How to be a Redhead’s #1 most asked question is: ‘How do I keep my hair from fading?’

The summer season is here! Redheads need to be fully equipped and knowledgeable about the damage that can occur from the sun and how to keep red hair from fading. Many fair-skinned reds religiously invest time and money into caring for their skin, while so many are guilty of not knowing the risks of sun damage to their scalp and hair.

Prolonged exposure to UVA and UVB rays while poolside or in the sand is a common mistake among redheads. Think of the sunrays acting as odorless bleach. You wouldn’t readily expose your red hair to drying, harmful chemicals, so why go unprotected in the summer sun?

Dr. Wilma Bergfeld has explored this chemical reaction stating, “[Sun rays] react with the melanin in the hair and remove the color in an irreversible chemical reaction. [UV rays] also damage the hair’s cuticle and protein, which is called keratin.”



The chlorine in pool water magnifies this, as does the “chloride” in the sodium chloride salt found in seawater. The photo-bleaching attacks not only the shaft of the hair strands, but also the cortex, or inner structure of the hair strand. Scalp burns can contribute immensely to the discoloration of hair as well, damaging the follicle and surrounding skin.

Here are some alcohol-free products and tips for preventing the color you love from getting damaged and faded this summer season:

1. Pack a leave-in conditioner spray before a day in the sun

I like to apply a leave-in conditioner just as I apply  & reapply sunscreen. I apply both before leaving the house while spending a day at the beach or pool, and after I get wet. The conditioner acts as a heat protectant layer shielding your hair from the UV rays. Try the Beauty & Pin-Ups Luxe Leave-In Spray On Revitalizing Conditioner. This particular product restores and hydrates the hair.

2. Mix a DIY SPF hair protectant

Have a favorite alcohol-free all-natural sunscreen? Mix a tablespoon of sunscreen with a cup of water and put it in a spray bottle. Apply this super easy DIY to your scalp and hair for fast protection. Don’t know where to look? Try the Goddess Garden All-Natural Sunscreen. It’s silicone free, alcohol-free and perfect for sensitive skin with no perfume!

If you are not into mixing, try one of How to be a Redhead’s most recommended SPF hair products: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ or Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair Triple Rescue Spray (seen in the May 2019 H2ABR Box).

3. Coat your mane with an oil

Of course, coconut oil can be used and reapplied during hot summer days to protect and nourish your hair. Try a coconut oil hair serum to tame frizz and create shiny, hydrated red locks.



Coconut Oil

4. Apply your hair mask before a pool day

Love sitting by the pool but not a fan of getting your hair wet? This is the perfect tip for you. Hair masks do incredibly well with heat activation and are a wonderful option for preventing possible damage. These aren’t suited for everyone, as they are thicker in consistency and require a bit more maintenance than a spray option. Try the Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp and Tamanu Grow and Strengthen Treatment Mask to restore hydration while you are freckling by the pool! Follow up by rinsing out with water.

NH Indian Hemp Grow & Strengthen Masque

5. Use a color depositing shampoo after sun exposure 

This is optional, but if you feel like your hair is still lightening in the sun, invest in a great color depositing shampoo and/or conditioner (as seen in the H2BAR Beauty Subscription Box). Natural deposits of color are distributed into the hair while shampooing — which is perfect for natural redheads. If you’re a ‘by choice’ redheads, this will work wonders on your too, but make sure you do not have any blonde highlights or you risk your hair turning pink.

READ: The Best Color Depositing Shampoo & Conditioners

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6. Accessorize

The final prevention tip goes out to sun hats and silk scarves. These accessories are ones I gravitate towards when I’m going to be at markets and hiking. Find colors that you love and compliment your red hair. Scarves are great to find secondhand and you can tie them in so many ways.

Remember, your hair is just as vulnerable to UV damage as your precious fair skin. Take good care of your scalp and strands this summer and Rock it like a Redhead!