Everyone has at least some notion that the sun's rays cause health damage. Therefore, dermatologists always recommend that we do not leave the house without sunscreen. However, we may not always have in mind that solar radiation also has effects on our hair. The article below talks a little about it and shows that the damage can be much deeper than we imagine.
I often see many natives complaining about the hair in the crown region. "It's dry, rough, brittle, opaque, it's the most curly hair on their heads, it's the hardest to care for!" And with me it's no different. The hair on the left side of the crown is always shorter and more prone to damage than the rest of my hair, with broken and broken ends. I have learned over the years that this is due to the fact that the crown region is always the most exposed to the external elements: sun, wind, rain, free radicals. I also thought that this exposure only resulted in more open cuticles and more porous threads, since the hair underneath is softer and responds better to treatments.
When I first read the book "Grow it!" I came to the section "Damage caused by the environment" and I was fascinated to learn that the damage caused by exposure to the external environment is much deeper than a simple mechanical reaction. Chicoro reveals that hair exposed to the sun without protection actually undergoes an irreversible chemical transformation! As is known, the sun can be harmful to the skin due to ultraviolet, UVA and UVB rays. These same rays can be harmful to hair, as the site Naturally Curly showed us with this informative post a few years ago:
"Many of us are familiar with whitening our hair when we spend many hours under the sun in the summer. For many people this is a desirable effect. However, this effect also signals the destruction of the pigment contained in the hair as a direct result of the oxidation of melanin, caused by UV rays. UV radiation can also cause a weakening of the molecular bonds in the hair, leading to fracture of the cuticle and the cortex of the hair. This results in dry, coarse, thicker hair because of damaged cuticles, double ends and breaks. "
However, in my opinion, Chicoro takes this information a step further and really demonstrates how the effects of the sun are very similar to those caused by discoloration. She says, "As a bleach, oxidation caused by the sun's rays can destroy or modify the chemical composition and components of the hair." She continues, stating that the hair has a group called a "thiol group" and these groups stabilize the hair strand forming disulfide bonds, which contribute greatly to the strength of the hair (throw "hair and disulfide bonds" in Google and you will see Many articles on the manipulation of these bridges in chemical processes like relaxations and smoothing). These thiol groups also make our hair slippery - and we know how important that is. But once the hair is oxidized by the sun, these bridges turn into sulfonic acids. These sulfonic acids are sticky and the hair with them will embarrass more easily. And that's not cool. Finally, she concludes by looking at the fact that this shift from disulfide bridges to sulphonic acids is permanent.
So what does this all mean to us that we are being challenged by our crowns? The simple answer: prevention and treatment. For the new hair that has not yet been exposed to the external elements, we need to protect it before the damage happens. For older hair, which has undergone chemical changes, we need to take treatment actions that reduce or eliminate the effects resulting from the damage. In practical terms, this means combining the following techniques:
- Conditioning - with deep treatments with moisturizing masks, as well as masks containing protein
- Moisturizing - to protect the sun's wires and combat dryness
- Finish with products that contain sunscreen
- Seal the hydration with oils and butters that offer some UV protection, such as shea butter or hemp oil
- Wear a protection that covers the hair, such as hats and scarves
- Adopt protective hairstyles to reduce the amount of hair exposed to the sun
- Do not use products that contain drying alcohols or substances that are "activated" by the sun, such as lemon
And just because you do not see the sun does not mean you are not being exposed to UV rays. Even on cloudy days, we should always be vigilant.