Does The Sun Damage Your Hair?

As the clocks go forward and the temperature tentatively rises, summer is finally on the cards. 

With the summer, comes the sun, and with the sun, comes the commonly asked question - does the sun damage your hair? 

Whilst winter comes with its own set of issues for your hair’s health, such as environmental factors like wind and rain, scarves, jumpers and coats causing friction and split ends, and central heating causing havoc for your hair’s hydration, the summer comes with a whole new set of obstacles standing in the way of you reaching your hair goals. With healthy, shiny hair being the biggest hair trend of 2024, we’re not about to roll over and accept unnecessary damage! 

What does the sun do to my hair?

We all know about the damage the sun does to our skin, but not many of us talk about its effect on our hair. However, we would all agree that it’s the environmental factors that come hand in hand with summer that cause the most damage to our hair. We’re talking sand, salt water, chlorine, opting for messy up-do’s when we get too hot and need to feel the air on the back of our necks… the list goes on. But in reality the sun itself can cause damage without you even noticing. 

Our co-founder Maria Sotiriou is a hairstylist and expert with over 37 years of experience in the hair industry and specialises in nurturing damaged hair back to life. Maria says: 

“Most people aren’t aware that sun exposure weakens the protein structure of our hair. This causes dehydration, which then leads to loss of elasticity in turn causing breakage.”

If you’ve ever had your hair coloured or bleached, you’ll be all too familiar with elasticity testing. Your stylist will take a strand of hair and pull it gently to see if it snaps, or if it pings back into place. They’re testing for good elasticity and if your hair pings back into place it shows it’s healthy, hydrated, and able to take colour or bleach without snapping. If it snaps your hair most likely is dry and damaged. The sun can do this to your hair regardless of whether you have prior damage or are causing damage to your hair already with things such as chemical treatments, or overuse of hot tools. 

Maria has spent years remedying the breakage of her own hair that she found was happening at night due to the friction of her hair against the abrasive fabric of her pillow, hence her development of the SILKE London Hair Wrap. She has a wealth of knowledge, tips and tricks that can help you to avoid unnecessary sun damage this summer, so you can emerge come autumn with your dream hair, rather than repeating the old ‘revitalising routine’ that we’re all led to believe must happen after every summer season. 

How to protect your hair from the sun

Maria says: “When you’re out and about running errands, exploring in the city or having a beach day, this is the time to make great choices for your hair. Instead of leaving it down to get tangled and stripped by the sun, invest in a protective, nourishing hair mask; there are some great options available that have sun protection built in! Apply throughout the lengths of your hair and opt for a protective hairstyle, my favourites are braids, or a bun secured with a SILKE London Hair Tie. Our hair ties are made from 100% pure mulberry silk, so they cause absolutely no damage to your hair whilst you’re wearing your hair up or taking it back down.” 

Prepping your hair for the day with a SPF mask and protective hairstyle cocktail, you can treat your hair whilst also protecting it from the sun. What’s more chic than slick, minimal styling on a sunny day? 

Maria’s next tip is: “If you don’t want to add a treatment into your hair, make sure you’re wearing a hat as a physical barrier between your hair and the sun. This is also great for your scalp if you tend to burn it! I like to take things one step further and I’ll wear my SILKE Hair Wrap out and about, or even wear it under my hat to stop any friction from the hat from damaging my hair as I go about my day. 

Wearing the Hair Wrap will smooth the hair cuticles and lock in hydration and moisture through the lengths leaving your hair supple, hydrated and glossy without frizz when you remove it later in the day. Wrap your hair during the day, enjoy healthy, glossy hair at night!” 

Our favourite celebrity style icons, such as Beyonce and Rihanna have been spotted covering their hair at the beach and around the pool. If the look works for them, it’ll for sure work for you. Maria specifically designed the Hair Wrap to look just as beautiful out and about; AKA, it’s not just for when your head hits the pillow. Beyonce and Rihanna know the drill when it comes to Maria’s summer tips!

How can I repair sun damage to my hair?

Of course, we know that we’re not all going to be as disciplined as Maria. Sometimes we’ll forget our Hair Wrap or get too carried away enjoying the sunshine. In London, we definitely understand overexcitement when the sun comes out! 

Maria says: “When we need to repair as opposed to prevent damage, I like to invest time in a pre-hair wash treatment after a day in the sun. I like to use a natural oil treatment, apply it to my hair and scalp and really get in there with a self-indulgent scalp massage. I’ll usually leave this for 15-30 minutes and then take my hair dryer and warm up the oil treatment before hopping into the shower to wash it out. 

After I use a pre-wash oil treatment, I’m extra careful to double shampoo, think of this as the same as a double cleanse for your face. It’s great to do each and every time you wash your hair, but especially after an oil-based treatment. 

After my hair wash routine, I’ll very gently towel dry, avoiding any excessive rubbing, as your hair is extremely vulnerable to snapping and stretching when wet. Remember our elasticity test? Your hair has extra elasticity when wet which causes it to overextend and then snap! 

I like to apply a molecular repair mask or leave-in treatment whilst my hair is damp, or if I feel like I need an extra level of repair I’ll even apply a nourishing hair mask at this stage and do a second hair wash! 

Once my hair is dry, I’ll slip on the SILKE London Hair Wrap to lock in the hydration whilst I finish getting ready for the evening or go to bed.”

Why 100% silk?

Wearing a SILKE Hair Wrap nightly is essential all year around, but especially during the Summer as everything tends to feel a little dryer. From your skin to your hair, everything could do with that extra drink of hydration through the warmer days and nights. 

The SILKE Hair Wrap is made from 100% silk, which is a completely natural fibre known to have been produced in China as far back as 6000 BC. Silk is somewhat of a miracle worker for both your hair and skin, and when you cocoon your hair each night it can help to evenly distribute the natural oils produced at your scalp throughout the lengths of your hair. Say goodbye to waking up with a greasy scalp and dry, split ends, now your hair can enjoy its own little ecosystem, meaning you can enjoy healthy, shiny hair and more time between washes! 

Why opt for excessive, time-consuming hair routines and goop, when you can tap into the power of your own natural oils to moisturise your hair and scalp instead? 

Silk is a breathable fabric, so unlike its synthetic counterparts, it allows you to cool down naturally which is a must in hotter climates! 

Don’t forget to pack SILKE this summer and tag us in any of your holiday snaps on Instagram and TikTok @silkelondon.

Love, SILKE xo

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