Why we need to talk about hair sun protection right now

Yup, your hair can burn just like your skin

OK, so I have a confession. I can be a little too relaxed when it comes to putting suncream on. I’ve got a naturally olive complexion so I get cocky and then I get burned, literally.

And, it’s happened since the day my mum handed me over the baton to look after my own sun safety and it’s not been pretty. During my time, I’ve had standard it-stings-to-take-a-shower sunburn, I’ve experienced sunburnt lips (really not fun) and last year, during a trip to Sri Lanka, my skin even blistered. Yeah, anywhere near the equator is savage when it comes to sunburn.

So, now I understand why you need to wear suncream every day – and sun protection in general – after having a burnt scalp (yup), I’m also appreciating the need for sun protection for hair, too.

When hair and scalp care brand Philip Kingsley revealed that 68% of British women admitted to not being aware that hair can burn just like the skin, I had to admit that I was one of them.

The top damaging factors to your hair during summer? Sun, sea and swimming, because these all make your hair suffer dryness, split ends, colour fade and scalp sunburn.

Anabel Kingsley, Trichologist at Philip Kingsley comments: ‘Summer holidays may be one of the greatest times of the year but sadly, they can be one of the most stressful periods for the hair. Colouring and highlighting hair, as well as increased use of hot styling tools without adequate protection, can create a perfect storm of sorts for your strands when coupled with prolonged sun exposure, salt water, chlorine and humidity – all of which can exacerbate damage. Excessive dryness of the hair, sunburn and flaking of the scalp, split ends, colour-fade and even colour-change (when chlorine turns blonde hair green) are part of the ‘Five Signs of Summer Hair Damage’.’

So, what can we do about it? ‘Instead of being left with the frustration and expense of rectifying this damage post-summer, it’s much better to use preventative measures,’ she explains. ‘I advise women to shield their hair and scalp from summer damage in a similar way to how they protect their skin. i.e. use protective sun-care products containing UV filters and moisturising agents.’

So, don’t forget your hair next time you’re thinking about protecting your skin!

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