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Summer's Here: UV Protection for Transitioning and Natural Hair

10:25 AM

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This article is also featured on Black Girl with Long Hair :)

The first day of Summer is Friday, June 21st.

I don't know about you, but I'm excited about Summer. Warm nights, bright colors, cute sandals, neon pedicures, beach days, and sunglasses galore. Let me stop playing...I live in LA, I've been doing this stuff since March (lol). In all seriousness though, many transitioners and naturalistas tend to gravitate toward "out" styles in the warmer months. And why not? You've been diligent all Winter and Spring with moisturizing, sealing, and protective styling. Reward yourself, and shake that hair out!

Before you strut out the door and flaunt your tresses to the world, you need to be aware of how to best protect your hair while the sun is shining bright. I know you all know about keeping moisture in with light products (water/glycerin, aloe vera juice, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.), but what about UV protection? Just like you protect your skin (don't believe the myth that Black folks don't need sunblock...our skin, regardless of color, is just as susceptible to damage from UV rays), you need to protect your hair.

Hair doesn't sunburn, but there are some tell-tale signs of UV/sun overexposure. When your hair has spent too much unprotected time in the sun, it lacks elasticity and strength -- making it prone to breakage. Additionally, photo-oxidation can occur; resulting in discoloration and fading of color, both natural and dyed.

How do you protect your hair from the sun, and still have fun? Sure, you can go the hat, headwrap, or scarf route to keep the sun's rays from reaching your hair directly. But if you're interested in letting it all hang out, look for the following ingredients in your favorite products, or in a product you wish to try this Summer:
  • Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (EHMC)
  • Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane // Methoxydibenzoyl Methane
  • Parsol SLX
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)*
  • Mauritia Flexuosa (Buriti) Oil*
  • Benzophenones
To get you started, here are some product recommendations, along with the active UV protection ingredients they contain:

Product: Ion Inspired by Nature Nourishing Oil Treatment
Price: $11
Active Ingredient(s): Vitamin E, Buriti Oil
Available at: Sally Beauty

Product: ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer
Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Buriti Oil, Vitamin E
Available at: Sally Beauty

Product: Neutrogena Silk Touch Leave-In Cream
Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane
Available at: Ulta Beauty

Product: Silk Elements Curl Defining Mousse
Price: $5
Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone-4
Available at: Sally Beauty

Product: Dermorganic Flexible Hold Alcohol-Free Sculpting Spray
Price: $15
Active Ingredient(s): Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Vitamin E
Available at: Ulta Beauty, Walgreens

Product: Biotera Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner
Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
Available at: Sally Beauty

Product: Infusium 23 Colourologie Leave-In Treatment
Price: $12
Active Ingredient(s): Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate
Available at: Amazon.com

Product: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Take Charge Curl Boosting Mousse
Price: $6
Active Ingredient(s): Benzophenone-4
Available at: Ulta Beauty

Product: Silk Elements Kera Minerals Smoothing Leave-In
Price: $6
Active Ingredient(s): Vitamin E, Benzophenone-4
Available at: Sally Beauty

Product: Crème of Nature Argan Oil Gloss and Shine Polisher
Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Benzophenone-3
Available at: Sally Beauty

Product: GVP (Generic Value Products) Cream
Price: $8
Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone-4
Available at: Sally Beauty

Product: ApHogee Gloss Polisher Therapy Spray
Price: $8
Active Ingredients: Buriti Oil, Benzophenone-3
Availabile At: Amazon.com

*Although Vitamin E and Buriti Oil aren't exclusively regarded as UV protectants themselves, there is research that suggests each provides a degree of photoprotection against UV rays. Vitamin E is able to absorb UV energy, which prevents UV induced free-radical damage. The carotenoids in lipids/oils such as Buriti Oil are believed to be able to absorb UV light and prevent photo-oxidation. If you are interested in a more natural and/or silicone-free approach to UV protection, seek products with Vitamin E and Buriti Oil high on the list (within the top 5 or 6). Of course, you always have the option of purchasing pure Vitamin E and Buriti Oil themselves, and combining them with your carrier oil of choice.

This list is by no means conclusive, rather it's a springboard. There are tons of products with UV protection ingredients, and as Summer rolls along, I'm sure more will be introduced. What are some of your favorite UV-blocking products?

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1 comments

  1. Great informations...Thanks for sharing :)

    xoxo
    Stella

    ReplyDelete