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Sunlight And Your Hair

Although we love sunlight, it can be harsh on your hair. Read on to learn what sunlight can do!

Fading

Melanin, the natural pigment that gives hair its color, is not lightfast. As the sunlight hits your hair, it is breaking down the melanin in it. This doesn’t happen quickly, but if you spend a lot of time in the sun, your hair can change color noticeably.

If you dye your hair, the effects of sunlight can be even more dramatic, because some hair dyes are even less durable than melanin, and heat and light can activate residual bleaches that are left from the last time you dyed, causing your hair to change colors in surprising ways. If you have been swimming recently, the chlorine can even react with trace metals in the water and your hair to turn it green.

Faded hair will grow back in its natural color, so the damage isn’t permanent, but it can be unattractive while it lasts, especially when chemicals are involved.

Drying

Sunlight heats up your hair as it absorbs the light, making it dry from the inside the inside out. If you spend a lot of time outside, you should be sure to condition your hair regularly so the weather doesn’t make it brittle. Pay attention to the tips and the outside layers of your hair, where it gets the most light.

Try using a hot oil treatment on your hair if it needs moisture; the oil penetrates the hair shaft gently, softening your hair and protecting it from heat and light. Drying can be treated if you repair your hair before it breaks, although it’s best to simply keep your hair out of the heat.

Hair Loss

Just as sunlight damages your skin, it can damage your hair follicles if it reaches your scalp. Sun damage can eventually cause hair thinning or loss. The best way to protect against sun damage on your scalp is to wear a hat or stay indoors, but if you refer to go bareheaded, make sure you apply sunscreen all the way to your hairline in order to protect the follicles at your hairline where they are the most exposed. It’s especially important for fair-haired people to use good sunscreen since their hair blocks less light.

Hair loss is irreversible once it happens, so make sure you take good care of your scalp! With these tips, sun damage to your hair can be a distant memory.

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