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How to Protect Hair From Sun Damage: Best Tips for Sun-Proof Locks (2024)

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how to protect hair from sun damageTo protect your hair from sun damage, start by wearing a sun hat or a UV-protective scarf. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to your scalp and hair, reapplying every two hours or after swimming.

Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and steer clear of harsh chemicals and heat styling tools. Once a week, use a hydrating hair mask with ingredients like shea butter or argan oil.

Limit sun exposure during peak hours (10 AM – 4 PM) and get regular trims every 6-8 weeks to remove split ends. Stick around to find more tips on keeping your locks sun-proof!

Key Takeaways

  • Shield your hair with a hat or scarf, like a superhero cape for your locks!
  • Treat your scalp and hair to sunscreen, just like you would your skin.
  • Spoil your hair with a hydrating mask, like a luxurious spa day for your strands.
  • Give your hair a fresh start with regular trims, snipping away any sun-damaged ends.

How to Protect Hair From Sun Damage?

To protect hair from sun damage, wear a hat or scarf and use sunscreen on your scalp and hair. Also, wash gently with sulfate-free shampoo and use a hydrating hair mask.

Wear a Hat or Scarf

Wear a Hat or Scarf
When you’re out in the sun, wearing a hat or scarf is your best bet for protecting your hair. Opt for sun hats or wide-brimmed hats to shield your locks from UV rays effectively.

If hats aren’t your style, fashionable scarfs offer excellent protection. Look for UV-protective headwear for additional defense. By choosing a hat with SPF, you guard against harmful UV rays and keep your scalp and hair in top condition.

Don’t let the sun steal your shine—cover up!

Use a Sunscreen on Your Scalp and Hair

Use a Sunscreen on Your Scalp and Hair
Apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to your scalp and hair to shield them from harmful UV rays. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating to achieve continuous protection.

Look for Sunscreens With SPF 30 or Higher

To shield your hair and scalp from sun damage, choose sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher. These products often contain UV filters like zinc oxide, which help protect against UVB rays that degrade hair proteins and cause color fading.

Look for options designed specifically for hair, such as spray or powder sunscreen, to cover your strands without the greasy feel. These SPF products act as a shield against harmful rays that lift your hair cuticle and affect hair dye.

Proper protection prevents issues like scalp sunburn and keeps your hair healthy during sunny days.

Reapply Sunscreen Every 2 Hours or After Swimming or Sweating

To keep your hair protected, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Hair sunscreen forms a barrier against UV rays but loses effectiveness with water and sweat. Here’s how:

  • Check the product: Make sure you’re using a UV protection formula that’s made for hair.
  • Be consistent: Reapply sunscreen on your hair and scalp every 2 hours.
  • After swimming or sweating: Always reapply right after swimming or heavy sweating, as water washes away the protection.

Consistently reapplying guarantees your hair stays protected, preventing sun damage and keeping it healthy.

Wash Your Hair Gently With Soothing Products

Wash Your Hair Gently With Soothing Products
Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse your hair, as this helps maintain its natural oils and minimizes irritation. Avoid harsh chemicals and heat styling tools to reduce further damage and keep your hair healthy.

Use a Gentle, Sulfate-free Shampoo to Cleanse Your Hair

After applying sunscreen to your scalp and hair, wash your hair gently with soothing products.

Sulfate-free shampoos are key for gentle cleansing as they don’t strip your hair of its natural oils, essential for combating sun-damaged hair. Ordinary shampoos can be too harsh, exacerbating heat and lipid damage.

Opt for soap-free cleansers to maintain your hair’s moisture barrier. Picture it as a physical barrier against further harm. Post-sun, these gentle products leave your hair refreshed and protected without inflicting additional harm.

Rinse with cool water to soothe your scalp and seal the cuticle.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Heat Styling Tools

After washing your hair gently with soothing products, the next step to protect your locks is to steer clear of harsh chemicals and heat styling tools. Chlorine’s impact from pools and chemical treatments can strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and breakage.

Avoiding bleach and other hair lightening products helps to prevent color damage and split ends. Heat styling, such as blow dryers or flat irons, can cause heat damage, further weakening your hair. Instead, opt for air drying and embrace natural styles to maintain healthy, sun-proof hair.

Use a Hydrating Hair Mask

Use a Hydrating Hair Mask
Alongside gentle washing, using a hydrating hair mask is key to combatting sun damage. Opt for masks with nourishing ingredients like shea butter or argan oil. Apply the mask evenly, focusing on the ends. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes for deep hydration.

  • Mask Frequency: Use once a week for best results.
  • Mask Benefits: Restores moisture, prevents dry and brittle hair.
  • Mask Timing: Perfect after sun exposure or swimming.

