summer teen with braid buns
photo courtesy of Milan Stojanovic - Getty Images

There are multiple different ways to go about protecting your hair from the heat of the sun that are simple to implement before heading outside. Once the beautiful weather starts calling us outside, it has become ingrained in us to slather on sunscreen to keep our skin protected and many times we forget that our hair is not exempt from the potentially damaging sun rays.

Coconut Oil

On days when you are spending all day in the sun, you can turn this time into a deep conditioning opportunity, as well.

If you are going to the beach or the pool, soak your curls with water and then slather on some coconut oil prior to heading out the door. By soaking your hair with your tap water at home, you are locking in much needed moisture and should help to keep out some of the chlorine or salt water that is prone to drying out hair.

Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 10, so along with the deep conditioning treatment, you are also keeping your hair safe from the sun's rays.

If  you are going to be out in the sun, smoothe coconut oil over your strands, especially the canopy (top layer) which is has the highest exposure to the sun's rays and is most likely to be damaged by the elements. If you experience frizz or hair that won't curl as much at the canopy and framing your face, this could be why.

3 more ways to protect your hair from sun damage

Coconut oil can help block UV rays, but for an even more effective protection it is best to create an actual barrier between your hair and the sun. There are also products formulated specifically to block the sun's rays and repair the damage they can can cause - check out these sun-blocking tips.


The first option you can go with is to add a barrier between your hair and the sun.  Options include a brimmed summer hat, or a scarf to wrap your hair with.  This works best if you are going to spend a day out shopping or at a park.  This option is great because it not only protects your hair but also will protect your scalp from the potential of being sunburnt.

DIY Sunscreen

If wearing a hat isn’t really your style, there are other ways to protect your hair. Sunscreen is an effective option to keep the sun’s rays from damaging your hair. The simplest way to include spf into your hair routine is just to use the same sunscreen you use for your face in your hair. If rubbing skin sunscreen onto your hair doesn’t sound appealing either, make yourself a protective hair mist with these three ingredients:

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 teaspoons sunscreen

  • 3 to 4 drops rosemary oil

Mix these ingredients together in a spray bottle and toss in your beach bag. Next time you are heading out, coat the mix over your hair for added UV protection. It is not heavy so fine hair won't be weighed down by it. Don’t forget to reapply if you are going in and out of water as it will wash out.

photo courtesy of Milan Stojanovic - Getty Images
Post-sun reparative mask

If your hair is still feeling a little fried after spending time out in the sun, there are plenty of options for you to treat your hair to an after-sun reparative treatment. When you get home from the beach or pool, cleanse your hair from any chlorine or salt that may be left over and give one of these a try:

  1. Redken Color Extend Sun After-Sun Mask instantly detangles and revitalizes sun damaged and fried hair and with mango seed oil it will help deeply moisturize your hair.

  2. Davines Su Pak Nourishing Replenishing Mask contains a mix of essential oils and extracts that is able to restore residual damage from sun, sea or pool.

  3. Rene Furterer Sun Care Repairing After Sun Mask for Dry Hair uses palm butter to soften your hair and make detangling a breeze for dry, sun damaged hair.

  4. Christophe Beverly Hills Restorative Hair Mask not only helps restore damaged hair but also contains sunscreen to protect against UV and freed radical damage.

This summer, don't be afraid to embrace the sun with confidence knowing that you can truly be protected from head to toe.