By now, slathering on sunscreen should be second nature—at least for your skin. But your locks actually need sun protection, too. Between fading and bringing on brassiness, UV rays can seriously warp the color of your hair. While wearing a hat is a step in the right direction, it’s not always feasible, and that’s where UV-filtering hair products come in. Think of them as SPF for your hair.
“Hair sunscreen is great because it puts a protective barrier between you and UV rays,” says Jo Blackwell-Preston, owner of Dop Dop Salon in New York City. “It helps not only your hair, but your scalp, too—which is vulnerable to sun exposure, especially around your part.”
Providing protection to your tresses doesn’t have to mean adding another full step into your routine. Thanks to brands who understand the need for multitasking, you can actually sneak it in during the washing, conditioning, and styling phase. Just make sure to have one of these UV ray–blocking products in your arsenal and consider yourself covered.
This hydrating oil is designed to add moisture and eliminate frizz while also filtering out UVA and UVB rays. Since it also helps protect against styling tools’ damaging high heat, you can add it to damp hair right before you blow-dry. (Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil, $39, sephora.com)
Too much sun not only lightens your hair, it dries it out—a death knell for anyone who already has color-damaged hair. This treatment masque from Alterna deeply hydrates distressed, over-processed hair while simultaneously preventing UVA/UVB damage and color fade. (Alterna Haircare Bamboo UV Color Protection Rehab Deep Hydration Masque, $26, sephora.com)
A heat protectant is a must if you’re addicted to your curling iron—without it you could essentially be frying your hair. This spray withstands temperatures up to 450 degrees but also sneaks in a full day’s worth of UV security. Leave it to #haircrush Jennifer Aniston‘s company to think of it all. (Living Proof Restore Instant Protection, $26, livingproof.com)
Skipping a wash isn’t an excuse for not wearing sunscreen. You can sneak it in with a spritz of dry shampoo. Moroccanoil’s new rice-starch formula soaks up oils and boosts volume while also layering in a sun filter. (Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo, $10.50, moroccanoil.com)
Jo Blackwell-Preston suggests Kérastase Elixir Crème Fine as a daily styling cream for most hair types. It shields hair from UV rays while also taming fly-aways, and adding shine and moisture. “Use it everyday just as you would SPF on your face,” he says. (Kérastase Elixir Crème Fine, $42, kerastase-usa.com)