Ask Dr. Ena: Does your hair need sunblock?
Posted on June 20 2019
Summer is nearly upon us, such as it is in Chicagoland where I live. Summer hair care is incredibly important no matter where you are. The awareness for protecting our skin against the warm and inviting but damaging summer sun is at its highest (as it should be). However, your hair is just as important when it comes to sun protection. There are a lot of benefits that we can get from creating good summer hair care habits.
I answered some questions that my patients and Many Ethnicities community members frequently ask me. These answers are your ultimate healthy curl guide through the summer.
Does your hair need sunblock?
Hair color is lightened by the sun, which most of us love, but it is actually incredibly damaging, especially to our curly multi-cultural hair due to its coiled structure. The sun’s harmful UVA (Ultraviolet A) and UVB (Ultraviolet B) rays damage the outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, by causing cracks and breaks in its surface.
This degrades its proteins, causing exposure of the cortex underneath and destruction of pigment in the hair—a direct result of UV-induced oxidation of melanin particles in the cortex. This leads to loss of elasticity, breakage, and dull dry hair overall that resembles straw more than hair!
All the other wonders and fun of summer only add to that—swim and sand and heat—but I’ll reserve those topics for another post.
And don’t forget about the tender skin on your scalp, which also needs attention.
The sun will start to affect your skin negatively after only 15 minutes of exposure! So the short answer is YES, your hair does need sun protection.
Use natural oils and high-quality products will nurture your hair
Many natural oils offer protection—known as spf, or sun protection factor. Olive and coconut oil have the highest spf, at approximately 8, with castor oil and almond oil a little lower. There are synthetic sunscreen ingredients as well – things such as cinnamates and oxybenzone and avobenzone, which are very effective at low doses in some products specifically designed for sun protection.
The best protection is a hat or fun funky scarf, preventing sun exposure altogether, or minimizing it, blocking the harmful UVA and UVB rays, while maintaining good moisturization of your hair with our Many Ethnicities Leave-In conditioning cream.
Have a terrific, happy, and healthy hair summer! Look for more posts to come on multicultural summer hair care,
Many Ethnicities Leave-In Conditioning Cream
- Color safe
- Argan Oil brings softness, silkiness and creates a natural shine
- Avocado Oil naturally moisturizes dry, brittle and damaged hair
- Moringa Oil is rich in phytonutrients, promotes scalp health and curtails split ends
- Marine algae strengthens hair
- Pea protein promotes the hair’s cell growth
- Panthenol is a provitamin of B5, an excellent moisturizer and helps preserve moisture on the individual hair shafts
- Thoroughly tested by Dr. Ena and her friends and family
- Always manufactured to the highest standards in small batches in the USA
- Harsh salts
- Sodium Chloride
- Added colors or dyes
- Animal testing
- Excuses. Ever.
- Kaur, C. D., & Saraf, S. (2010). In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Pharmacognosy research, 2(1), 22.