Want to save your mane from bane? Use hair sunscreen! - Hindustan Times
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Want to save your mane from bane? Use hair sunscreen!

By Ismat Tahseen
May 29, 2024 05:39 PM IST

These formulations can be just what you need to save your hair from harmful UVA and UVB rays in summer.

It’s extremely hot and dealing with the heat and acne is just one of the beauty issues that people face. Says Shaina Advani, corporate executive, “I’ve been struggling with dry and brittle hair since April and first I thought I’d change my conditioner, but that hasn’t helped.” If you feel similarly, it could be that your hair is suffering sun damage. Time to use sunscreen for the hair. Dr Nishita Ranka, dermatologist and founder of a clinic for skin, hair and aesthetics, says, “Yes, hair and scalp do benefit from SPF protection. The hair may be less susceptible to direct damage compared to the skin, but it can still suffer significant harm from prolonged UV exposure.”

Using SPF on your hair when you are outdoors is just as important as using an SPF product on your skin..(Shutterstock)
Using SPF on your hair when you are outdoors is just as important as using an SPF product on your skin..(Shutterstock)

How bad can it get?

Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays can cause a lot of damage to hair through several mechanisms.

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Sun damage to hair can cause thinning, hair loss and colour fading, among other things (Shutterstock)
Sun damage to hair can cause thinning, hair loss and colour fading, among other things (Shutterstock)



Dr Ranka informs, “For one, there is protein degradation. Hair is composed mainly of keratin, a structural protein. UV radiation, particularly UVA, can break down the disulfide bonds in keratin, leading to weakened hair shafts, increased brittleness, and split ends.” She adds, “You also face colour fading, especially coloured hair that is particularly vulnerable to UV damage. There is also scalp damage and lipid peroxidation, where UV radiation can initiate lipid peroxidation in the hair cuticle, leading to loss of natural oils. It causes hair dryness and frizz.”

Tackling the issue

Sunscreens are formulations that protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation, specifically UVA and UVB rays. Adds Dr Ranka, “They contain active ingredients that function as either chemical filters, absorbing UV radiation and transforming it into harmless heat or physical filters, reflecting and pushing UV radiation away from the skin and hair (such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). Sunscreens today in creams, sprays, gels and lotions and are increasingly incorporated into hair care products to provide comprehensive protection.”

Dos and Don’ts for hair Sun Protection

Dos

Use SPF hair products.

Wear hats to shield the hair and scalp.

Stay hydrated to maintain moisture levels within the hair shaft.

Use a heat protection spray before using styling tools.

Rinse with fresh water after exposure to chlorinated or saltwater.


Don’ts

Stay outdoors in peak hours. Try and limit time spent in direct sunlight, especially during peak UV radiation hours (10am to 4pm).

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Friday, June 14, 2024
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