How can the sun damage natural hair? Let me explain: The other day I jumped into my car to be nearly cooked by the heat on my seats and steering wheel. It was sauna level hot inside that car. The heat was too real, and I feel it was also too early. It’s not even really summer yet.
I wondered how hot summer would be if I was already feeling overheated in spring? As I pondered how the sun could be so disrespectful as to bypass tint and glass and set my car ablaze, I felt my scalp begin to sweat.
How can the sun damage natural hair?
Hell, it could clearly set a car on fire. There was no way my hair could be safe. Before the panic had passed, I’d completed an hour’s worth of research on how the sun can damage natural hair.
lighten the melanin in your hair
- heat from the sun opens the hair cuticle and destroys the melanin in the hair strand the same way bleaching does
dry out your hair strands
- sun rays heat up the hair and dry them out the same way sitting under a dryer dries your hair
break protein bonds in your hair
- UV radiation of the sun can break down the keratin bonds and cause your strands to weaken
I’m not here to kill your vibe, but I do want to warn you. Sun damage is a real thing. Some of the results of prolonged exposure are as damaging as the things you steer clear of all year to keep your hair healthy. African American hair is especially susceptible to the sun’s damage because of the flat, elongated shape of our strands. Pair that with the fragility curls can create and you can easily see why you should take steps to protect your natural hair from the sun.
Easy Ways to Protect Your Hair
- Amp up your leave in conditioner (below are some I use)
- Moisturize more frequently (below are the moisturizers I use)
- Olive Oil
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Use sun protectants during extended exposure (2 I found that don’t have terrible ingredients)
Enjoy the summer but be aware of how the sun can damage your natural hair.