There is nothing like being out in the hot sun, and as summer rolls into town it is natural that people want to spend more time outdoors. While the balmy beams of the glorious sun may cause a delectable warm glow, it’s what you can’t see that may blight you later.
Whether you are out in the garden, spending a relaxing day at the beach, or playing with your kids, the sun can really have detrimental effects on your hair. Hair that is unprotected can fry in UVA and UVB rays resulting in a head full of straw-like strands that may take months to repair.
The good news is that with a little forward thinking and preventive measures you can avoid the sun and surf damage of faded hair colour, brittle or dry hair, and unsightly split ends.
Magazines are full of tips on how to prevent sun damage to your hair, ranging from wearing a hat to putting conditioner in your hair to act as a barrier. However one thing that I notice when leafing through these magazines is that there isn’t much advice on protection of the tresses when it comes to Afro hair, therefore I took the liberty of reviewing a few eco-friendly products for Afro hair.
Afro hair is unlike any other hair type and comes with its own set of challenges when it comes to hair care. As Afro hair is already very fragile, throwing the sun into the works is only going to dry the hair out and make it more prone to damage, therefore avoiding harsh chemicals in your beauty buys is highly recommended.
Many products aimed at Afro hair are barrier creams that work by locking moisture into the shaft, but this eventually evaporates and quite often they can also prevent moisture from the air getting to your hair. As a result the hair gets dry and begins to feel hard leaving it weak and prone to breakage. By using natural emollients and ingredients such as shea butter, your scalp can breathe, stay hydrated for longer, and thus less breakage occurs.
With a huge range of natural eco-friendly shampoos, conditioners and treatments on the market it’s never been easier to keep your hair happy. Plus buying products that are green not only benefits you, but the environment too. Where do you think those products washed off your hair go?
If you fancy swapping some of your chemical laden staples for a more green selection, check out these eco-friendly favourites.
TIGI Free Ur Mind Cherry Almond Firm Hold Hairspray
This hairspray from Tigi contains only organic ingredients and plant proteins to lock in your look and Free Ur Mind to think about living the green dream. It contains no parabens, artificial colours or synthetic fragrances – great for your hair and the planet. Comes for around £9.95 for 250ml bottle.
Barefoot Botanicals Rosa Fina Brilliance Hair Masque
If your hair is coloured, treated, dry or over processed, you will love this hair repair masque. Among some of the natural ingredients contained in the masque are shea butter and aloe vera which help to soften and hydrate the hair, and vitamins A, B5 and E to help protect against heat damage. Using this 2-3 times weekly helps to leave your hair feeling soft, relaxed, and amazingly glossy! Around £18.95 for a 200ml bottle.
Frederic Fekkai Au natural Gentle Shampoo
This gentle shampoo is infused with beneficial essential oils and plant-derived ingredients, and all absent of synthetic fragrance dyes and high impact additives like sulfates and parabens. Eco-conscious materials complete the package of this positively crafted hair care. The results speak for themselves. This costs around £19 a 200ml bottle
Babyliss Eco Hair Dryer
The Babyliss eco hair dryer is a must have for any green goddess.Unbelievably it gives the same drying performance as 2000W hair dryers whilst using only half the energy. Using a Babyliss Eco Dry for 10 minutes every day, instead of an ordinary 2000W dryer, saves enough energy to make seven cups of tea or 11 slices of toast per day. At £20 it’s a bargain!
So there are a few suggestions to help you on your way to protecting your hair this summer so you can emerge in autumn with healthy tresses. When you are tempted to ditch your protective hair care plan remember that summer always ends but sun damaged hair can last a very long time!
Angie is our resident features writer on location in London, specialising in festivals, food and nutrition, and with a keen interest in ethical fashion.