SPF for Hair

August 22, 2022

SPF for Hair

We know that too much sun wrecks our skin. For two generations we’ve been drilled about SPF sun cream, and we use it. The ancient Egyptians used extracts of rice and flowers, and for thousands of years Burmese women used thanaka cream from tree bark to give limited sun protection. But the first commercially effective sun creams started in the 1930s, though only with an SPF of 2. Now you can get SPF 100. But SPF research for hair has been late to the party.

Why you need sunscreen for hair

Humid beach weather and sea salt-induced surf styles, can trick us into thinking our hair is thicker and full of body; a feeling of confidence enhanced by our beaming tan. But we know the sun damages hair, as these glowing effects are temporary, disappearing quickly after returning home. Hair is left dull, dry, colour-faded and difficult to manage.

When UV rays penetrate the hair’s outer cuticle, they create highly reactive free radicals which damage the melanin pigment causing colour changes, and attack the protein structure of the hair, leading to thinning, breakage, and split ends.

Little has come to market to practically prevent this holiday hair damage in a way that people want to engage with. The few available sun-oils for hair, may or may not provide protection, but are heavy style-killers so people rarely get past the first try. Wear a hat, wear an oil slick or stay indoors! Those were the choices, until now.

The science of hair SPF is still in its early days but a lot of research is going into it. Our own UV protection range started with our LifeSaver UV, an amazing leave in styling treatment which gives great beachy hair effects whilst also treating and protecting the hair; unlike sea-salt sprays which are actually corrosive. I like to do my own testing, and we rigorously assess all our own products before launch, both in the salon, on the runway and in harsh climates around the world.

Test 1

This one I took to the Maldives for 7 days of intense 32 degree sun and sea water testing, before we launched.

The Maldives Hair Test was on blonde and brown hair. This picture is day 7 after all the wefts have been left out for seven days and nights and drenched in sea water twice a day. The left hand blonde weft and brown weft were protected twice a day with LifeSaver UV Leave-in Styling Treatment.

The unprotected hair on the right has become brittle, faded and distinctly thinner. I was surprised myself at just how noticeable the differences were and how obviously damaging just seven days of unprotected sun was.

LifeSaver UV Leave-in Styling Treatment amazing protective properties are a breakthrough. It properly protects from thinning, drying, and colour fade but allows the hair to be worn in attractive styles.

Test 2

Never stopping to rest on our laurels we tested a new SPF ingredient from sunflowers for our UV Protective Shampoo and UV Protective Conditioner as well as our new improved LifeSaver UV Leave-in Styling Treatment. This time we took to the blistering Negev Desert in Israel. One weft of hair cut in half and only one side protected with LifeSaver UV which was applied to the hair twice daily. Each weft had swimming pool water poured on once a day.

You can see that in just seven days the unprotected hair on the left was noticeably faded, dry and thinner.

Hair shrinks and wastes away under the sun’s rays. Long hair would take 3-4 years to fully replace the damage at the ends, and in that time would likely have had this punishment repeated a dozen times on successive vacations. LifeSaver UV Leave-in Styling Treatment is the new sun-cream for hair.

Haircare Tips

Always protect your hair in the sun. Why not bring hippy chic to the beach and keep hair covered with a hat or scarf.


Stay UV Protected. LifeSaver UV Leave-in Styling Treatment is simply the best for protecting colour and condition against sun damage. Leave in the treatment for a semi-wet look that also gives you the best beach waves you’ve ever had! Wash off in the evening with UV Protective Shampoo and UV Protective Conditioner and hair will be silky smooth.
Have your highlights a week before your vacation to give them time to settle. You could go a shade darker or warmer with your lights so that the sun doesn’t over lighten the hair.


Replenish your hair daily with regular treatments. Holidays are an ideal time to treat your hair to the full deep conditioning treatment. LifeSaver Pre-wash Treatment is perfect as it both protects and nourishes. This clever leave-in treatment works on your hair from the inside out. Apply in the morning, leave in all day, shampoo off and condition in the evening.

Hair grows 6 inches per year and badly damaged hair can never be permanently restored until new hair grows through. Whilst using a quality system such as 3’’’More Inches can help damaged hair, prevention is always better than a cure, so follow our top tips to make bad hair days a thing of the past!

 Michael Van Clarke

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