SOS: Protecting Your Hair from the Sun


We all know that UV rays can bleach even the darkest hair lighter.  So if you’re going to spending time in the sun, your skin isn’t the only thing that needs sunscreen. Especially if you color your hair–and, really, who doesn’t these days–you need to protect your dye job with a UV-blocking hair product.

Until recently, I used a hairspray (L’Oreal Elnet) with UV protection, but the product wasn’t protecting my locks from the sun.  And given the horrible mall highlights that I’ve been covering with darker, semi-permanent hair color since April, I cannot afford to have my follicles lightened.

Splurge. Earlier in the summer, I purchased a bottle of Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil ($26).  The product promises to protect your locks, and your hair color, from the sun’s color-sapping, follicle-drying rays.  It’s also water-resistant, so it’s great for the pool or the beach.

Because I have fine hair, I was concerned that the product might weigh it down.  So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the spray seems to have the opposite effect. Perhaps the moisturizing powers of the all-natural extracts and oils is giving my hair an extra boost?

As for the product refers to as “color-fadage,” the damage is significantly reduced.  Before I was using the product, I noticed that just a walk home from work was lightening my hair.  Since I started using the spray, I haven’t seen a significant change in the color of my hair.

Save.  Miss M and I took a day trip to our favorite place this weekend–the Bed, Bath and Beyond in Chinatown.  While there, I decided to purchase this EverPure Sulfate-Free UV Protect Spray ($9).  And I hate it.

I spent four hours at the pool on Saturday wearing the Aveda spray and had no noticeable damage to my hair.  I wore the EverPure for a 40-minute trek to Arlington National Cemetery, and when I got home, the highlights in my bangs were clearly visible.  Like I had just had them professionally done, visible.

Ticked off? Ticked off doesn’t even get there.

Verdict.  The EverPure was ridiculously ineffective.  I threw the bottle away ten minutes after I got home.  It may be $26, but given that it’s a spray, the bottle will probably last all summer. Also, given what I pay for my hair color, and how frequently I need to color it to keep the mall highlights hidden, it’s $26 well worth it.



  1. CEM says:

    Very interesting. But, am I supposed to be coloring my hair?

    July 2, 2012/Reply
  2. SL says:

    What are “mall highlights?”

    July 2, 2012/Reply
  3. Jen says:

    How did those combs with the sunscreen in it work out?? The argon oil combs are on sale right now so I ordered a comb and a brush this weekend. Excited to see if it actually works but I'm still skeptical.

    July 2, 2012/Reply
  4. Mk says:

    Personally I don't color my hair and love the summer sun bleaching out my borderline blonde hair. Better than professional highlights done by the sun for free? Count me in. I'll save the uv blockage for my skin.

    July 2, 2012/Reply
  5. Belle says:

    SL: Mall highlights are chunky, visible highlights. The kind you would get a Regis Hair Design in the Topeka, KS mall, not a salon that charges $250 in Downtown DC. But alas, the folks at Andre Chreky (never go there) still think they're in style.

    You can read more here.

    July 2, 2012/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    Jen: I thought the comb was working fine, but I misplaced it. I still have my Argan one. I keep it in my office to touch up flyaways.

    July 2, 2012/Reply
  7. Ellie says:

    so there are some of those that actually work? having tried the under $15 varieties I was beginning to think they were a scam

    July 2, 2012/Reply
  8. k says:

    So, silly question because I have been trying to solve the hair-fading issue – can you wear this under/over your normal products routine? Or only when you're good with the “wet hair by the pool” look? Thanks!

    July 2, 2012/Reply