Sun Safety Tips to Avoid Permanent Hair Damage

Few things are more important to hair health than sun protection. Your hair and scalp are an extension of your skin. Yet often we forget that, like our skin, our hair and scalp need protection from the sun and its harmful UV rays.

Your hair health is connected to everything you do outside of the salon chair—and this is especially important to remember during the summer months when we’re all enjoying our time outside.

PSA: If you aren’t familiar with the harms of UV rays: You can get a crash-course and protective tips from my esthetician colleague Wesleigh.

How The Sun Damages The Hair  

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can damage the outside cover of the hair strand, called the cuticle, according to Dr. Wilma Bergfeld, dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Similar to excessive use of dryers and irons, the heat and dryness from the sun’s rays can damage your hair.

Not only does the sun dry out hair, but it can bleach it, too. What can be fondly referred to as “sun-kissed” is actually the bleach reacting with the melanin in hair, removing the color in a chemical reaction, according to Dr. Bergfeld.

What Damage It Causes

Sun-damaged hair is often dry, brittle and frizzy, with broken and split ends. Hair discoloration is common from the bleaching effects of the sun, damaging the hair’s keratin, as well as from an accelerated graying process from the heat. Cosmetically, hair that has been sun damaged can be harder to style and look the way you want.

How To Protect Your Hair From The Sun

Before we get into product recommendations, remember that the best way to protect your hair (and skin!) is to reduce or avoid UV ray exposure. That means wearing a hat or scarf and using umbrellas, avoiding peak sun exposure during midday hours, and protecting your hair from chlorine by wearing a swim cap and rinsing it immediately after.

We’ve also got some hair care recommendations and protectants, too, to establish a solid healthy hair routine.

As for the best sun protection products for your hair, here are a few we love right now:


Most Oribe products are formulated with one or more UV filters to help protect your hair against sun exposure. Specifically, Invisible Defense Universal Protection Spray protects against UV and pollution, and it shields hair from thermal damage up to 450 degrees.

Bumble and Bumble

Bb’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil UV Protective Dry Oil Finishing Spray is an ultra-lightweight, frizz-reducing micromist for a boost of radiance. Combined with the Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer, you’ll be set with UV filters to protect against the drying effects of the sun.


Aveda’s Sun Care Protective Hair Veil is a lightweight, water-resistant UV defense mist that forms an invisible screen to help reduce sun exposure and minimize damage and dryness. 

And, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your scalp! It often needs heftier protection than your hair itself! 

You can shop these and other great products at all five of our Cole’s Salon locations. Stock up and have a great summer! 

Tammy is an advanced designer at our Burnsville location.



Tammy Menden

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