There are many factors that go into the progression of hair loss – genetics, lifestyle, and environment are all aspects that can play a significant role, and aren’t necessarily factors you can control.
Sun damage, however, is a major contributing factor to hair loss and is one that you can control. When your scalp gets sunburnt, it can cause damage to the protective oils and cellular structure of your hair and skin. This can trigger the production of a compound called superoxide that may cause hair follicles to switch from the growth phase to the shedding phase, increasing the possibility of extended hair loss.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sun exposure can damage the outside cover of the hair strand, called the cuticle. You are especially susceptible to hair loss acceleration from the sun if you have lighter or finer hair. Your hair is at even greater risk of sun damage if you frequently lighten your hair, swim in chlorine pools, or use heat on your hair.
That being said, a little bit of sunshine and Vitamin D is good for your hair in small doses. A lack of Vitamin D can actually cause conditions like alopecia. But, as mentioned, too much can cause problems.
How to prevent hair loss caused by sun damage
The good news is that there are ways to limit hair loss caused by sun damage. Here are some ways you can limit hair loss because of sun exposure.
Protect your head from direct exposure
It’s important to protect your head from direct sun exposure, especially when you go places like the beach in the spring and summer. It’s important to wear a hat or a scarf on your head, or use an umbrella to keep the sun’s rays off of you.
Don’t go out in the middle of the day
As tempting as the warm weather is, it’s better to go out earlier and later in the day rather than mid-day. The sun’s rays are strongest in the early afternoon especially during warmer seasons, so it’s better for your hair to prevent hair loss if you do most of your adventuring outdoors in the mornings and evenings.
Swim with a cap in chlorinated pools
As previously mentioned, chlorine is also a contributor to hair loss. Swimming in pools that have chlorine, especially outdoor pools with the added sun exposure, can severely damage your hair. It’s better to wear a swimming cap when in chlorinated pools, or avoid chlorine altogether by swimming in saltwater pools if possible.
Don’t over shampoo your hair
The oil in your hair is meant as a natural protectant from the sun, so over shampooing and stripping the hair of those oils puts you at a greater risk of hair loss from sun damage.
Trim and condition your hair
Fragile and dry hair is more susceptible to sun damage, and therefore more prone to hair loss. It’s important to keep your ends trimmed to minimize the amount of dry hair, and also condition your hair to strengthen it.
Use sunscreen on your body and your hair
While you’re probably focusing most of your sunscreen on exposed parts of your body, it’s easy to forget to apply it to your scalp as well. There are sunscreens that are specifically meant to use on your scalp and hair to protect it from sun damage.
Can You Reverse the Effects of Sun-Damaged Hair?
The good news is that even if your hair has fallen victim to sun-damage, there are ways to reverse it and get your hair back to being healthy and beautiful. Nevertheless, if your hair is already in the early or late stages of hair loss, it’s important to still follow all of the above rules and advice when it comes to hair care in the sun. There are other ways you can help your hair regrow back and better than ever before.
Don’t use as much shampoo
According to Men’s Journal, using too much shampoo can be a factor in hair loss, especially after sun-damage has started to cause hair loss or thinning. By cutting down your shampoo usage to half or even a quarter of what you normally use, especially with sun-damaged hair, you can better preserve the natural oils that nourish the hair throughout the day and protect your hair, which would otherwise be stripped away with loads of products like shampoo.
That being said, it is important to regularly condition your hair. You really shouldn’t go for days on end where you aren’t conditioning your hair, unless you’re substituting it with a hair mask. Your hair needs moisture and nutrients – the sun and some shampoos will severely strip your hair of natural oils that are essential.
Consider Laser Light Therapy
Laser hair regrowth treatment is the most powerful and effective treatment for reversing hair loss and is recommended by 4 out of 5 hair growth professionals. The Theradome helmet, particularly, is a doctor-recommended treatment for hair loss that the FDA has cleared for safe and effective home treatment.
Despite some common misconceptions about laser hair regrowth therapy, the Theradome helmet is easy to use, effective, safe, and actually very affordable. It’s also not painful, as some might believe. While it does take some time to start seeing real results, it is one of the best ways to reverse the effects of sun-damage to hair and hair loss.
Learn more about the Theradome.