Derm DMs: What Is a Hair Sunscreen and Is It Really Necessary?
By now, you should know that wearing sunscreen on your skin every day is non-negotiable. But have you ever heard of hair products with sunscreen? Most people don’t know they can also help protect their hair’s appearance from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. Hair products with sunscreen may not be as common as skin-care products with sunscreen, but they should be on your radar — especially during the summer months when you usually spend the most time outdoors. Ahead, we consulted with Audrey Kunin, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of DERMAdoctor, to find out more about this hair product.
What Is the Purpose of Hair Products with Sunscreen?
Your hair, just like your skin, is susceptible to damage from the sun’s UV rays year round, especially when you’re spending prolonged periods of time in the sun, like during the spring and summer months. Hair products with sunscreen are exactly what they sound like — products formulated with sunscreen, which are designed to be used on your hair —to help protect it from damaging ultraviolet rays. “Ultraviolet rays can disrupt the protective cuticle of the hair,” says Dr. Kunin. “If damaged, hair can look dry, dull and brittle.” And if you have color-treated hair, you can also experience color fading from sun damage.
How Do Hair Products With Sunscreen Work?
When it comes to sunscreen for your skin, there are two main categories: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays and help to protect your skin by deactivating them, while physical sunscreens create a physical barrier between the sun’s UV rays and your skin. “Depending upon the ingredients used, they may act as a physical barrier to the sun or may help deactivate UV rays,” says Dr. Kunin. The key is to use products that can help protect your scalp and hair from damage.
Products to Pair With Your Hair Products with Sunscreen
Step one is to use hair products formulated with SPF, like Coola Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30. However if you suspect your hair is really damaged, hydration is key. Try using a deep conditioning mask once a week to hydrate and nourish dry, brittle hair. We like Kérastase Le Masque Hair Mask. Another great product designed for damaged hair is a sulfate-free shampoo, like Kérastase Bain Micellaire Shampoo.