What Everyone With Greying Hair Should Know About Sunlight -- Aka How I Fried My Hair Last Summer

This was taken in June -- the beginning of summer -- but you can already see the dryness and coarseness in spite of loving conditioning.

Hey everyone, now that summer is coming I have to write about this. I made a huge mistake last summer which really damaged my hair, and I hope that this post can help some of you from repeating my mistake.

To preface this -- I have quite a bit of grey hair. I started greying when I was in my early twenties, a few whites here and there. Now there are many more, though not yet enough for a proper salt-and-pepper look (I tried, and it did not look good). If you have any greys you might know that they don't just have a different colour, they have a whole different texture. You might have noticed your first grey because they grew straight up like an antenna (I did). They are coarser and stubborn. And they are very susceptible to UV damage.

I did not know this.

Last summer I took great care of protecting my skin from the sun, but for the first time I didn't cover my hair. Instead of my usual wide-brimmed hats, I used those headband-hats where the top of your head is uncovered. Or no hat at all, just sunscreen on my face. And I was outside a lot, including an hour+ long commute on my bicycle. At the end of the summer my hair looked bad. It was frizzy, it was rough, and wouldn't cooperate. (I wanted to post a photo but I realised I had deleted the ones where my hair looks wacky). Found one.  I had no idea what was going on, since I hadn't changed anything about my routine. Then I stumbled upon the information that sunlight damages hair with no melanin more than regular hair. To clarify -- dyeing your hair (whether with Henna or chemicals) does not protect the hair from UV light, just like self-tanner doesn't protect the skin.

So there you go -- a cautionary tale. Protect your hair from the sun this summer, whether it's greying or not.
Photo credit: Max Rovensky on Unsplash

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