Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hair and Sun Damage

Summer arrives. Your hair color gets lighter. Your strands feel weak and brittle. If you notice any of these transformations in the season of sun, then you might be experiencing ultraviolet (UV) damage. Protecting your hair from excessive sun exposure is an important component to maintaining healthy hair.

THE FINDINGS:
*UVB radiation affects the cuticle and is responsible for protein (particularly keratin) breakdown in the hair
*UVA radiation penetrates to the cortex and is responsible for melanin degradation, or hair color changes
*Sun exposure can lead to color fading in those with color treatments, including semi-permanent through permanent
*UV rays are also attributed with "speeding up the aging and thinning process in hair follicles"
*UV radiation "affects hair lipids, making photodamaged hair dull and dry"
*Sun exposure can cause "dryness, reduced strength, rough surface texture, decreased luster, stiffness and brittleness of the hair"
*A yellowish tone to the hair may indicate sun damage
*Gray hair is more susceptible to sun damage since it contains less melanin -- a natural filter of UV radiation

LOO's HYPOTHESES:
*Bleached or lightened hair may be more susceptible to sun damage since melanin -- a natural filter of UV radiation -- has been previously removed
*Vaseline (petrolatum) has been shown to increase the penetration of UV rays into the skin -- this may or may not have an implication to hair; If it does, application of products containing petrolatum (and perhaps mineral oil) should be avoided on the hair


PROTECTION:
*UV filters are the first defense line because they reflect/filter the UV rays
*Antioxidants are the second defense line because they reduce the damage process (by reducing the amount of free radicals generated in the hair)
*Apply hair products containing UV filters, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide or benzophene photo filters *Look for hair products containing sunscreen (beware of marketing ploys)
* BEST PROTECTION: Wear hats that cover the hair entirely when in long-term sun exposure, or sit under an umbrella. (Wearing scarves may work as well depending on the type of material, thickness, etc.)
*Simply stay in the shade
*Natural oils as UV filters: coffee bean oil
*Natural oils as antioxidants: vitamin E oil

Enjoy your summer! Chlorine and hair talk coming later.


SOURCES:
UV FILTERS IN HAIR CARE
UV DAMAGE
HAIR & UV PROTECTION
HAIR DAMAGE
COFFEE BEAN OIL & UV
VITAMIN E & UV
COLOR TREATED HAIR & UV
GRAY HAIR & UV
VASELINE & UV

1 comment:

  1. avocado, coconut and sesame oils can provide some sunscreen benefits, along with shea butter.

    ReplyDelete