With the summer upon us, we are all looking for ways to beat the heat and the harsh summer sun. While we all know the irreversible damage that sun exposure can cause to our skin and hair, not many of us are aware of the oft-unspoken benefits of sunlight for hair. That’s right! Sunlight is vital for our existence and natural functioning of our body, including our hair and scalp. But too much of it can wreak havoc. How do you tread the balance? Let’s find out.
Sunlight Benefits for Hair
Sunlight is a powerhouse natural source of Vitamin D – the element that stimulates the growth of new hair follicles, thus helping with hair fall issues. Multiple pieces of research link vitamin D deficiency to various forms of hair loss, including an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata.
Clearly, it’s not sensible — or practical — to avoid the sun altogether. At the same time you’d want to exercise caution in how much of sun exposure you get.
10-30 minutes is the ideal time to spend under the sun to reap its benefits safely. Any more than that, and the benefactor sun can turn sides to cause hair damage.
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How Does the Sun Damage Your Hair?
Keratinocytes in your skin synthesize vitamin D to produce keratin – the protein that keeps your hair and skin healthy. Keratin forms a protective covering for your hair shaft. Yes, vitamin D deficiency means weakened hair cuticles and stunted hair growth. However, too much sun can break into the protective keratin layer, leaving the hair shaft bare, leading to broken, frizzy hair. Moreover, excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause hair discolouration.
Just like your skin, the scalp too perspires in the scorching heat. Does your hair fall out more in summer? That’s because hair roots tend to loosen up due to excessive sweat, leading to hair fall. Further, sweat turns your hair sticky, offering landing space to dust, dirt, and other air pollutants, building up the potential for scalp infection.
To save yourself the agony of unmanageable frizzy mane, thinning hair, or bacterial or fungal infection on the scalp, diligently practice a regular summer hair care routine.
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Expert Summer Hair Care Tips to Protect Your Hair From Sun Damage
1. Keep your hair clean
If you have to spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun, cleanse your hair with a mild shampoo at the end of the day. Remember to rinse the shampoo off properly so that residual chemicals cannot cause harm to your scalp or hair.
2. Moisturise your hair
Excessive use of drying shampoos can strip away the natural oils of your hair. Switch to a hydrating shampoo and pair it with a good conditioner. Pamper your hair by treating it to a warm oil massage and a hot turban therapy for adequate nourishment.
3. Limit the use of dryers and flat irons
Sun exposure during summers often dry out your hair. Frequent heat styling during this time can be a double whammy. So, ditch the driers and irons in the summer and let your hair be at its natural best.
4. Cover your hair
Grab a scarf or a hat to save your mane from the glares of the sun in the summer. These items will keep your hair safe from direct exposure to the sun’s rays when you have to be out during the high noon.
5. Get regular trimming
Before the onset of summer, give your hair a nice trim to chuck out any split ends that might have developed. This way you will start the season fresh. Though there’s no remedy for split ends, a trim can make the damage seem less obvious.
If, despite all the precautions, your hair gets sunburnt and feels rough and dry or you experience hair fall, consult experienced trichologists immediately. If you need professional help with your summer hair, get in touch with us today!