7 Signs You Have Sun-Damaged Hair

There's nothing like the feeling of the sun on our skin on a warm summer day! Soaking up the sun's vitamin D is good for us. But the sun's effect on our hair? Not so good. The sun's UVA and UVB rays can damage and weaken our hair cuticles, leaving us with hair that is more susceptible to dryness, brittleness and breakage. 

But don't worry—this doesn't mean you have to forgo the sun entirely this summer! 

We dive into exactly how the sun affects our hair, along with the signs of sun-damaged hair to look out for this summer so you can adapt your summer hair-care routine accordingly. Read on to learn more about sun-damaged hair treatments and how to prevent UV hair damage!


How Does the Sun Damage Our Hair?


The sun's UV rays break down the lipids on the outer layer of the hair strand, and this lipid breakdown also weakens the cuticle. The protein that makes up our hair—known as keratin—is also compromised by UV rays. This degradation of the hair strand makes it more prone to dryness, brittleness and breakage. As a result, our hair can appear thinner, flatter and frizzier.


What Does Sun-Damaged Hair Look Like?


1. Its Vibrant Color Is Lost

Color fade is a telltale sign of sun-damaged hair. It occurs when the sun's UV rays weaken the proteins that make up our hair. Alongside this color fade, when your hair has fallen victim to harsh UV rays, you may also notice some new highlights. The sad truth? These sun-kissed highlights we often love in our hair are also signs of the sun's damaging effects on our hair. 

How to treat color fade in sun-damaged hair: The bleaching effect that the sun's rays have on our hair can't be undone, but it can be prevented in the future! To prevent color fade, avoid overwashing your hair in the summer, and use lukewarm water when you shampoo. Most importantly, the next time you're planning a day in the sun, add a wide-brimmed hat to your look to maximize protection for your hair and scalp!


2. It's Dull and Lackluster

If we spend too long in the sun with no protection for our hair and scalp, we end up with locks that lack shine and vibrance, due to damage to the keratin proteins that make up our hair. 

How to treat dullness in sun-damaged hair: Use a moisturizing and shine-restoring shampoo and conditioner! Our fragrance-free Full Transparency Pure Revitalizing Shampoo gently cleanses, reduces buildup and revives dull tresses using all-natural ingredients like chia and yuzu. Follow up with Full Transparency Shine Revitalizing Conditioner to boost shine and hydrate dull, lackluster hair without irritating sensitive scalps!


3. It's Brittle and Susceptible to Breakage

When the keratin in our hair breaks down, our locks become weaker and more susceptible to brittleness and breakage. And too much breakage causes our mature hair to appear thin and lifeless. 

How to treat brittleness and breakage in sun-damaged hair: Look for volumizing products that add body and strength without drying hair out. Our Wake Up Call Volumizing Duo is packed with goodies like caffeine, biotin and sage to nourish stressed hair follicles and boost hydration and volume. Together this duo also reduces breakage up to 98%.* For added protection against breakage, spritz on our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray, especially before using your hot styling tools, to benefit from its restorative and strand-strengthening vitamin E.


4. It Has More Split Ends

If you notice more split ends in the summertime, you're probably not imagining things! The sun dries out our hair, and the ends of our hair tend to be the driest parts of our locks. When our ends become too damaged, they fray and split, causing split ends. 

How to treat split ends in sun-damaged hair: Treating split ends requires a trip to the salon for a trim. But if you're trying to grow your hair out, don't worry! You can ask for a micro trim so your stylist removes only the split ends. You can also ask if they can snip your strands with hot thermal scissors, which helps seal the ends of your hair and prevent future split ends.


5. It's Frizzy and Rough to the Touch

Rough, frizzy hair is a sure sign of dryness and damaged hair cuticles! Healthy cuticles are smooth and shiny. But when our cuticles are damaged, they lift slightly, giving us frizz and a rough texture. 

How to treat frizziness in sun-damaged hair: Smooth out those cuticles! To fix the damage, treat your tresses to an ultra-hydrating and repairing hair mask like our Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque. The plant-based butter blend moisturizes dry, damaged hair and helps lock moisture into the strands by sealing the cuticles. It also restores elasticity and silkiness to dull hair!


6. It's Dry and Feels Crunchy

Dry, crunchy hair tends to happen in the summertime when you pair exposure to lots of UV rays with salt water or pool water. Both salt water and chlorine dry out our hair, so combined with the sun's damaging effect on our hair, it's no surprise we end up with dry, crunchy hair after a day of swimming! 

How to treat dryness in sun-damaged hair: Repairing and hydrating your locks is crucial! Start by switching to a sulfate-free repairing shampoo and conditioner like our Second Chance Repairing Duo. Packed with plant-based ingredients like argan oil, passion flower extract and rice bran oil, Second Chance repairs, smooths and nourishes taxed tresses while restoring moisture!


7. It Absorbs Water and Products Faster

Does your hair dry at lightning speed after you wash it? Have you noticed that leave-in hair products absorb instantly? If so, you've probably got high porosity hair, which makes your hair even more sensitive to UV hair damage. 

How to treat high porosity sun-damaged hair: The name of the game is moisture! If you've got straight or wavy locks, try incorporating a butter hair mask like Hair Redemption into your hair-care routine. Using this twice a week will give your porous hair the opportunity to soak up cuticle-nourishing hydration while smoothing your hair and sealing cuticles to lock in moisture. 

If you've got curls, you can also incorporate Hair Redemption, but we also recommend a super-moisturizing shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for curly hair, like our Bounce Back Super Moisturizing Shampoo for Curly Hair and Bounce Back Super Moisturizing Conditioner for Curly Hair. Our line of curly hair products provides up to 24 hours of frizz control and curl definition when used together, along with the extra moisture your aging curls require! 


Tell Us: How do you protect your locks from UV hair damage in the summertime? Share in the comments below!  

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Better Not Younger has the hair products you need in your sun-damaged hair treatment arsenal this summer! From our repairing Second Chance shampoo and conditioner to our hydrating Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque, our hair and scalp products address all the concerns of sun-damaged hair. Let Better Not Younger help you protect your hair from UV hair damage this summer!

*3rd party clinical instrumental comparison study after use of Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner compared to a regular shampoo after 1500 combings. Individual results may vary.