Good news! Yes, you can protect your hair from the sun. Protecting your hair from heat is key to longer lasting locks. With summer fast approaching, we start to get more questions from our clients on what they can do protect their tresses from the sun’s rays. Just like avoiding a sunburn, prevention is everything. Let’s talk about how this damage happens in the first place.

How Does Hair Damage Happen?

Normal, healthy hair strands are smooth. Along the hair follicle, or strand, are cuticles that lie in flat, overlapping layers. When they create this smooth surface, they protect the vulnerable core. When these cuticle layers are opened, your hair is at risk for damage.

damaged and normal hair cuticle and follicle graphic

There are certain elements that open the cuticle, leading to hair damage. Heat, dryness, and abuse are the main causes of follicle damage. We recommend keeping your hair moisturized, using heat sparingly, and avoiding breakage from excess combing or styling to combat the elements that may damage your hair.

Do Heat Protectants Work?

Heat protectants can protect your hair if you use them as directed every single time you style with heat. By nature, heating tools force your hair into an unnatural state. Hair dryers and heating tools are designed to get your hair to look the way you want – not what the hair wants to do naturally – which can take a toll on your hair. If you use curling or flat irons frequently, using protectant products can help lessen the damage over time.

Using hair protectants as a shield can minimize the drying damage heat tools cause by acting as a barrier between the cuticles and the heat. Using a heat protectant cream, serum, or gel can lessen the damage, but we always recommend that you do your research on the products before you rely on them to protect your hair. There are even some products that act like “hair sunscreen” that you can use before playing in the sun.

Other Tips for Protecting Your Hair

woman choosing between hair serum or getting a haircut

If you are worried about heat damage from styling tools or the sun, you don’t have to choose between a haircut and heat protection products.

Here are a few tips we recommend for clients wanting to look out for their locks in summer.

  • Shade hair with a hat or scarf
  • Wear hair sunscreen
  • Use leave-in conditioner
  • Air dry instead
  • Wash hair less often
  • Trim hair more frequently

From wearing fashionable scarves to styling with heat less often, there are many ways to protect your hair from heat damage over the summer months. Reducing friction and giving your hair extra moisture are wonderful ways to care for your hair. You may want to look into adding a hair sunscreen to your hair care routine. Hair sunscreens are UV-filtering products that place a barrier between your hair and sun rays, and may even help your hair color last longer, too.

Want to Learn More?

Barbering and cosmetology are incredible career options to pursue if you are obsessed with hairstyle trends, hair color, and techniques. At College of Hair Design, we love sharing what we know about hair. Would you like to know else cosmetologists do? Click here to read more!

For more fun, take this quiz to find out which cosmo career would be right for you!

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