June 25, 2013 Makeup.com Hair

How to: Protect Your Colored Hair from the Sun

protect hair from sun
Here at MDC we know how many precious pennies (and moments) you spend to master and maintain your perfect hair color. The last thing you want to do is watch your color unwittingly fade away in the summer sun, but unfortunately the same free radicals that damage skin can also weaken your hair. To give us tips on protecting your locks this season, we caught up with professional hairstylist Kyle White, the Lead Colorist at Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City (a team MDC favorite!).

The (Not so Sunny) Truth

“According to scientists, 50 hours of sun exposure is roughly equivalent to 15 minutes of bleach on your hair,” says White. “If you don't use protection or cover your head, then you are essentially bleaching your own hair. Imagine what would happen to your favorite pair of Manolos if you dunked them in chlorine and salt water, then laid them out in the sun—well that's what you’re doing to your tresses!”


Since nobody wants to see her Manolos (or strands) fade into a memory of themselves, prevention is key. “The most effective way to protect hair color from fading during the summer is to use sun protection for your hair,” White says. “This will slow the oxidation process but it won't completely stop it, so if you’re going to be at the beach or in direct sunlight, you should also cover up with a hat or scarf.”
MDC Tip: For a product that locks in our hair color and filters UV rays, we love Biolage Color Care Shine Shake.


When the summer sun is feeling particularly aggressive, we switch our shampoo and conditioner to the color-depositing variety for a little extra enhancement. “I’m in favor of using a shampoo that refreshes color, but make sure you get a recommendation from your colorist before playing around with anything that alters or adds color,” advises White. 


Already have some faded strands on your hands? There’s hope for you yet. “The simplest and most effective way to refresh faded hair color is to book yourself a professional gloss. Glosses are mainly for shine, but they also can add tone and depth,” White says.
If your locks are feeling dried out, White suggests you can also “try sleeping with a humidifier. This infuses moisture back to the hair from the inside out, and won't weigh it down.” To let your hair heal, limit your time spent with a blow dryer. “Summer is a great time for letting hair air dry, for a relaxed beachy look. Try dabbing a small amount of castor oil on any split ends. Castor oil is rich in omega-9 fatty acids and will fix those dry ends in a flash,” White tells us.
How do you protect your hair from the stressors of summer? Let us know in the comments below.
Photos: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

About the Author: Our goal is to create a beauty experience that’s personalized, educational and, most of all, fun.