The absolute best way to protect your hair from sun damage is to avoid exposing your hair to UVA/UVB rays in the first place.
UV radiation is present in sunlight, and constitutes about 10% of the total electromagnetic radiation output from the Sun.
It's also produced by electric arcs and specialized lights, such as mercury-vapor lamps, tanning lamps, and black lights.
If your hair is already damaged, chemically treated (bleach, hair color, relaxed, straightened, permed) or naturally dry to very dry, it's advisable to avoid exposing hair to the sun.
Or exposing hair to UVA/UVB rays without a protective head covering such as hats, scarves or similar.
When it's not feasible to just keep hair out of the sun, consider taking the following steps to protect your hair from sun damage:
1. Before exposing hair to UVA/UVB rays wet wash pre-detangled hair in lukewarm water. Douse hair completely with water before applying a super hydrating shampoo, no poo, lo poo or diluted formula.
Note: If you prefer you can dilute 1/8th teaspoon of moisturizing cleanser in a clean 1 quart bottle of lukewarm water shaken to form a suds). Or you can wet wash using a rinse out conditioner.
2. Drizzle hair with desired hydrating rinse-out shampoo or cleanser directly onto the roots. Allow the suds to gently flow down towards the ends of the hair. Gently pat the suds into wet strands.
Don't rub, scrub or pile hair on top of your head. Treat hair like antique lace.
3. Rinse hair completely with lukewarm water.
4. Gently accordion squeeze your hair to remove excess water before applying a moisturizing rinse-out conditioner.
5. Apply super hydrating rinse-out conditioner a few inches from the roots (unless you believe your roots need additional hydration).
6. While hair has hydrating conditioner applied, use a wide tooth comb with smooth teeth and gently detangle from the ends up to the roots. Work around the head in small sections of hair.
7. Once hair has been completely detangled rinse well with clear water.
8. Gently accordion squeeze your hair again to remove excess water.
9. Perform a finish rinse with cool/cold water to seal in moisture and close the cuticle.
10. Do a final accordion squeeze before blotting away excess moisture with a clean 100% all cotton cloth or microfiber towel.
11. Apply a leave-in conditioning cocktail including, but not limited to a leave-in conditioner, styling product and a heat protection cream or spray which should be applied as the last step.
12. If you plan on immediately going into the sun, consider allowing hair to air dry using the heat of the sun. To protect it you may wish to loosely braid hair or arrange hair into a loose top knot or bun.
13. When you prefer not to go outside in wet hair and prefer to dry it first, consider drying hair with a blow dryer set on the lowest and coolest settings to prevent heat damage.
Even better, sit under a hood or bonnet dryer set on a low, cool setting.
Additionally, consider taking the following steps to protect your hair from sun damage:
UVA/UVB rays can be very damaging to hair breaking down the cuticle resulting in dry, brittle, damaged, frizzy and dehydrated strands.
During periods of time when your hair will be exposed to the sun consider wet washing your hair less often to minimize wear and tear.
Remember to never wash hair in hot water and limit use of hot drying and styling tools.
The sun can also dry out the scalp. Besides protecting your strands from the dehydration and damage the UV rays can do, be sure to protect your scalp as well.
You may want to apply a light protection spray directly to your scalp.
Or you may want to amp up your use of deep conditioners to keep hair tip top.
Make sure to keep your ends trimmed to prevent splits, rips and breakage. Hydrate from the inside out, but amping up your daily consumption of water.Besides protecting your hair and scalp don't forget to keep your eyes shaded properly. Long term exposure to the sun can cause long term eye damage. When in doubt always follow tips for the absolute best way to protect hair from sun damage.
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