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How to Protect Your Hair from the Sun

Protect Your Hair from the Sun

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As the days turn warmer and we spend more time outside, it’s crucial to think about sun protection. But while most people slather on the sunscreen, they often forget to protect their hair from the sun! Unfortunately, the sun can be very damaging to hair, so it’s important to take extra precautions if you’re planning to be outside.

Protect Your Hair from the Sun

How UV Effects Hair

Sunlight is comprised of UV, or ultraviolet rays. Although they are invisible to the naked eye, this type of light can do major damage to your body’s cellular structure. Not only does this impact the cells in your skin, but in your hair as well!

That’s because UV lights can weaken the structure and natural proteins in your hair. This would make the strands weak and brittle. On top of that, you also need to worry about sunburns on your scalp, as it’s skin just like everywhere else on your body!

There are numerous short- and long-term side effects of staying too long in the sun. It essentially zaps out the moisture, so you may notice that your hair becomes drier and more frizz-prone. Or you may start to see more split ends. The sun can also have a bleaching effect on the hair’s color (even if you have never dyed or highlighted your hair).

Side effects of scalp sun damage include sunburn around your hairline or even burns on the scalp itself! As it heals, it can become very itchy and flakey, which are things nobody wants! So, it’s essential to protect your hair from the sun.

How to Protect Your Hair From UV Rays

Thankfully, there are ways to protect your hair against sun damage (just like you would for your skin).

Stay out of the sun

How to Protect Your Hair from the Sun

This may be an obvious tip, but you can avoid sun damage by limiting your sun exposure. Stay inside or at least avoid being directly in the sun during peak hours when rays are the strongest. And if you can, try to be under an umbrella, canopy, or somewhere in the shade.

Use sunscreen for your hair

Yes! There are sunscreens formulated especially to protect your hair from the sun. For long-lasting results, you’ll want to look for something with a high SPF rating of at least 30+. Some of them are even formulated to protect your scalp, making it a win-win product in our eyes!

Look for UV protection hair products

In addition to sunscreen, you can also level up your protection with UV protection hair products. There are lots of different products out there, some of which are marketed as heat protectants as well (for styling tools). We think sprays and serums work the best, but really anything with UV protection should do the trick and protect your hair from the sun and its damage.


Wearing a hat is one of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent sun damage to your hair, scalp, and face. Baseball hats and UV-resistant hats are great. If you prefer a straw sunhat, make sure the weave is tight to prevent the sun from leaking through.

Take a hair-strengthening supplement

Women - protect your hair from the sun damage

If you want to protect your hair from the sun but still need to spend time outside, you need to find a way to repair hair damage and reinforce your strands. Taking a daily supplement can help you achieve those luscious, long locks that you’ve been dreaming of.

Nutrafol hair growth supplements can support your hair’s growth all summer long. With five products for women and men, Nutrafol’s physician-formulated supplements are made to target everybody throughout different periods of their lives.

Opt for a bun

You can also limit the amount of sun your hair sees by wearing your hair up, ideally in a bun. While some of your hair will be exposed, most of it (along with your scalp) will be protected. Here are a few other stylish beach hairstyles you can try as well.

Avoid other damaging hair behaviors

Weak hair is prone to breakage and damage. By limiting harmful hair habits, you can make sure your strands are in tip-top shape for a day out in the sun. For example, you should be using a sulfate-free shampoo and a hydrating conditioner. It’s also a good idea to avoid wet brushing and to limit overexposure to heat-styling products.

Stay hydrated

This is something you should be doing anyway during warmer weather! But since water keeps your hair hydrated, it can make it more resilient to UV rays and sun damage.

How to Fix Sun-Damaged Hair

If you forgot your hat or UV-protective spray at home, don’t stress. Sun damage isn’t great for your hair, but there are some ways to help salvage things after the fact.

Use a hot oil treatment

If the sun has left your hair brittle and dry, you can try to restore the moisture using a hot oil treatment. You can go to a salon for this, or you can make a DIY at home using olive oil and liquid from vitamin E capsules.

Invest in a moisturizing hair mask

Similar to the oil treatment, a hair mask can also try to add more moisture back into your locks. Look for a protein-rich mask (to strengthen the keratin in your strands) to improve the health and appearance of your hair.

Avoid heat styling

After a long time in the sun, your hair will be even more susceptible to damage. Therefore, you don’t want to worsen the problem by using heat styling tools until your hair is healthy again.

Trim your split ends

As they always say – regular trims can keep your hair looking happy and healthy! While it won’t fix any damage, a cut can reduce frizz and even prevent further damage.

Learning how to protect your hair from the sun is the key to looking and feeling your best. So, the next time you plan to be out in the sun, remember that your hair also deserves a bit of TLC! And while we’re on the topic of sun protection, don’t forget about the rest of your body. A good sunscreen (and a healthy after-sun lotion) can keep your skin healthy and hydrated.


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