Sun Awareness Week: The Sun And Your Hair
This week marks Sun Awareness Week. The damaging effects of the sun’s rays and the perils of overusing sun beds have seen an increase in the number of people suffering from skin cancer. But we often forget to even consider the effect of the sun on our hair.
Whilst most are sensible and won’t go out without sunscreen, it is not uncommon to see a British beach full of red tomatoes the moment the sun appears! That’s part of the reason the British Association of Dermatologists organise Sun Awareness Week, in order to educate and inform, so that we can all better protect ourselves.
So it is about time we also started to think about the sun and our hair. Philip Kingsley says “Those wonderful rays of sun that can tan your skin can blister it too. The same applies to your hair: the sun can lighten and streak it to a healthy-looking, sporty shade, but it can also frizz, frazzle and burn if you’re not careful.”
The sun weakens the hair’s protein structure, de-moisturizes it and reduces elasticity so it breaks more easily. It can be just as damaging as bleaching! Wearing a hat protects both your hair and skin, but a great alternative is to use products for your hair that contain UV protector.
Swimcap is summer saviour. It’s a waterproof hair protector for all hair types, containing sunscreens for UV protection to guard against discolouration and damage caused by weathering from sun, chlorine, salt water and wind. It simultaneously provides a super conditioning treatment for your hair. You can get yours here.
If you’re not hitting the beach, there are also plenty of styling products on the market that contain sunscreens for UV protection so you can achieve whatever look you’re aiming for with added protection. Straight hair is a heat activated gel which smoothes and temporarily straightens, Weatherproof Styling Froth is a medium hold styling mousse, Maximizer is a styling spray for fine, limp hair in need of body, volume and bounce, Weatherproof Hairspray gives lasting hold without stickiness and Preen Cream gives ultra-light hold adding shine. These all contain UV protection, and there’s something for all hair types.
It is simply no extra hassle to protect your hair, whilst styling it to look its best. Healthy hair always looks better, so treat your hair with the same care you would your skin!
As for your skin, the British Association of Dermatologists offers some sun safety tips:
- You don’t have to avoid the sun all year, and some sunshine can be good for you as it helps the body to produce vitamin D, but taking a few steps when out and about in the summer sun or when on a sunshine holiday will help to protect you from sunburn and the risk of skin cancer, particularly if you are pale skinned.
- Protect the skin with clothing, including a hat, T shirt and UV protective sunglasses
- Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm when it’s sunny
- Use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 (SPF 50 for children or people with pale skin) which also has high UVA protection
- Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight
- The British Association of Dermatologists recommends that you tell your doctor about any changes to a mole – if your GP is concerned about your skin, make sure you see a Consultant Dermatologist (on the GMC register of specialists), the most expert person to diagnose a skin cancer. Your GP can refer you via the NHS
- Sunscreens should not be used as an alternative to clothing and shade, rather they offer additional protection. No sunscreen will provide 100% protection.