How to protect your hair during a heatwave – 5 expert tips to prevent ‘lasting damage’

BBC Weather: Louise Lear addresses extreme heat warning

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The Met Office has forecast temperatures to soar to figures as high as 40C in the next few days and while this might sound like a welcome change from typical, dismal British weather, it does pose a risk. Especially if precautions haven’t been taken to properly protect your skin and hair from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Skin tends to be the top priority when it comes to looking after yourself in the sun – and rightly so.

However, it can mean hair gets forgotten about. Excessive heat is incredibly drying on the hair, which can cause lasting damage if not cared for during peak weather conditions.

Experts at CLOUD NINE said: “Extended exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can cause havoc on your hair that can have lasting effects, from thinning and fizziness to causing brittle hair and even damaging the colour and future growth.”

To prevent having to deal with any of these issues in the future, it’s best to act now to reduce the risk of any damage.

Here are five key things you should do when the weather’s hot to protect your hair from high and harmful sun rays.

1. Start at the root and protect your scalp

UV rays are known to – obviously – affect your skin, but your scalp is the area that gets hit most due to intense exposure from above. And this can largely affect your hair.

CLOUD NINE experts said: “If you experience sunburn on your scalp, this causes skin cell loss which can cause hair loss, thinning of hair, and root damage, which can then cause a continuous problem.

“The more hair thinning and hair loss you experience, the more the scalp is vulnerable and can impact other skin cells and positive hair growth.”

To protect your scalp, make sure to add an SPF to your hairline and keep it covered as much as possible when in direct sunlight.

You can pick up SPF shampoos and conditioners, as well as UV protection sprays from brands like Aveda and Bed Head.

2. Keep your hair covered in the sun with loose-fitting hats

Another good method to protect your scalp – and coloured hair – from the sun is to wear a loose-fitting hat.

CLOUD NINE experts said: “The best to go for is actually a bucket hat, as they tend to have a looser fit but also the material tends to not mess up your hair so you can stay protected in the sunshine while revealing your hairstyle (unharmed) once inside.”

However, if your hairstyle doesn’t bother you too much, opt for a larger sunhat for wider coverage, which is definitely the better option for longer hair.

3. Use conditioning products to protect and nourish your hair

One of the key problems for hair during intense heat is that strands can get completely dried out – from root to tip.

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CLOUD NINE experts said: “Excessive sun exposure can damage the hair cuticle of the hair – the hairs’ outside layer of protection.

“To avoid brittle hair, split ends, and fizziness, it’s important to use nourishing products to keep a strong layer of moisture.”

CLOUD NINE’s Magical Remedy product is designed to protect and strengthen existing bonds and repair broken ones while sealing split ends for visibly shinier, stronger and healthier hair.

It’s also key to regularly use leave-in conditioner treatments at night during a heatwave to give your hair a chance to recover while you’re out of the sun.

4. Drink plenty of water

In high heat, drinking plenty of water should be top of the agenda regardless, but this is actually crucial for your hair’s health too.

Drinking water keeps your hair hydrated. It keeps the quality strong and moisturised to positively impact growth and repair.

CLOUD NINE said: “Drinking more water will hydrate your strands from the inside out, helping to moisturise and strengthen your hair.

“If you’re dehydrated, your hair will be too. So drinking extra glasses of water during the warmer weather is imperative.”

5. Hold back on washing your hair

Washing your hair too often, in general, can strip your hair of its natural, protective oils.

However tempting it might be to do more in the warmer weather, these oils provide an additional barrier between your hair and scalp and the sun.

CLOUD NINE SAID: “Ditch your regular washes during the heatwave and instead opt for simple conditioning treatments on your ends and simply rinse these out with water to give your hair the most protection. “

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