All the experts agree. Summer leaves hair in disrepair and how to protect hair from the beach, chlorine, and those pesky UVA and UVB rays.
"The swimming pool has more hair depleting chemicals than just chlorine. You'll find copper, which is the green hair culprit, as well as oxidizing agent bromide. A day at the beach is not much better.
Salty sea air and water rob hair of natural moisture leaving it dry, coarse and damaged,"
Issue #1 - Sun Damage: "Think about a fabric exposed to the sun: it fades and so will hair color," said Don Bewley, experienced hairdresser and Eufora Intl. cofounder. The sun's UVA and UVB rays fades hair color faster on persons with greater outdoor exposure, especially during the summer. Photochemical degradation of hair is the result of light radiation attacking hair proteins, the cell membrane and hair pigments. Essentially, amino acids in the cuticle are damaged creating dry, brittle hair with many fly-aways. Issue #2 - Ocean Water/Air Exposure: Moisture-depleting sea air and water can really do a number on hair, especially when combined with sunlight. Oxidation occurs when hair is exposed to water, air or sun and even moderate exposure can fade color. To define oxidation, it is anything (i.e. water, air or sun) that adds oxygen to what it contacts. Free radicals are byproducts of oxidation that can interfere with normal cell function and seriously damage cells. Issue #3 - Chlorine: Chlorine is used to kill bacteria in drinking water and pools, but keep in mind it is also used in bleach to remove pigment in color. Not only does chlorine discolor hair, it damages proteins in the cuticle. Thankfully with a few adjustments to a hair care routine, summer hair damage can be minimized. Here are a few recommendations: Recommendation #1: Use Protection Hair products that provide sun protection from UVA and UVB rays should be used year-round but during the summer it is the most critical. Multiple products offering sun protection can be layered for increased protection including leave-in conditioners, styling and finishing products. Hydration Leave-in Conditioner. Piece Works Defining Paste, Formatte Finishing Creme, Elevate Finishing Spray Recommendation #2: Detox Use a quality, nondrying chelating shampoo, often referred to as a clarifying shampoo, at least once per week and more often for avid swimmers. Chelating shampoos will remove mineral buildup and environmental pollutants. They also help prevent green hair. Choose an EDTA and sulfate-free shampoo to ensure hair is not stripped of its health and hair color. Urgent Repair Shampoo, A Detoxifying Treatment Recommendation #3: Moisturizing Treatments A moisturizing treatment or mask is crucial in keeping hair nourished and looking great. Choose a protein and nutrient rich product and don't skimp on the time. Leave it on for at least 15 minutes to ensure proper penetration of the hair shaft. Here's a tip, apply the treatment and leave it on while lounging by the pool. Urgent Repair Replenishing Treatment Recommendation #4: Antioxidants One more important summer survival must: choose products containing effective antioxidants the same way we choose foods rich with antioxidants like Vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals before damage can be done to hair. Piece Works Defining Paste About Eufora Intl. Since 1997, Eufora Intl. has used advanced botanical technology to create people and planet-friendly salon professional products that protect, preserve and promote hair health. Products provide the legendary healing benefits of Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel in an optimum quality concentration as the base for formulations. In addition, Eufora uses the most sophisticated botanical ingredients available that have been scientifically proven to benefit hair, scalp and skin, and pure essential oils to create an aromatherapy experience. provides amazing sun protection to my (now, formally) dry, porous, curly hair.
I live in Dallas and am an avid fan of being out in the sun.
I used olive oil and other products to protect my hair under my hat, but even after 2 hours of playtime, my curly hair was fried, lost its bounce, and lost its dark brown luster.
Serious damage! Enter the RF Sun Fluid, from the first application my hair felt smoother and moisturized.
I have used it for many years now, and I must say that it appears to be protecting my hair from the sun. Within this week, my hair no longer breaks off, and retains its shine and bounce. If this product can protect my fragile hair from the sun, it definitely delivers on what it promises.
This water-resistant fluid with Hair Protection Factor KPF 90, an Innovation of Rene Furterer Laboratories, ensures very high hair protections against UV radiation, sea and swimming pool water. The formula guarantees 90% protection of hair keratin. It is non-oily and is enriched with sesame oil to prevent hair dehydration and provide softness without a weighing down effect.
Spray all over hair. Apply only once. Keep away from eyes.
Water, Cyclomethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, C14-22 Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylparaben, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Sesame Seed Oil, Sodium Hydroxide.
The Bad: Pre-Tanning Does Not Offer Protection From Overexposure
Many tanning bed users mistakenly believe once they have achieved totally tanned skin they are protected when outside in the sun. This is a common myth.
A tanned body usually has a natural SPF of between 2 and 4.
Compared to sun protection products which offer SPFs of 15, 30 or higher, going pale faced on the beach with a great SPF offers more sun protection that long tanning bed sessions.
Sun and skin care experts recommend that even pre-tanned Sun worshippers add additional SPF formulas to their skin.
