How to Protect Your Curls During Summer with Righteous Roots
Written by Verna Meachum of The Mestiza Muse
How to Protect Your Curls During Summer with Righteous Roots
Anyone with curly hair knows that summertime can be a bit of a struggle. With the intense summer heat and humidity, your curls can quickly turn from bouncy and springy to flat and frizzy.
Not to mention, the sun can wreak havoc on your hair, causing it to become dry, brittle, and damaged.
The sun's heat causes weathering and oxidative damage to the hair, making it dry, brittle, and rigid. So, how can you protect your curls and keep them looking their best all summer long?
In this post, we'll discuss the damaging effects of the sun on your hair and what you can do to safeguard your curls.
It's summertime and the sun is out in full force. We spend a lot more time outdoors, which means our hair is exposed to more sunlight than usual.
While a little sun exposure is good for us, too much sun can be damaging, both to our health and to our hair.
When it comes to our hair, the sun can cause a number of problems, including:
-Drying out the hair
-Causing split ends and breakage
-Fading color-treated hair
-Making curly hair more frizzy
All of these problems can be exacerbated by the heat and humidity of summer.
What is Photodamage?
Photodamage is an extensively examined topic in skin and hair care science. Solar light comprises a wide range of radiation having different energy levels and wavelengths.
Among them, visible light and ultraviolet radiation are the predominant ones reaching the earth. These radiations induce significant changes in hair structure causing loss of hair protein, lipid oxidation, and color fading.
The loss of protein and oxidation of lipids makes hair weak and damaged with split ends.1
Curly hair is more vulnerable to these photo-induced changes and damage. Their diameter varies significantly along the curl, from root to tip. They are fine and thin at the curl's twist and may break upon stretching or bending.
Excessive exposure to solar radiation can:
- alter the curl shape
- curl pattern
- curl definition
- make them dry
- reduce their bounce
- and, eventually make them dry
That's why curls need protection during summer.
So, what exactly does UV radiations do to hair fiber? And how do we protect our hair against this photo damage?
What Photodamage Does to Curly Hair
The key visual change after hair is exposed to solar light is its color fading.
The other two major chemical changes are oxidation of protein and lipid content of hair.
- Color Fading
Hair color come from the melanin pigment present in the hair cortex. This melanin is a large polymer molecule that reflects sunlight and thus gives color to hair.
Besides imparting color to hair, melanin protects hair fiber against photo-degradation. However, excessive and repeated exposure to solar radiation degrades melanin and causes hair color to fade.
This melanin degradation goes via a free radical mechanism involving highly reactive carbon radicals.2
Photo-bleaching of melanin leaves hair more vulnerable to external threats i.e. brushing, combing, humidity changes, and harsh chemical treatments.
Applying color protection agents, such as natural oils, can control melanin degradation and color fading.
- Protein loss
Hair is made up of protein, and keratin makes up most of the protein mass of hair fiber.
It is a sulfur-rich protein having cystine amino acid forming disulfide bond which is the backbone of hair mechanical strength.
Exposing hair to solar radiation can break this disulfide bond and oxidize cystine to cystic acid. This causes a significant loss of hair strength, making hair porous, fragile, and weak.
Microscopic studies revealed complete eradication of the cuticle layer from the upper layer exposing the inner cortex core. This may lead to complete rupture and breakage of the hair fiber.3-4
Besides cystine, other amino acids, like tryptophan are also oxidized. This protein oxidation changes the physicochemical properties.
Hair porosity increases and absorbs more water under high humidity conditions causing frizz on hair.
- Lipid oxidation
Lipids are water-repelling organic molecules that work as a lubricant (e.g. sterols, fatty acids, and triglycerides). They mainly come from sebum secreted from sebaceous glands present in the hair follicle.
Sebum forms a uniform coating on the outer layer of the hair shaft ensuring hair lubricity, hydrophobicity as well as shine.
Solar radiation can oxidize these organic molecules disturbing the outer protective layer which exposes the inner protein core of the hair fiber.
Hair loses its shine and water repellency. It absorbs more water from the air and thus lipid loss causes frizz.
How to Protect Hair During Summer
So, how can we protect hair against solar-induced damage?
Because curly hair is more fragile than other hair types, it needs extra care and specific formulations to preserve its delicate and fragile twists.
