Sunblock for My Hair?

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Maybe I have been living under a rock, but I did not know that the sun’s UV rays could be harmful to my hair.  When I think about it, that does make sense.  If you can watch an egg fry on the pavement and get sunburned, I guess it can cook your hair as well.  Apparently the UV rays from the sun can break down the hair structure from the outer layer to the inner core.  This can lead to frizziness, dryness, brittleness and the oh so wonderful split ends.  Since summer is upon us and the days are getting warmer, here are some tips that I compiled to help protect your hair:

Moisutrize!  Somehow that didn’t come as a surprise to me.  Keeping your hair moisturized helps to combat the sun and dryness.  Doing regular deep treatments that contain protein will also help add moisture and support the keratin in the hair that has been affected or broken down by the sun.

Oil it!  Natural oils like coconut, jojoba and olive help to form a barrier of protection from the sun.  When I read this I was like, really?  I would’ve thought the oils would help cook my strands like some chicken.  From what I’ve read, the sun drives the oil into the hair shaft and helps to repair any damage being done.  The key is to use hydrating natural oils.

Use products with UV protection!  There are a lot of products on the market now that offer UV protection by either absorbing the UV rays or blocking them.  Tonya McKay of naturallycurly.com wrote a great article that explains the chemical make up of products that are good for sun protection here. Look for these ingredients in products for sun protection: Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Dibenzoyl methane’s, Benzophenones, P-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and derivatives, Camphor derivatives, Cinnamates (octyl methoxy cinnamate, ethylhexyl cinnamate), Salicylates, Phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid.

Cover it!  The best protection is complete blockage.  You can achieve that by simply wearing a hat or scarf.  Turbans and printed scarves and bandanas are actually a style/fashion trend this season.  Jump on that bandwagon and protect your hair in style.

Braid or Twist it!  Braids and twists allow for some protection in that all of the hair is not exposed.  This is also a low maintenance style option that will give you greater flexibility if you are active or plan to do a lot of swimming at the beach or pool this summer.

Mix it!  As I recently admitted, I am an ingredient junkie and budding mixologist.  There are some “ingredients” that offer natural UV protection that I will be utilizing this summer and that are already apart of my regimen.  Many women make their own shea butter whip, but my hair HATES shea butter.  It does however, LOVE mango butter.  Mango butter comes from the seed of the mango and offers natural UV protection when applied to hair or skin.  I mix up a nice mango butter whip that contains coconut oil, olive oil and a few drops of lemongrass essential oil for scent.  Other natural ingredients that have UV protection are: Cupuacu Seed Butter, Grape Seed Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Hemp Seed Oil, Kaempferia Galanga Root Extract, Macadamia Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil, White Tea Extract, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E, Vitamin C.

Well, I hope that this post will help someone this summer!

Freelance Graphic Designer, Lifestyle Blogger, Natural Hair Enthusiast and Fitness Convert...yeah, I wear a lot of hats. :)