You have just spent a beautiful day in the park or beach and have noticed a difference in hair color because your lovely strands have been kissed by sun and you now possess natural highlights but let me tell you why you might want to give back those kisses to the sun.
When some people think of a day at the beach or park hair can be an after-thought but like skin hair can be seriously damaged as well. The process of natural hair highlights by the sun is actually oxidation, the hair highlights itself is the result of the oxidation called oxidization, basically the process and the result which is one and the same. The process of oxidation when oxygen is involved as described by wisegeek.com is “the process of oxidation depends on the amount of oxygen present in the air and the nature of the material it touches. True oxidation happens on a molecular level — we only see the large-scale effects as the oxygen causes free radicals on the surface to break away. In the case of fresh fruit, the skin usually provides a barrier against oxidation. This is why most fruits and vegetables arrive in good condition at the grocery store. Once the skin has been broken, however, the individual cells come in direct contact with air and the oxygen molecules start burning them. The result is a form of rust we see as brownish spots or blemishes.” With this being said you can see how this correlates to our strands. The explanation behind your natural highlights is the hair shaft was damaged therefore could not retain its natural pigment. So yes the natural highlights you just received is actual damage to your strands but there is something you can do to protect your hair from all of those sun kisses and prolong the health of your hair on any sunny day.
Combating the Sun:
*Moisture, Moisture and Moisture: The sun breaks down the hair’s protein (Keratin) therefore keeping hair well moisturized and placing conditioner in your hair without rinsing it out or a leave in will keep damage at a minimum or at a bay.
*Hats Galore: By wearing hats when you plan to be out and about or lounging for long extended periods of time in the sun can be a great vice to combat the sun especially wide-brim hats which would provide a full coverage of protection.
*UV Protection: The golden ticket to prevent oxidation is to assimilate a barrier of protection therefore the same sunscreen you use to protect your skin can also be used as protection for your strands. I would recommend using an SPF of 25 and diluting the UV protection with water. An easy travel tip is to mix 3 teaspoons of UV protection with a cup and a ½ of water and place in a spray bottle and shake. This way if you need to reapply the water bottle comes in handy.
*Stay away from Peroxide, alcohol and lemon based products: Peroxide, alcohol and lemon based products will cause your strands to dry out at a much faster rate and trigger or aid in the oxidation of your strands at higher levels.
*Updo or Wrap it Up: Protecting those strands by wearing a headwrap or updo style such as a bun can prevent major damage from the sun. Remember the ends of your hair are the oldest and weakest part of your strand which are more susceptible to the process of oxidation so don’t give the sun and excuse tuck your hair away.
Enjoying the beach or park should be just that and with the incorporation of these simple steps nothing will get in the way of making the most out of any sunny day