How to protect your hair against the sun
We all (hopefully) know now that looking after our skin during summer is important (very, very important) but you know what's usually an after thought? Your hair. Well it was for me anyway, until I recently attended a very interesting lecture on suncare (seriously it was - thanks for that Olay!) and discovered just how badly damaged your hair can be by the sun.
So how does the sun affect it? Well about as much as it affects your skin. Hair is damaged by UV rays just like skin is, it breaks down the proteins that make up the structure of your hair, making it rough and dry, plus weakening it so it breaks more easily. Sun exposure also affects the colour - you might have noticed that your hair gets lighter in the summer: this bleaching effect happens because the pigment in your hair is like a natural sunscreen - your hair uses it as a shield to protect itself against attack, which breaks it down and fades the colour.
So how can you protect your hair against damage? Firstly, by taking precautions - try to avoid exposure so stay indoors during the hottest period of the day, and cover your hair with a hat or scarf when you are outside. Your hair is also damaged more when it's wet: for protecting it from chlorine and sand, there's one trick you can use - simply wet your hair in clean water before you jump into the pool. If your hair is already saturated, it will soak up less sea or pool water! Ingenious.
As for products, when you're down in the sunscreen aisle, pick some up for your hair too. They come in all forms, from shampoos and conditioners, to leave-in treatments which are the most effective, especially when applied liberally. Check out the gallery above for our favourites.