Our hair is exposed to and affected by many environmental pollutants every day. Apart from chemical treatments and chlorine water which cause harm to hair, sunlight and UV radiation also causes a lot of damage.
In summer, as the temperature rises, hair undergoes lot of changes due to UV radiation. Loss of hair pigment results in paler hair which appears dull and lacks the sheen. UV rays remove moisture content from the hair shaft making it dry, brittle and easily breakable. The protein content in the hair gets altered making it frizzy and easily breakable.
Hair that has been bleached, colored, straightened and chemically treated or exposed to chlorine is more susceptible to damage due to UV radiation. Both UVA and UVB can penetrate, absorb and change the structure of your hair permanently.
Other skin conditions such as Seborrheic Keratoses, moles etc. may appear on the scalp due to bad effects of chronic exposure to the sun.
seborreic keratosis – a wart like growth on the skin (source-dermquest.com)
TEN SIGNS THAT YOUR SCALP AND HAIR IS ALREADY SUN- DAMAGED
1) Dry and brittle hair
2) Dull hair which looks lighter than before
3) Loss of hair
4) Split ends
5) Prematurely grey hair
6) Growths on the scalp and near hairline
7) Frizzy hair
8) Flaky, itchy skin on scalp.
9) Hair that doesn’t grow much in length
10) Hair that tangles easily and is difficult to comb
EIGHT TIPS to keep your scalp and hair healthy and shiny in summers
1. WASH– Regular hair washes with mild shampoo, making sure you rinse off well, applying a conditioning agent suitable for the hair type.Avoid harsh chemical-based shampoos that contain harmful Parabens and Sulphates which zap the moisture from the hair. Avoid chemical hair colours as it causes itchy skin and pigmentary issues. Hair follicle infection or folliculitis can occur if hygiene is not maintained, especially in those who sweat a lot as excessive sweat and oil encourages bacterial growth.
Washing the hair and scalp at least 3 to 4 times a week also helps rid of lice and dandruff which worsen hair fall.
Post hair wash, you can use a hair serum with multivitamins and sunscreens.
2. NO to BLOW DRY – Drying of hair with a dryer is not advisable as it produces air bubbles inside the hair shaft due to the heat which makes it break easily.
3. OIL – Oiling hair once in a while acts as great conditioning agent. Cold pressed Coconut oil has a wonderful role in conditioning hair and protecting it from chlorinated water and UV radiation. Apart from applying oil, rinsing the scalp and hair of all chlorine from the swimming pool and applying sunscreens go a long way in protecting hair.
4.FOLLOW RAJINIKANTH – Cool shades is synonymous with Rajinikanth and summer is the perfect season to “do a Rajinikanth” if we may say for your hair.
Don’t be. You need to protect and shade your hair from the sun with all its glory as this summer it’s out to get your beautiful mane.
Covering the hair while outdoors with a scarf or a hat and applying sun-protective sprays and gels help to prevent the UV-related damage. A little known fact is that sun burns can occur on scalp too especially where hair distribution is thin. Sunscreens are now available for the hair too as sprays and this can protect one from harmful rays.
When choosing the right sunscreen, the points to look for a good UVB and UVA protection and a physical block. Just an SPF indicator of the UVB protection does not determine the overall effectiveness of the sunscreen.
Colour your hair with Caution
5. COLOUR WITH CAUTION – When coloring hair, take precautions to choose the right one, especially if the scalp and skin is sensitive. The best way to find out is to do a test patch on the skin and then apply on scalp.
Diet play an important role in hair health too
6. GORGE on healthy foods– Eating healthy plays a great role on health of hair and scalp. Food groups rich in vitamins and minerals like green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins; food groups rich in omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, salmon, fish and almonds are good.
7. DRINK UP – Consuming a good amount of water according to body weight, is a good way to re hydrate internally.Physiologist Sharon E. Griffin suggests that you drink a half ounce of fluid per day for every pound of body weight which is roughly 36 ml per Kg body weight.
Hair fall can indicate underlying disease
8. CONSULT A DOCTOR – Our scalp often indicates our health. When it gets oily too often can be an indicator of hormonal imbalance, when dry and flaky, it is indicative of fungal infections. Dry brown and brittle hair can indicate hemoglobin deficiency and other nutritional deficiencies.Loss of hair can be due to various reasons for which a consultation with a doctor can bring forth the causes and treatment options available.