How To Protect Your Hair From The Sun


I already posted about me frying my hair last summer due to bicycling around town without a hat. Hair, especially greying hair, is highly susceptible to UV damage. Note that I live in a relatively cold climate and we don't even get that much sun.

This winter I was diagnosed with eczema and after a couple of different treatments the one that was most effective was UV light on the scalp. After a while I noticed damage -- my hair was dry and coarse. 

If you have greying hair (doesn't matter if you dye it), your hair is bleached or damaged, or if you live anywhere with a lot of sun, or spend a lot of time outdoors, this post is for you. 

Do hair products with SPF work? 

The answer is -- not well enough. It's pretty much impossible to coat every single strand of hair, and if you somehow did manage to, you'd look like you dipped it in an oil slick. 
So if you want you can use it as an additional help, but you really need to rely on physical protection.
What does help a bit is oil -- I have seen as well tested how hair reacts to the sun with vs without a coating of oil, and can really recommend it.
So we are back to using traditional ways.


I love hats, and I believe that there is one out there for every person. My go-to place is TKMaxx, I find the best ones there every summer, often made out of UV-reflecting fabric. Another go-to place is Bijour Brigitte, and of course flea markets. (Yes, this does mean I lose at least one hat per summer). Here is a hack on how to make a loose-fitting hat fit better.


The key here is to find a scarf that really really goes with your face or your style, otherwise it can look quite matronly. Pay attention to the fabric weight and stiffness as well to the pattern. I think you also need to experiment with many ways of tying it, to find what works for you.
Protective Updos 

Braids and buns protect at least the lenght and ends of the hair from the sun.

The total protection dork 'do

My bicycle commute hair solution is, well, rather dorky. I plop my hair with a scarf to protect my waves, and over that I put on a visor to protect my skin (imagine only the brim of a hat, without the top part). This stays on securely even if there is wind, and my waves don't get flattened. I take it off when I reach my destination, and nine times out of ten I have voluminous waves. Here is the scarf wrapping style I use:

Finally, remember that it's all about balance. I would not forgo having fun experiences because my hair might suffer, but I do try to be good about wearing a hat when possible.

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