trends and updates

Head to Toe Sun Protection: Part 1

sun damaged hairWe seem to finally be free of cold Wisconsin winter. Spring has arrived and we’re moving toward sunny summer months, which means it’s time to enlist protective measures to shield us from the sun’s harsh rays. Sun protection doesn’t just apply to skin. We often forget that hair is equally susceptible to harmful UVA and UVB rays. Over-exposure damages the hair cuticle, resulting in dull tresses, dry, brittle, frizzy hair and split ends. Keep your locks summer-lovely and prevent sun damaged hair with these helpful tips:

  1. Rinse hair immediately after exposure to salt water or chlorine – both will dry and damage hair. For extra chlorine and build-up removal, we use Aveda’s Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser.
  2. Invest in styling products with SPF built in. Many companies now make hair sprays, leave-in conditioners and styling aids with SPF built right into the product. We love Aveda’s Protective Hair Veil or Moroccan Oil’s Glimmer Shine.
  3. Wear a hat. Although SPF products can help, wearing a hat will offer the most complete protection from harmful UV rays and it carries the added bonus of shielding your face from the sun.
  4. Protect your part. Apply a small amount of sunscreen to your scalp directly where hair is parted.
  5. Say no to sun-activated hair lightening sprays, peroxides, lemon juices etc. These will rob moisture from your hair and make it more susceptible to sun damage.

And breathe easy … damaged hair can be repaired. To restore moisture and prevent further damage, follow these guidelines:

  1. Don’t try to tame unruly hair with styling aids alone. Understandably, we reach for gels and mousses to make unruly hair cooperate. Instead, give your hair what it really needs – more moisture. Start with a hydrating salon-quality shampoo and rinse-out conditioner, followed by a stronger leave-in conditioner to continue the moisturizing process. Many of the products we carry fit this bill, but several, such as Aveda’s Sun Care and Color Conserve lines, are specifically formulated for UV protection.
  2. If leave-in conditioner isn’t providing enough repair, consider a hair mask. Much like facial masks, a hair mask revitalizes and replenishes deep within the hair shaft. Leave masks as long as directed, then shampoo and condition as usual. A mask is often a must for preserving color and prepares hair for color throughout the sunnier months. Aveda’s Color Conserve Strengthening Treatment or Daily Color Protectant both provide the replenishing moisture needed.
  3. RZ & Company offers several Keratin Smoothing Treatments to lock in protein and provide deep penetrating moisture to damaged hair. Results last six weeks to five months, depending on the treatment.
  4. Avoid hot styling tools, or at least lower the heat setting. Extra heat forces cuticles to split open – essentially undoing all the work those leave-in conditioners and hair masks have accomplished. Stick with the medium or cool settings on your blow dryer. The same is true for curling irons, flat irons and hot rollers. If hair isn’t holding curl the way it should, or still becomes frizzy after straightening, it’s a clear sign you’re using too much heat.

Still, there is only so much these preventative and corrective measures can accomplish. When all else fails, a haircut to remove damaged ends may be necessary. Our stylists will help you find a fantastic style and the right products that will set you up for healthier hair for summer and for the seasons ahead. Book appointments online at rzco.com or call 608.827.7979.

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