View Full Version : How to protect hair from sun?

January 22nd, 2014, 05:57 AM
Maybe there already is a thread for this, I'm not really good at seraching here..

Well.. I'm wondering; This summer I will be going to visit my friend in Turkey. Last years she was in Rhodes and when I visited her there, my hair sort of fell apart (not literally, but it felt like it...).
So to be prepared for whenever my trip will be;
How do I best protect my hair from sun, pool water and salty ocean water?
I mean, I can use a hat when I'm not i the pool or sea, but I don't really feel like taking a shower cap with me to the beach, sexy as it may be...
How do I prevent my hair from breaking and getting damaged during those hot hot hot days?

January 22nd, 2014, 06:15 AM
When I go on vacation, I usually bring with me my trusty Monoi Oil and apply whenever I am in the sun, pool, ocean...whatever. Before going in the ocean or pool, I also apply conditioner to my hair and braid it. Every few hours, I reapply conditioner sort of like what you do with your skin when sunbathing. If there is a freshwater shower nearby, I will dampen my hair sporadically and reapply conditioner. And, as soon as I am able to, wash with a gentle shampoo to get all the stuff (sand, product, dust, etc.) out of it. During vacations, I wear either braids or buns a lot just to get the hair out of the way since you tend to be more active and not have as much access to 'me' time.

January 22nd, 2014, 06:59 AM
Would some sort of oil, like coconut, work the same way as a conditioner? I try to use as much natural stuff as possible for my hair. :)
And what is Monoi oil? never heard of it! :)

January 22nd, 2014, 07:08 AM
Monoi oil is refined and infused coconut oil mostly from Tahiti. I think a natural oil that has been tried and proven with your own hair would work well. You can also use a bit of natural aloe gel with your oil if you also have issues taming the frizzies. I am not a big fan of hats on myself, but that is also a great option as well.

January 22nd, 2014, 07:12 AM
Awesome tips! Thank you so much! :D (although, I just remembered; I can only bring 100ml bottles... My whole hand luggage will be filled with oils and sunscreen in small bottles! haha, oh well..! :P)

Zebra Fish
January 22nd, 2014, 07:24 AM
There are already few threads about it, so you can try searching for them. Can't help you with pool, coz I don't rly like them as I am from sea :p

Non summer part of the year, my routine is pretty simple with cone-free conditioner and SLS-free shampoo, but in summer is something like this:
Before going to the beach I wet my hair with tap water (mostly you'll find you need to saturate, but I'm kind off lazy for waiting that long :p ), put oil (coconut or olive, whatever I use at the moment, guess you can use other also) and do some kind of bun with a big clip (claw clip or whatever hold your hair firmly while doing all the beach fun, even hair stick sometimes when I forget that salty water could damage it). During day I mostly repeat the process of water+oil+bun if I feel the need. After I come from the beach for the last time that day, I put hair under tap water to get salt (sand, algae or whatever else) out and massage cone-free conditioner in and bun it. Do all other stuff - put towels to dry, wash and put bikini to dry, eat or whatever I need to do. When done with all that, I shower and "wash" hair with some sun-protect coney conditioner/hair mask (personally using the aftersun mask from the L'Oreal Professional line coz I love the smell, but cant say its the best one). Once a month I wash with SLS shampoo (clarifying or sneak and steel the one my mum uses atm).
I'm not saying is the best or (definitely NOT) the easiest routine, but it works for me. I'd like to fine a simpler one, but for now I'm on this one, and I don't get dry or damaged hair at the end of the summer. Before I dyed my hair for the first time, I NEVER did anything special (except some oiling every now and then) and never had any problems with hair and salty water (tho I would never comb before using conditioner, and while I was a kid sometimes I wouldn't shower in sweet water for few days, I didn't mind the salt).

HTH :)

January 22nd, 2014, 07:31 AM
I figured there has to be at least one or two threads about this already, but I'm really no good at searching here at LHC... Will try to get better! :)
Also awesome tips! :)
I've heard that sesame oil keeps hair from fading in the sun, have any of you heard of that?
I really don't want any lighter hair. If anything, I want darker. :P

January 22nd, 2014, 07:40 AM
Umm...yeah, I totally forgot to mention that before I apply any oils or conditioners, I first wet the hair first with regular water. Sorry for leaving out that key piece of information :)

January 22nd, 2014, 07:42 AM
The only way to protect hair from sunlight is a close weave sunhat, pretty UV scarf (Buff) or swimming cap - choose between protective and sexy. UV products for hair are next to useless as discussed in a thread a few days ago if you use the 'advanced search' function.

Conditioners and oils will soften and give slip but only very limited protection. You cannot use these in a chlorinated pool without a swimming cap: you contaminate the water, feed microbes, use up the pool chemicals. I took a pool hygiene certification some years back to learn this.

