The height of summer conjures images of picnics in the park, lounging by the hotel pool and balmy days spent at the beach. But the warmer weather can pose as much of a threat to your hair as your skin, with UV rays making it more susceptible to damage as well as lightening or fading your colour.
Luckily we’ve discovered eight easy hair hacks to protect against sun damage and avoid any accidental dye jobs, so you can beat the heat and stay salon-fresh with glossy locks for longer.
How to protect your hair from the sun
1. Wear a hat – or use a sunscreen
UV rays can burn your hair as much as they do the skin, with your scalp most at risk. When UVA and UVB rays penetrate the hair shaft they cause split ends and extra breakage. Wearing a sun hat is commonly recommended by dermatologists, so choose your favourite and make a fashion statement – try a St Tropez wide-brimmed straw style, a 90s canvas bucket hat or a timelessly chic trilby.
Alternatively, seek out a sunscreen offering UV protection and apply it directly to the exposed scalp along your parting, and along the lengths if you'll be outside for most of the day. You can find hair-specific sunscreens in powder form or sprays which won’t change the condition of your hair or leave a white cast.
2. Wash and go
Even if you don’t colour your hair it is still at risk from damage by the sun, chlorine and saltwater. These aggressors can create a rough and dull surface meaning strands don’t reflect the light as well and will start to appear less glossy. When you return from a day in the sun, by the pool or in the sea, approach your haircare like a skincare routine. By effectively rinsing away chlorine or saltwater you’ll ensure your hair stays in premium condition.
If your hair is feeling parched from the sun, we recommend Pureology's Hydrate range. Currently on offer for Amazon Prime Day, it offers a rich and moisturising formula to quench strands. The range has been created for medium to thick colour-treated hair and tackles dry, coarse strands to restore hydration and boost shine. The aroma of lavender, bergamot and mint will relax you after a long day’s swimming or sunbathing too.
Pureology Hydrate Moisturising Shampoo, was £21 now £9.97 for Prime members, Amazon
With a protein-infused strengthening formula to fortify your hair from root to tip, Pureology’s Strength Cure range comes with a stamp of approval for coloured hair. Also on offer for Amazon Prime Day, the collection boasts an Antifade Complex powered by antioxidants and UVA/UVB sunscreens to protect colour vibrancy. With an uplifting blend of raspberry, peach and water flower, use this shampoo for a gentle cleanse that helps to repair and soften hair.
Pureology Strength Cure Strengthening Shampoo, was £21 now £9.97 for Prime members, Amazon
3. Stay in peak condition
Following your shampoo with a good conditioner will complete your routine. With its unique antifade complex, colour vibrancy is protected with Pureology’s nourishing conditioners. A blend of sunflower seed, UV filters and vitamin E helps fight the environmental aggressors that deplete your colour, as well as ensuring lasting shine.
Choose Hydrate if you’ve noticed your locks are parched from the heat, feeling dry and lacking softness or Strength Cure if you’re concerned about chemical and environmental damage, or dulling colour from direct sunlight, saltwater or chlorine.
Pureology Hydrate Moisturising Conditioner, was £24.55 now £11.54 for Prime members, Amazon
Pureology Strength Cure Strengthening Conditioner, was £24.55 now £12.01 for Prime members, Amazon
4. Mask up
Heat from the sun leaves the hair cuticle open and more porous, and thus more able to absorb any treatments you add. So if you’re going to be sitting outside anyway (al fresco lunch break anyone?) try applying a rich mask to your hair before you venture outdoors. Alternatively, slather on to damp hair at night and wrap in a heated towel or shower cap and allow the mask to work whilst you enjoy a film.
Pureology’s Superfood Mask from the Hydrate range promises to add nourishment, touchable softness and added colour protection with its blend of avocado and coconut oil plus a fruity scent of pineapple, coconut and vanilla. And there are great savings to be made for Amazon Prime Day.
Pureology Hydrate Superfood Deep Treatment Mask, was £19.90 now £13.93 for Prime members, Amazon
5. Hydrate with h2O
It’s common knowledge to up your water intake in the sun, but did you know that being dehydrated will have an impact on your hair health? Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day as well as upping your portions of fresh fruit and vegetables for extra hydration.
6. Try a leave-in treatment
Adding a leave-in spray to your haircare routine gives it an extra chance to repair. Pureology’s Strength Cure Miracle Filler is suitable for all hair types, smells of pear, rose and sandalwood and helps strengthen the hair’s cuticle. Spray on before combing just-washed hair, or mist on to dry hair before swimming or a long day in the sun to boost your colour protection. Amazon Prime members can make a saving as part of Prime Day, 12-13 July.
Pureology Strength Cure Miracle Filler Hair Treatment, was £17.45 now £11.76 for Prime members, Amazon
7. Decrease your tool time
Try to reduce any heat damage from hair tongs or a hairdryer by air drying your hair at least once a week. Plait it for DIY beachy waves or tie into a low-slung bun.
8. Schedule the salon
Regular trims ensure your hair stays in optimum condition and banishes pesky split ends. You could try experimenting with a shorter style for summer, or ask your hairdresser to cut in layers to get rid of excess weight and add movement to always-classy shoulder-length cuts.