Sweet summertime is officially upon us, which hopefully means days spent enjoying the warm, sunny weather. With the lovely weather comes an added responsibility, though. We’re talking about sun protection. We know, we know—you’ve heard it before. Wear your sunscreen every day and apply it every two hours (or after you swim). But it turns out that there’s a spot or two you might be overlooking when it comes to sun protection and applying SPF—your hair and your scalp.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), UV radiation can damage your hair, causing hair protein loss and color changes. As for your scalp, if you’ve ever come back from a day at the beach with a red, itchy, flaking hair part, you know how vulnerable your scalp is to sun damage! And yet, it often gets neglected. Basically, something must be done. No, we aren’t suggesting you slather sunscreen all over your hair. Instead, try wearing one of the following hairstyles for your next beach or park outing. Here are the best hairstyles for protecting your hair, and your scalp, from the sun’s harmful rays.
SUN PROTECTION HAIRSTYLE #1: TOP KNOT
Wearing your hair parted while spending time under the sun is basically asking for a scalp sunburn. Instead, pull your locks into a trendy top knot—not only will it help protect your scalp from the sun, but it’ll also keep your hair off your back and out of your eyes when that lovely summer breeze sweeps in. Wearing a top knot doesn’t have to look like a last-minute effort, either. Follow these steps to create an effortless-looking, chic top knot.
Step 1: Apply hair serum
Whether your strands are damp or dry, start out by applying a dime-sized amount of the L'Oréal Paris EverStrong Break Proof Lotion, which defends hair against UV damage, through the lengths and ends of your hair.
Step 2: Brush through
Run a brush through your locks to make sure the product is evenly distributed.
Step 3: Secure into a ponytail
Using both of your hands, brush your hair back into a high ponytail at the top of your head, and secure it with a clear hair elastic. For a super sleek look, brush all of your hair into a tight ponytail. Or, you can keep it on the looser side, with wisps of hair falling naturally against the sides of your face.
Step 4: Create your knot
Wrap the length of the ponytail around its base, then secure it into a bun. Voila!
SUN PROTECTION HAIRSTYLE #2: HIGH PONYTAIL
If a top knot isn’t your thing, simply skip that last step and rock a ponytail instead. It’ll still protect your scalp from burning, while also looking super on-trend. You can wear your ponytail high or low, however you like, but just remember that the key here is not parting your hair. If you do choose to wear your hair in a parted fashion, apply a bit of sunscreen onto your scalp where your hair is parted. Your scalp is skin too, and it faces directly toward the sun at all times!
Editor’s note: Not sure how to provide your part with SPF protection without turning your locks into a greasy mess? Try using a powder sunscreen product!
SUN PROTECTION HAIRSTYLE #3: HEADSCARF + BEACH WAVES
One of the more glamorous hairstyles to rock for a day on the beach is wearing a headscarf and loose, effortless waves. Match your headscarf to your swimsuit or go with a pretty floral motif. Then, to create those beachy waves, simply spritz the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray onto damp strands and scrunch up the ends before letting your hair dry naturally.
SUN PROTECTION HAIRSTYLE #4: GRAB A HAT
Is there anything chicer than a good beach hat? We think not—and wearing one certainly makes for an easy, and very protective, hairstyle. Before you head out for the day, toss on your favorite summer hat. Even a baseball cap will do! Wearing a hat is a good idea even if you’ve opted for a hairstyle without a part because that way, you can shield not just your scalp, but your strands, from the sun. Tuck your ends up under the hat and you can rest easy knowing your hair is fully covered.
In addition to these sun-friendly hairstyles, there are plenty of other tips you’ll want to keep in mind when planning for a day spent outside, including wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen and staying out of the sun during peak hours. For more where those came from, check out The Ultimate SPF Guide.