Protecting Hair From UV
UV And Hair
Hair offers a natural protection against UV damage,
but when hair is exposed to UVA and UVB rays for extended
periods, damage to the
Hair is more prone to
damage from UV, when its condition is already compromised
from other sources. This includes color treated hair,
drying effects from chemicals such as pool chlorine,
and general dehydration.
UV damaged hair becomes discoloured, dry, fragile and
brittle. This UV damage is irreversible. The UV rays
destroy some of the protein amino acids [keratin] inside
hair, weakening the hair structure which leads to loss
of moisture and dehydratation of the hair.
UV Hair Protection
The best protection for your hair from UV damage is
to cover your head whenever possible. This protects
not only hair but its follicle and the skin as well.
However, wearing a hat is not always appropriate or
UV hair protection is available in different formats.
- Shampoos and Conditioners with UV protective ingredients
that remain on the hair shaft with rinsing.
- Leave In UV protection rinse
- Spray On UV protection
- UV Protection Mousses
The aim is to protect your hair with a suitable hair
treatment product that moistures and protect at the
same time. These products contain proteins, protective
oils and sun blockers.
Measuring Protective Factor
Skin sunscreens are designated an SPF [Skin Protection
Factor] rating according to their protective capability.
UV protection for the hair is also rated, using either:
- Keratin protection factor (KPF)
- Hair protection factor (HPF).
- Percentage Protection factor - using a % increase
in protection over the hairs natural protection.
- EHMC Benchmark - Most leave in products contain
a UV filter for hair care are formulated with ethylhexyl
methoxycinnamate (EHMC). The %EHMC active ingredient
is a reliable measure of its UV protection.
Evaluating UV Hair Protection Products
A quick 1-2-3 guideline to use at the counter is:
- A leave-on formulation containing a UV filter, prior
to exposure - offers the best protection
- Rinse-off products will usually give less protection,
although a certain deposition of the filter on the
hair fibre can be achieved.
- The amount of EHMC typically found in such products
ranges from 0.1% to 2%. Suncare leave-on gels’
contain as much as 8% EHMC
Without a degree in chemistry, the chemical composition
of cosmetics can send most of us into a headspin. Unfortunately
with so much unreliable marketing hype, knowing the
key active ingredients in UV Hair Protection Products
is about the only way you can really be sure the product
will do what the packaging claims it can.
Additional protection UVA filters such as butyl
methoxydibenz- oylmethane (BM-DBM) found more
in rinse off products. Some cationic UV filters
show a certain affinity to human hair and still remain
Lipophilic UV filters combined with
cationic conditioners – increases the retention
of UV filer with rinsing.
Polymeric sunscreen - binds to the
hair. Silicone bases offer additional
benefits in combing and shine. For instance, Polysilicone-
15 with UVB absorbing chromophores.
Mousses with 3% SLX led to decreases
of combing force after irradiation and washing.
Whenever compared with other UVB filters, Polysilicone-15
showed superior performance in reducing hair
Sources : Measurement
of UV Protection in Hair Care - Philippe Maillan,
Formulation Chemist, R&D Cosmetics, DSM Nutritional
Take special care of color-treated hair. Hair that
has been dyed or highlighted is especially prone to
UV damage. Color-treated hair is already damaged.
Using UV Hair Protection Products
If you need additional UV protection for your hair,
it generally means you are in more extreme environments
such as beaches, swimming pools, skifields, and hot-drying
climates. These ambient conditions can cause the hair
to become dehydrated, activating its natural response
to produce more oil. This in turn, leads to more washing
of the hair, further drying it and so the downward spiral
begins. The following guidelines will help with hair
care for different types of hair.
Fine Hair - wash hair with a gentle
shampoo and use a light leave-in conditioner with UV
protection. Use a sun-protection spray containing a
Curly hair - use a moisturizing shampoo
and a leave-in conditioner to minimize dryness. Apply
a nourishing hair mask whilst you are away to deep condition
your hair. Use a sun-protection spray containing a UV
Frizzy hair - use a rich leave-in
conditioner with UV protection each morning and apply
a hair mask every other day during the holiday. Use
a sun-protection spray containing a UV filter.
Pool Swimming - Chlorine from the
swimming pool is extremely damaging when combined with
the effects of the sun, wet your hair in the shower
before hand and protect your hair with a leave-in conditioner
preferably one containing a UV filter. Wash your hair
thoroughly after swimming.
In all cases, screen your hair from the effects of
the sun and seawater as much as possible and re-apply
spray on UV protection after swimming.
Home Remedy UV Hair Protection
If you are planning prolonged, uncovered exposure
of the hair to the sun, massage a few spoons of sesame
oil into your hair and scalp. Sesame oil contains the
natural sun protection factor SPF.
For additional protection mix the sesame oil with 10
drops of carrot seeds oil, which is very rich in antioxidants.
UV Damage To Your Hair
Hair Protection Products Ingredients
Hair Protection Products