Righteous Roots products offers carefully designed products for the summer season that offer superior protection against photo-induced hair damage.
The formulations are a blend of natural emollients, oils, and butter boosting hair lubricity and outer protective layer against UV insults.
The following Rx oil and Conditioner bundle is highly suggested for curly hair care:
Save money with the bundle.
UV Protectors for Curly Hair
These two formulations work synergistically with All-natural emollients for UV protection and do not contain any synthetic UV screening agents.
The key ingredients for photo protection:
Olive Oil is known for its strong antioxidant composition. This oil is mainly made up of unsaturated fatty acids, which have a high potential for capturing highly reactive free radicals.
Furthermore, it contains tocopherols (Vitamin E) which ensure protection against UV radiation.
Grapeseed Oil has been studied for its potential application in Color Protection products against UV-induced degradation of coloring molecules. It contains a large number of phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and tannins.5
Linoleic acid is the main fatty acid fraction present, which has an unsaturated nature. These phenolic compounds act as free radical scavengers controlling photo-induced damage to hair fibers.
Sesame Seed Oil is yet another excellent source of natural antioxidants. It contains oleic and linoleic acid, as the main fatty acid fractions describing high contents of mono and poly-unsaturated fatty acids.
It also contains high amounts of phytosterols and tocopherols.6 This is demonstrated by the high stability and shelf-life of sesame.
Due to this high phenolic content, sesame oil is an excellent choice for UV protection.
Argan Oil is a light texture and amazing natural emollient. Yet another excellent source of anti-oxidants comprising unsaturated fatty acids, carotenes, tocopherols, and sterols, ensure photo-protection of hair protein and lipids.7
Shea Butter is our favorite natural emollient with special sensorial properties. It is mainly composed of saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic acid), which provide a uniform coating all along the hair shaft. This aligns hair cuticles and protects them.
Baobab Oil is a unique natural emollient having excellent application properties for hair and skincare formulations.8 It provides lubrication to the hair fiber, reduces fiber-to-fiber friction making it easy to comb and brush, boosts fiber moisture retention, and gives the cuticle layer a protective coating against sunlight.
How to Use Righteous Roots During Summer
- Mix a few drops of Righteous Roots RX oil with Righteous Roots 2 in 1 Conditioner.
- Apply this mixture to your pre-washed curls in sections, gently using your fingers
- For rinse-off application, rinse it off after 5 minutes
- For a more intense treatment, leave it overnight and wash your curls the next morning
- For sun protection, apply the mixture as a leave-in conditioner before stepping outside
- Ruetsch, S. B.; Kamath, Y.; Weigmann, H. D., Photodegradation of human hair: An SEM study. J. Cosmet. Sci. 2000, 51 (2), 103-125.
- Yuen, C. W. M.; Kan, C. W.; Chow, Y. L., Effect of Sun Protection Agent on Preventing Hair Colour Fading and Hair Damage. Fibers and Polymers 2010, 11 (2), 316-320.
- Nogueira, A. C. S.; Dicelio, L. E.; Joekes, I., About photo-damage of human hair. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 2006, 5 (2), 165-169.
- Longo, V.; da Silva Pinheiro, A.; Sambrano, J.; Agnelli, J.; Longo, E.; Varela, J. A., Towards an insight on photodamage in hair fiber by UV‐light: An experimental and theoretical study. Inter. J. of Cosmet. Sci 2013, 35 (6), 539-545.
- Garavaglia, J.; Markoski, M. M.; Oliveira, A.; Marcadenti, A., Grapeseed oil compounds: Biological and chemical actions for health. Nutrition and metabolic insights 2016, 9, NMI. S32910.
- Hill, K.; Hofer, R., Natural Fats, and Oils. In Sustainable Solutions for Modern Economies, The Royal Society of Chemistry: 2009; pp 167-237.
- Faria, P. M.; Camargo, L. N.; Carvalho, R. S. H.; Paludetti, L. A.; Velasco, M. V. R.; da Gama, R. M., Hair Protective Effect of Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil) and Cupuassu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum Seed Butter) Post Treatment with Hair Dye. 2013.
- Burlando, B.; Verotta, L.; Cornara, L.; Bottini-Massa, E., Herbal Principles in Cosmetics: Properties and Mechanisms of Action. CRC Press: 2010.