If you’ve just had a fresh set of hair extensions fitted for your summer holiday, it’s important to think about sun protection for your hair. Discolouration from the sun, chemical damage from sun protection products and the chlorine from your poolside dip can all cause colour damage to your hair, so it’s important to have a plan in place in order to keep your luscious locks in top condition. At Additional Lengths, we understand the importance of flawless looking hair; that’s why we’ve pulled together this guide to help you keep your hair extensions looking their best yet, right through the summer season.
What causes hair to discolour in the summer?
Before you jet off to sunnier climes or plan your UK staycation this summer, it’s important to think about some sun protection for your hair. After all, you wouldn’t lie in the sun without protecting your skin first and your hair shouldn’t be any different. But did you know that there are lots of other holiday-related factors which can contribute to your hair’s discolouration? Here are some points to think about when planning your summer holiday hair care;-
The most obvious factor when it comes to hair discoloration, harmful UV rays from the sun can cause natural, coloured and extension hair to bleach, discolour, dry out and frizz. If you’ve spent time and effort achieving your perfect colour match, this can be really frustrating, so it’s important to learn how to protect your hair in these conditions.
Although it’s common practice to tie up your extension hair when you’re swimming to protect it from chlorine, there are some types of water that are unavoidable for your lovely locks! The high mineral content in the tap water abroad and the chemicals used to filter it can have an impact on both your natural and extension hair. A top tip to minimise your hair’s exposure to these minerals is to wash and rinse your hair with bottled water whilst you’re on holiday and to keep your hair tied up whilst you’re swimming and in the sea.
Whilst it’s really important to protect your skin from the sun, the chemicals contained in sun creams can be extremely damaging to the colour of your extension hair. Sun cream that contains Avobenzone (Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane), an oil-soluble ingredient that’s used to absorb the the sun’s full spectrum of UVA rays and Octocrylene, added a a stabiliser as the avobenzone degrades in the light, is great for protecting your skin but not so great for your hair. Tie your hair up when applying your cream to avoid contact with your freshly applied cream and also avoid sun protection for your hair that contains these ingredients.
Colour change accelerates as a direct result of these three factors combining. Sun cream gets absorbed into the extension hair which is then exposed to UV light from the sun. This causes the hair’s cells to break down (a process known as Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)) and to seek out electron particles to form a new cell structure. When the hair is rinsed with natural, mineral-filled water (iron, copper, calcium, magnesium and silica) the electron particles in the minerals attract to the hair’s cells causing a reaction and prompting the colour change.
Does sunscreen ruin hair extensions?
Sun protection for your hair is super important and sunscreen won’t ruin your hair extensions if you spend some time researching and using the correct products. Avoid using any products on your hair that contain high levels of avobenzone and octocrylene, and choose hair extension safe sunscreens and mists that concentrate on shielding your locks from the sun’s UV rays to avoid an accelerating colour change. Moroccan oil is a great place to start, adding a film to your hair that protects it from environmental impacts such as the sun and saltwater. Another great way to revitalise your hair if it’s already started to discolour in the sun, is to treat it with Malibu C sachets helping to reverse the issues caused by minerals in hard water and breathing life back into weighed-down locks. Remember to always avoid applying treatments and oils directly to your hair extension bonds to prevent them from slipping.
How do you protect hair extensions from the sun?
Alongside the tips we’ve already covered, there are some other great practices that you can follow in order to keep your freshly applied locks looking amazing and staying their perfect shade;-
Cover your hair up where possible
The best way to keep your hair protected from the sun is to cover it up where possible. Invest in a stylish sun-hat, or rock a sporty cap to protect your scalp from burning and your extensions from discolouring at the same time
Pack the correct shampoo and conditioner
When your extension hair is being constantly exposed to the elements, you don’t want to add to that stress by using the wrong shampoo. Always opt for a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner for your extensions, as sulphates strip away your human hair extension’s natural oils over time leaving them looking dry, coarse and lifeless. Remember to avoid applying conditioner directly to your bonds and to always wash your hair standing up to avoid tangling and matting. If you’re rinsing your hair with bottled water, pour in the direction of your hair for best results.
Look after your hair when swimming
Whether you’re swimming in the pool or at the beach, tie-up your hair to keep it out of the water. Both salt-water and chlorine can be damaging to your hair, with salt-water causing it to matt and chlorine stripping the colour. Style in a high bun for the best protection and if your hair becomes exposed to the water, rinse immediately to remove any chemicals or sea-salt.
Avoid heat styling
Your hair will already be feeling a little dry from the sun, so try to avoid adding to the problem. It’s important to dry your hair extensions once they’ve been wet, so if drying or styling is unavoidable, always use a heat protector on your locks. If you’re wanting perfect, heatless curls, why not use Silkology? Achieve the same look without the damage. Low maintenance hairstyles such as plaits are a great way to avoid heat too and keep your hair out of the way of harmful suncreams.
Use the correct hairbrush
Make sure you pack your hair extensions brush, for anti-static and tangle-free care. Perfect for preventing pulling, they can be used safely to relieve tension on bonded areas too.
Whether you’re going away this summer or staying at home, the best way to look after your hair extensions is to follow the aftercare plan advised by your stylist and for any further advice, book a consultation appointment to put any of your hair care worries at bay.