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Here Comes the Sun: Ten Ways to Prevent UV Hair Damage

With temperatures on the rise, it's time to thaw out and bask in those warm summer rays. Even though my pale skin pushed me long ago to become the queen of sunscreen, I still struggle when it comes to protecting my scalp and locks. The few products I've tried left a greasy, dirty look—not exactly vacation glam. This season, in hopes of achieving true head-to-toe protection, I gave it another go, seeking out sun-blocking hair products. Luckily, we've come a long way. Here's to having our summer and healthy hair, too.
  • Suncare Protective Hair Veil

    Not only does Aveda’s Suncare Protective Hair Veil shield locks from UVA and UVB rays, but it also detangles and moisturizes as it does all that protecting. The lightweight, water-resistant mist acts as a screen, blocking harmful rays and free radicals while leaving a spicy-fresh aroma of cinnamon and citrus. ($26, Aveda)

  • Protect Hair Shield

    For those of us looking for a closer-to-the-earth solution (it is soaking into our scalps, after all), Warren-Tricomi’s Organic Protect Hair Shield mists on SPF and protection from environmental stressors like ocean water, chlorine, and hot rays. The UV filter combines with extracts of organic sea algae, cactus, chamomile, nettle, and lavender to work its magic. ($14.99, Amazon)

  • After Sun Shampoo

    Consider using a detoxifying after-sun shampoo following a day out in the elements. Using one over time will strengthen hair, too, by building up a protective moisture barrier against the sun. Redken’s After Sun Shampoo removes toxins like pool chemicals and salt while replenishing moisture and vibrancy with mango oil. Yum. ($13, sleekhair.com

  • After-Sun Hair Masque

    Massage worn-out locks with an intensive cream that restores, moisturizes, and defends against future exposure to free radicals. Aveda’s After-Sun Hair Masque rebuilds weakened hair with organic shea butter, coconut, palm oil, green tea extract, and fragrant citrus. Apply weekly after shampooing, allowing it to soak in for two to five minutes before rinsing. ($26, Aveda)

  • Swim & Sun Daily Hydrating Conditioner

    What if we’re talking about frequent and regular sun exposure? Incorporate a daily use product, like L’anza Swim & Sun Daily Hydrating Conditioner. This prescription for UV, heat, chlorine, and water damage heals and moisturizes while protecting color, too. It’s formulated to defend against thirty factors that cause dry brittle hair, inspiring creators to dub it HPF 30, for its hair protection factor. ($8, Amazon)

  • Coiff Pre-Style Thermal/UV Protectant

    Apply a conditioning mist before styling or walking out the door with that beach bag. Frederic Fekkai Coiff Pre-Style Thermal/UV Protectant is infused with vitamins, proteins, and botanical extracts. After spraying, gently comb through tresses. Voilà—consider that sun blocked. ($24, Fekkai)

  • Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment

    Post sun exposure, a healing oil is beneficial for all hair types. Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment absorbs quickly, infusing hair with nutrients and hydration without any greasy residue. So in between the day at the pool and evening in the lounge, apply a dab for a quick shine enhancement.

  • Joe Grooming Hair Spray

    That’s right, hair spray. For those of us who cringe at the thought of adding another product to our repertoire, Joe Grooming Hair Spray offers a solution. Though marketed for men, this spray offers UV protection as it holds our style in place. Why didn’t I think of that? ($12.50, JCPenney)

  • Cucumber Aloe Vera UV Sport Conditioning Spray

    Feeling a little dry and damaged already? Babo Botanicals Cucumber Aloe Vera UV Sport Conditioning Spray moisturizes and soothes with organic aloe vera and (you guessed it) cucumber, detangling locks and alleviating that sun-stressed feeling. It’ll also protect against future damage with a UV filter. Pretty sure that makes it a twofer.

  • Straw Hat

    Never underestimate the power of a hat. Not only will it save your scalp and locks from sun damage most effectively—by blocking them in the first place—it’ll also shield the face and neck. Oh, and the right topper lends that coveted touch of chic to any beach getup.

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