What You Need To Know About Treating Sun-Damaged Hair

Hair treatment getty photo
Photo by LuminaStock/iStock/Getty Images Plus

During the sunny summer months, covering up and slathering SPF on skin is common knowledge, but strands need some extra protection, too. Although many hair products on the market have some level of SPF in their ingredient list, a certain degree of hair damage is inevitable. Celebrity hairstylist and member of the Kérastase Consulting Stylist Collective Ryan Richman says two different types of UV rays can hurt hair.   

“The UVB radiation is what is responsible for the keratin protein loss and the UVA radiation is responsible for haircolor changes," he says. "Absorption of the radiation damages the outside cuticle, which in turn causes discoloration, dry and brittle strands, split ends, frizziness and even thinning." If clients are coming to you with UV-damaged locks, here’s a list of professional products and post-sun regimens you can recommend.  

ColorProof ClearItUp Detox Shampoo 

The first step to damage control after a long day in the sun is washing with the right shampoo, and according to Kim Bennett, a Paul Mitchell educator and Culture Ambassador at Sola Studios, it's also crucial to protect color. ColorProof ClearItUp Detox Shampoo protects and fortifies color while gently cleansing, moisturizing and removing the typical summer salt, chlorine and sweat buildup. 

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Kérastase Masque Après-Soleil 

The Après-Soleil Masque by Kérastase is part of a line of repair products for sun-damaged strands. The intensive hydrating mask has anti-oxidizing properties to keep color fresh and can be used simply as a conditioner or applied to damp hair for up to 10 minutes. “After sun exposure, condition with Masque Après Soleil to reconstruct and smooth the hair fiber, improve shine, and provide UV protection,” says Richman. Pair with the Bain Après Soleil Shampoo for the best results. 

Keratin Complex Keratin Obsessed Spray 

Like Richman said, keratin protein loss is one main effect the sun has on hair. The new Keratin Obsessed Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray touts up to 30 nourishing benefits for the hair that eliminate frizz, repair damage, fight color fading, add shine, prevent breakage and more. Spray in damp hair from scalp to ends, comb through for even distribution and style normally.  

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Keratin Intensive Treatment 

Paul Mitchell’s patented KeraTriplex rebuilds and repairs to transform lackluster hair, while awapuhi extract adds moisture and shine in this keratin treatment. Bennett recommends this product to clients specifically because it has a lower pH balance, which ensures that the cuticle is sealed up and protected.  

“It is important to keep a lower pH around 3.5 to 4.5 to get that cuticle restored. Sometimes the deeper keratin treatments can be a little higher pH to deliver that protein to the hair but can leave the cuticle a little open so you can always do another moisturizing conditioner with a lower pH after that has rinsed to seal it up,” Bennett explains. Once a week, apply the treatment to clean, damp hair and leave on for three to five minutes before rinsing.  

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