Frazzled, sun-scorched holiday hair should be a thing of the past thanks to the new wave of sun protection products for your hair. Not bought a hair sunscreen yet? We've got the best edit to protect your hair, stop your colour fading and turn it from straw-like to silky. Wondering what hair sunscreen is? It does exactly what it says on the tin – protects your hair from UV rays. As tempted as you might be to just slather your skin and body SPF on your hair, hold off – you need an SPF specifically designed to protect those strands.
Why does your hair need sun protection?
Just like your skin, hair can be damaged by the sun’s rays too. “When UV rays penetrate the hair’s outer cuticle, they create highly reactive free radicals which damage the melanin pigment causing colour changes, and attack the protein structure of the hair, leading to thinning, breakage, and split ends,” explains leading hair stylist Michael Van Clarke.
Apply in the morning like you would your usual SPF, and reapply throughout the day, especially after swimming.
Best ways to protect your hair in the sun
As well as applying an SPF to the hair, Michael Van Clarke suggests covering your hair where possible, especially in direct sunlight – think a chic, patterned scarf or cute bucket hat. He also suggests packing a deep conditioning treatment to treat your hair post-swim and sun. “Replenish your hair daily with regular treatments. Holidays are an ideal time to treat your hair to the full deep conditioning treatment, like leave-in conditioners or pre-shampoo boosters.”
Need a hair SPF? Shop the best sun protection for hair
How I chose the best hair SPFs
- Trusted brands: There's so many haircare brands on the market, it can be hard to know which ones are actually worth spending your hard earned cash on. This edit includes brands either I or the HELLO! team rate.
- Verified reviews: The products in this edit all have reviews attached to them, and I've waded through them to choose those that have the most authentic reviews - good and bad.
- Price: Spend a lot or a little, this list includes price points across the board.
- Personal opinion: I haven't tried all of the brands or products listed, but I have included some that I have, or am wanting to try. Having written about beauty for the past 20 years, I've got a good eye to spot a product that will actually work!