Can Your Hair Get a Sunburn?

As strange as the title to this blog post may seem, sunburnt hair is most definitely a thing. It is arguable that a majority of concerns surrounding sunburn address skin, likely because sunburn on skin is far more noticeable than it is on hair. However, it is essential to acknowledge that hair is susceptible to sunburn, and it is equally susceptible to sunburn as skin is.

While sunburnt skin typically appears as red, inflamed or even blistered, sunburnt hair demonstrates its damage from the sun’s rays in an alternate manner. Hair that has been damaged by the sun tends to appear considerably dry, brittle, even straw-like, and it can lighten in colour and lose all shine. This is a result of the hair cuticle, root and shaft all being exposed to excessive amount of UV rays, and an excessive amount of damage can ultimately require hair being cut short in attempts to rejuvenate the hair.

Fortunately, a buzz cut typically fails to be the sole solution to sunburnt hair. Deep conditioning treatments can drastically reverse the damage done to hair by severe sun exposure, and such treatments are available at both drug stores and hair salons. An affordable and easily accessible example of a deep conditioning treatment would be coconut oil – simply apply the oil to hair and allow to sit for five to ten minutes prior to rinsing it out.

A simple way to prevent sun-damaged hair is to wear a hat. Although the thought of donning a hat in the midst of summer may not seem overly inviting, it could be the easiest way to prevent sunburnt hair. I always wear a baseball cap when I am working outside, and I braid the hair that hangs out of my cap as an attempt to hide some of it from the sun’s rays.

Sunburn is not something that is applicable to skin alone. Try your best to protect both your skin and hair this summer from the sun’s rays.

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