocking and absorbing UV rays, products with sun protection for hair help to maintain the brilliance of your hair color.
4. It slows premature aging of scalp skin.
Photoaging is the name given to the way the radiation from sunlight causes your skin to age. As pointed out in a 2014 study, “UV causes inflammation, immune changes, physical changes, impaired wound healing and DNA damage“, causing your skin to age. Sun protection against both forms of UV rays helps to stop this damaging and aging effect.
5. It reduces the risk of skin cancer.
Its work at preventing skin cancer is perhaps the most well-known benefit of using sunscreen. Since your scalp is skin, it is very important that you give it sun protection, too.
Do you have a favorite product with sunscreen for hair? Tell us what you love about it!