January 22nd, 2014, 07:54 AM
I figured there has to be at least one or two threads about this already, but I'm really no good at searching here at LHC... Will try to get better! :)

Something that took me too long to realize, in case you aren't aware, when you are searching here, go into Advanced Search. There is a cell in which you can check off the option the search thread titles only, which makes your search much more efficient.

January 22nd, 2014, 08:03 AM
Jupiterinleo, gee! Thanks! That is gonna help me out sooo much! :D
Firefox7275, oh is that true? Bummer.. Guess I will just have to get me a nice showe cap, then!
It doesn't even work in the sea? I prefer the sea, and will be most likely spending my days there. Pools are just too bright for my sensitive eyes.. :P

January 22nd, 2014, 08:09 AM
Jupiterinleo, gee! Thanks! That is gonna help me out sooo much! :D
Firefox7275, oh is that true? Bummer.. Guess I will just have to get me a nice showe cap, then!
It doesn't even work in the sea? I prefer the sea, and will be most likely spending my days there. Pools are just too bright for my sensitive eyes.. :P

What doesn't work in the sea? UV protection is effective or not, all water washes it away so makes it tougher to protect skin and hair. Although its fabric you could probably use a UV Buff in the water and there are many different prints, but hat is for sun only not the salty water.

A shower cap to me is a huge voluminous thing with an elasticated edge that does not keep water out if you are immersed, a swim cap is tight and neat and designed for when in a body of water. I think the fifties style ones with 3D flowers are retro and cute but you may not.

January 22nd, 2014, 08:14 AM
Yeah, I meant swim cap. Just my head is a little slow on translating from swedish to english right now!
Well, I will have to look into that! Thanks for the tip! :)

January 23rd, 2014, 06:51 AM
I wear a big sun hat, you can also wear a scarf or anything that covers your head.

Conditioner and oil treatments will keep your hair from drying out, so use them more frequently.

If your swimming put in a leave in conditioner when you come out of the water.

You can also put conditioner/ oil in your hair before swimming but I never do this.

You can buy hair protecting spray with SPF which reduces damage.

Wearing your hair up will reduce the amount of hair exposed to the sun and also keep it knot free.

Have a great time on holiday!!!!!

January 23rd, 2014, 07:45 AM
If I were you, I'd probably be going with a UV Buff or at least a bandana over a bun at the beach. That said, I have fried the top of my head at higher latitudes and shorter exposures than what you're doing, so I've learned the hard way that I really must cover my scalp if I'm spending a sunny day outside. Swim caps are nice for real, intense swimming, but like you I probably wouldn't wear one all day at the beach, if only because they're tight enough to induce headaches after a few hours.

The other important thing when you're around non-fresh water (pool or ocean) is to, if possible, rinse your hair in fresh water. Your hair is going to absorb some water, so you might as well make sure that at least a portion of it is not going to be particularly harmful to your hair by wetting it down before you go in. Definitely rinse it again with fresh water after you get out, rather than letting salt water or chlorinated water dry on your hair in layers all day. Between rinsing and hats/scarves/bandanas, your hair should suffer a lot less.

Have fun!

January 23rd, 2014, 08:05 AM
Thank you so much for these awesome tips! I will try and follow all of these! Will have to invest in one of those UV Buffs. And a good hat. Right now, all I have are cotton hats. Black. Not too nice in the summer ;)

January 23rd, 2014, 08:07 AM
I've heard that coconut oil has natural spf. So if you wet your hair, applied some coconut oil, bunned, and then possibly covered if you wanted, I think that's the best you can do.

Also, in terms of running a search, I have found that the best way is to just use google. Type whatever the topic is and long hair community. For example "sun protection, long hair community"

It works much better than our search function.

ETA: When I typed that exact phrase into google, this was the first search result: Sun Protection for Hair? (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=580)

January 23rd, 2014, 08:33 AM
SPF = Sun Protection Factor, its a scale designed for living skin and is measured in numerical figures (say 10). It does NOT apply to haircare products and is NOT listed on them. It refers to UVB rays only and denotes the multiple of time it takes skin to burn with proper use, no thought as to the damage of UVA nor bleach out/ otherwise degrade hair.

Even if it did apply to hair you would have to slather on the same amounts as you are supposed to for skin - think eggcupfuls applied every couple hours and looking like you dipped your head in a deep fat fryer. That is clearly nonsensical so most products just use buzzwords they don't make specific claims that have no basis in science.

A sunhat or fabric can have a UV rating/ SPF because it protects the scalp. As it is a physical sunscreen (blocks by reflection) it will also protect from UVA/ is broad spectrum. Chemical sunscreen agents (blocks UVB by absorption) penetrate into the skin before working but breaks down when exposed to UV light. It is these chemical agents that are in haircare.

January 23rd, 2014, 12:23 PM
opps sorry got mixed up, i did mean that though!!!!!