Don’t forget, healthy hair starts with consistent care.

Book in a Haircut

Book in a Haircut
Regular trims every 6-8 weeks can protect your hair from sun damage. That’s because trimming helps remove split ends and minimizes the damage caused by UV rays, heat, and chemical treatments.

  • Reduces risk of split ends and breakage
  • Helps undo damage from chlorine and swimming pools
  • Prevents premature graying and thinning in light-colored and thin hair
  • Enhances overall scalp health

Stick to a schedule for your trims and you’ll keep your hair looking fresh and healthy.

Limit Sun Exposure During Peak Hours

Limit Sun Exposure During Peak Hours
While you may be tempted to soak up the sun, limiting your exposure during peak hours is essential for protecting your hair. Aim to head outdoors in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun’s rays are less intense. If you must be out during midday, cover up with a hat or scarf to shield your locks. After swimming or sweating, be sure to rinse your hair with water and apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum to lock in moisture. These overnight miracles can work wonders in repairing any damage from chlorine or UV exposure.

Time of Day UV Index Recommended Action
10 AM – 4 PM High to Very High Limit sun exposure, wear protective gear
6 AM – 10 AM Moderate Enjoy the sun, but take precautions
4 PM – 8 PM Low to Moderate Safe for outdoor activities

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I stop my hair from damaging the sun?

Shield your hair from sun damage by using UV-protective products, wearing hats, and applying hair sunscreen. Treat your hair like fine silk, keeping it hydrated with masks and avoiding harsh treatments.

What can I put in my hair to protect it from the sun?

Apply hair sunscreen containing UV filters, like avobenzone or zinc oxide. Use products such as Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray for UV protection, or protective masks and sprays. Cover with hats or scarves for extra safeguard.

Can hair recover from sun damage?

You might find it surprising, but 75% of people experience hair damage from the sun. Yes, hair can recover with deep conditioning, UV-protective products, and hydrating masks to restore its health and shine.

Does oiling hair protect from sun?

Oiling your hair can provide a layer of protection against sun damage by reducing moisture loss and shielding the cuticle. However, it’s not a substitute for dedicated UV-protective products or physical barriers like hats.

How to protect your hair from sun damage?

Protect your hair from sun damage by wearing hats or scarves, using UV protective hair products, hydrating with masks, and avoiding harsh treatments pre-vacation. Also, stay hydrated and rinse your hair after swimming.

What are the best ways to protect skin from sun damage and heat stress?

To protect your skin from sun damage and heat stress, wear sunscreen with SPF 30+, seek shade during peak hours, stay hydrated, and wear protective clothing like hats and sunglasses. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Are there any products that protect your hair from sun damage?

Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray and No Frizz Smooth Styling Spray both offer UV protection for your hair, while PhD Weightless Mask and No Frizz Intense Moisture Mask keep it hydrated and resilient against sun damage.

How to repair damaged hair after sun exposure?

Did you know that up to 80% of your hair’s protein can degrade from sun exposure? To repair it, use deep-conditioning masks, trim split ends, and consider protein treatments to restore strength and hydration.

What foods support healthy hair in the sun?

Incorporate foods like salmon, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eggs for biotin, spinach for iron, and nuts for vitamin E. These nutrients support healthy, resilient hair against sun damage, ensuring it stays strong and vibrant.

How effective are UV-protective hair serums?

UV-protective hair serums are quite effective. They form a barrier on your hair, shielding it from harmful UV rays. These serums also help retain moisture, prevent color fading, and keep your hair healthy and shiny.

Can hot oil treatments repair sun-damaged hair?

Yes, hot oil treatments can help repair sun-damaged hair by restoring moisture, reducing frizz, and improving overall texture. Regular use can strengthen and rejuvenate your hair, making it look healthier and more vibrant.

How does sun exposure affect dyed hair?

Just like a sun-faded photograph, sun exposure dulls dyed hair by breaking down the color and essential proteins. Protect your vibrant locks with UV-protective products and hydration to keep them looking lively and rich.

What hairstyles minimize sun damage?

Opt for protective hairstyles like braids, buns, or ponytails. These styles reduce hair exposure to the sun and help retain moisture. Additionally, they prevent tangling and limit surface area exposed to harmful UV rays.


Think of sun protection as armor for your hair. By wearing a hat or scarf and applying sunscreen to your scalp and hair, you’re fortifying your locks against damage.

Washing gently with sulfate-free shampoo, using a hydrating mask, and booking regular trims are key steps to keep your hair healthy, vibrant, and strong all summer long.

Additionally, limiting sun exposure during peak hours is crucial in protecting your hair from sun damage.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.