Summer Stress on our Tresses

With only a few weeks left of our fun in the sun, I thought we should take this opportunity to discuss, from a scientific approach how UV rays cause damage to our locks internally. While we spend less time in the sun during the fall and winter months, remember the sun stays by our side year round.  Our friends over at Redken’s R&D department shed some light on the subject.  Don’t worry you can nurse your hair back to health!

Consequences of UV Rays:





UV particles degrade melanin pigments in the hairs natural color causing a lightening or almost bleaching effect.

Roughness/ Fragility

Cuticle damage and deterioration can occur with exposure to UV rays. It makes hair less hydrophobic and more sensitive to humidity.  There is a cement like substance that holds cuticle scales together and they can become degraded which weakens the structure increasing the hair’s sensitivity. Hair loses smoothness and softness and can look dull. The more exposure to UV the more the cuticle becomes sensitive to aggressors such as blow drying, brushing and flat irons). The cuticle can be worn off and exposed like split ends.      


Intense levels of UV exposure over time can weaken the hairs elasticity; lessen lipid content causing higher porosity and even keratin (protein) loss.

The Remedy

Ceramides (protection against moisture loss) and conditioning agents help to restore moisture to dry or damaged hair. Also, protein based treatments can help restore keratin loss in extreme cases.

Try to use conditioning masks once a week or as needed and Redken Extreme CAT Protein Reconstructing Treatment for distressed hair as directed. Preventatives are also helpful, wearing a hat or scarf at the beach and applying a leave in conditioner on damp hair will help add an extra barrier of protection. Products containing Vitamins A, B and C will help protect your hair against free radicals that can harm your hair cells.

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Rachael Ray