Vitamin D Benefit Myths
One benefit of cosmetic tanning is thought to be an increased production of vitamin D.
While vitamin D has some very important benefits most tanning beds use bulbs with the same UVB relative to UVA rays as the Sun which produces the same level of vitamin D as if you were outside.
Which means using a tanning bed to get vitamin D is probably not worth the increased risks from the tanning bed.
In fact, many health experts suggest if you're worried about getting enough vitamin D on a daily basis that you amp up foods naturally flush with D or take supplements.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Benefits Of Tanning Beds?
The jury's still out on the benefits of tanning beds for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It's plausible the benefits many SAD patients experience are tied to tanning causing them to feel good in general, rather than specifically treating the SAD.
The Ugly: Adverse Effects On Health, Advanced Skin Aging, Cancer Risks
The World Health Organization (WHO) has formally come out against the use of UV tanning devices (beds or booths) because of the adverse effects on human health due to overexposure to UV radiation.
The WHO lists the following health issues known to occur as the result of overexposure:
In July 2009, the IARC, a WHO agency released a report that placed tanning beds in its highest cancer risk category, “carcinogenic to humans.” The agency previously classified tanning beds as “probably carcinogenic.”
The change comes after an analysis of more than 20 epidemiological studies indicating that people who begin using tanning devices before age 30 are 75% more likely to develop melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer.
Higher Risk Of All Types Of Skin Cancer
Tanning beds substantially raise risks of skin cancer, including melanoma.
Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation is known to cause skin cancer.
Frequent tanning bed use triples the risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
There is also scientific evidence demonstrating each of the three main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma, is caused by UV exposure. Women who visited a tanning parlor at least once a month were 55% more likely to later develop melanoma than women who didn't artificially suntan.
A 2009 Associated Press article stated, "International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas."
US Public Health Service Reports On UV Radiation
The US Public Health Service states that UV radiation, including the use of sun lamps and sun beds are "known to be a human carcinogen." It further states that the risk of developing cancer in the years after exposure is greatest in people under 30 years old.
A report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggested in 2005 that policymakers should consider enacting measures, such as prohibiting minors and discouraging young adults from using indoor tanning facilities.
Studies have shown that melanoma and related carcinomas among young women are rapidly on the rise. In fact, in the last 30 years, melanoma diagnoses have increased by nearly 50 percent.
Of course melanoma gets the big headlines because it is so deadly. However, doctors believe squamous and basal cell carcinomas directly linked to indoor tanning. While they are far more common than melanoma and are less likely to kill they can still require major surgery and scars.
Multation Types Between UVA And UVB
The mutation types generally differ between UVA and UVB light. Mutant cells may die, or become cancerous, depending on which genes were mutated.
Young women who used sun lamps for tanning while in their 20s had the largest increase in subsequent cancer risk – about 150% higher than similar women who did not use tanning beds. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation induces at least two common genetic mutations. Those include cyclobutane–pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and 6–4 photoproducts (6–4PPs) and their Dewar valence isomers.
While DNA repair enzymes can fix some mutations, they are not sufficiently effective, as demonstrated by the relation to cancer, aging and other types of persistent mutation and cell death. For example, squamous cell carcinoma (a type of skin cancer) is caused by a UVB induced mutation in the p53 gene.
UVA Light Associated With Increased Skin Aging And Wrinkling
UVA light specifically (sometimes called 'bronzing light') is clearly associated with increased skin aging and wrinkle production. This is because UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, and therefore causes damage on a deeper level.
Most aging of skin is due to UVA rays destroying collagen and connective tissue beneath the superficial layer of the skin. UVB rays do not reach as far below the skin.
Public Awareness Of Inside Tanning Risks Are Lagging
It's a common misconception that tanning beds are a safe way to get color. The truth is that they'll expose you to very harmful and carcinogenic levels of radiation, which are known to cause cancers that can be fatal.
Although there is mounting evidence of tanning dangers in young people, one study conducted amongst a college student population found that awareness of the risks of tanning beds did not deter students from using them.
Why? The indoor tanning industry aggressively promotes the use of tanning beds as a safe way to avoid burning, to look great and to get vitamin D which has proven to be a myth.
The good news is that any cumulative harm from tanning definitely will diminish over time. Experts point out there no way to reverse any damage which has already occurred but quitting cold turkey will minimize ongoing or future health risks.
"Tanning is the body's way of showing damage--skin darkens from UV exposure because the body adds pigment in response to tissue injury," says David E. Fisher, M.D., chairman of the dermatology department and professor at Harvard's Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
"Many people believe that a tan is natural and healthy and a sunburn is the sign of sun overexposure. Actually, all forms of tanning, with or without burns, are dangerous."
The best advice is to learn to love the skin you're in so you don't have to amp up it's glow with sun or dangerous articifical tanning devices.
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- Revised Date: 05/22/10
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