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Hot head: Summer hair protection
Chlorine, sea salt, sun and subtropical humidity are apt to give you ridiculously unmanageable hair. “The sun causes oxidation, which weakens the hair cuticle – the protective, external part of hair responsible for its smoothness and shine,” says Terry Ritcey, national director of education for Redken. UV rays also attack the cortex – the inner layer that keeps hair elastic and strong.
And if you colour or highlight your hair, you’re more at risk of structural damage and faded or brassy hair colour. “The hair’s natural defences are weakened by the chemical process of colouring,” explains Deborah Crouse, business and education consultant for Kérastase. ” The result for both colour-treated and natural hair is that UV rays bleach and destroy the melanin in the cortex, so colour fades and loses its lustre.”
Like skin, hair needs to be shielded from UVA and UVB rays. “Yet, unlike skin, hair can’t regenerate itself,” says Colin Ford, director of education and events for L’Oréal Professionnel. “You have to provide extra help to protect hair and repair damage.”
For fried hair, Schwarzkopf Professional’s BC Sun Guardian range includes UV-Protection Spray with glycine, which allows the moisturizing, UVA- and UVB-protective formula to deeply penetrate the hair shaft.
As an after-sun treatment, use a hair masque like Kérastase Masque Crème Richesse – which contains vitamins B5 and E-to neutralize the free radicals generated during sun exposure.
For frizz caused by humidity, Fekkai’s Summer Hair Zero-Humidity Frizz Control spray uses lightweight silicone, which keeps moisture out of the cuticle to give hair a smoother look.
For swimmers, L’Oréal Professionnel Solar Sublime After-Sun Protect Shampoo deposits Mexoryl S.O. on the hair shaft for UV protection. “This is an innovative molecule that works by absorbing and blocking UV rays so that they can’t damage hair,” explains Ford.
1. “Have your hair trimmed regularly to keep it healthy and remove damaged ends.”
2. “Cover up. UV light bounces off everything year-round. Wear a hat or scarf for maximum protection.”
3. “Reapply UV-protective products often – especially after swimming or playing outdoor sports.”
– Charles Booth, LaCoupe