Does Your Hair Need Sunscreen?

All Your Hair Questions, Answered

Does Your Hair Need Sunscreen?

27 June 2018
woman on the beach wearing a sun hat
Jelani Addams Rosa

Jelani Addams Rosa

Associate Editor,

As an employee of L'Oréal, Jelani brings her knowledge and passion for hair care to Before joining the team, she spent time at Celebuzz, Seventeen, and Cosmo for Latinas.

Summer is right around the corner and that means it’s time to start stocking up on all of your seasonal supplies: A perfect bathing suit for the beach, sandals to show off your summer pedicure, bug spray to keep the mosquitos at bay, and sunscreen to make sure your skin is protected.

We all know how important it is to protect your skin with SPF, but does your hair need sunscreen? Jacqueline Lusignan, Pureology brand ambassador and director of education, is here to break down everything you need to know about sunscreen for your hair and how to properly protect your strands from the elements this summer.

Can the sun “burn” your hair?

The simple answer is no, although that doesn’t mean the sun has no effect on your locks. While the sun can’t burn your hair per se, it can potentially damage your hair color which in turn can affect the way your hair looks and feels. Just like your skin, your hair has pigment cells called melanin that react to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

"Melanin acts like a protector from the sun, absorbing the harmful UVA/UVB rays it emits. But too much of the UVA/UVB rays of the sun can damage melanin. In your skin, this can result in a sunburn. For your hair, it can cause your hair color to fade more rapidly," Lusignan explains.

Melanin acts like a protector from the sun, absorbing the harmful UVA/UVB rays it emits. But too much of the UVA/UVB rays of the sun can damage melanin. In your skin, this can result in a sunburn. For your hair, it can cause your hair color to fade more rapidly

Jacqueline Lusignan

While spending your days lounging in the sun may give you the natural sunkissed highlights you’ve always wanted, your newly lightened strands can be a lot more sinister than they seem.

“Remember as a kid when it seemed like your hair always got lighter in the summer? This is because the UVA/UVB rays of the sun were breaking down your natural melanin, making your hair lighter. While this may have made for some great natural highlights back then, it also caused damage,” Lusignan says. “With artificial hair color, the harmful rays of the sun can break it down even faster, causing your hair to look dry and brassy.”

Should you wear UVA/UVB protection on your hair every day?

Yes! Just like you wear SPF to protect your skin every day, you need to protect your strands every time they’re exposed to the sun. If the thought of slathering thick sunscreen on your locks is giving you nightmares, don’t worry—helping to protect your strands from the sun’s rays is a lot easier than you think.

“Almost all of Pureology’s products contain Pureology’s exclusive AntiFade Complex. AntiFade Complex features Heliogenol, an antioxidant extracted from sunflower as well as other ingredients to protect your hair,” Lusignan explains.

If you already use Pureology products, you’re already ahead of the game! If you’re looking to incorporate some Pureology products into your hair care routine, Lusignan recommends trying one of her two favorite products:

Pureology Colour Fanatic 21-Benefit Beautifying Spray

“I apply Colour Fanatic to my hair before styling to protect from heat, when I am at the beach or by the pool to shield against environmental damage, and to detangle and moisturize after swimming,” she says.

Pureology Colour Fanatic 21-Benefit Beautifying Spray, $26.00 MSRP

Pureology Style+Protect Beach Waves Sugar Spray

“It gives my hair that right-out-of-the-ocean look, without the ocean! And while I may not need to go to the beach to get the style, I use the Beach Waves Sugar Spray when I’m having brunch on the roof deck with my girlfriends, or even just walking from the train to the office,” she explains.

Pureology Style+Protect Beach Waves Sugar Spray, $26.00 MSRP

If you happen to forget to pack your Pureology products on your weekend getaway, don’t fret. Lusignan has a simple solution for you.

“Keep your hair dry and covered by a hat or scarf to protect against the sun’s harmful rays,” she says.

Now you can hit the beach this summer knowing that your hair will look as flawless at the end of the summer as it was at the beginning.

Interested in a personalized sun care consultation? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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