When we do think about the sun, we rush to protect our skin. But what about protecting that other precious beauty commodity: hair? “Like skin, hair needs sun protection,” says Louise O’Connor, owner and creative director of OC61 Salon in Manhattan. Dyed mops suffer the most; chemical processes ruffle the cuticle and leave the hair shaft dry, and UV rays only increase this straw-like texture. And then there’s that other solar stymie, haircolor fade. “UV rays cause oxidization on hair, meaning free radicals weaken the hair proteins, cell membrane complex lipids and hair pigments,” explains Wendy Belanger, PureOlogy PureArtist. To fend off fade—and other environmental stressors—O’Connor recommends “using protective products—those that have UV filters, hydrating oils and vitamins like B5—before, during and after sun exposure for the most impact. These will re-introduce vital lipids and proteins to hair, while also creating a barrier against further UV penetration.”
And then there’s that trusty friend: taking cover. “Wear a head cover or hat, and choose the right times for sun exposure (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is harshest),” adds John Kaytaz, creator of JKS International.