While most people are aware of the harmful effects of UV rays on the skin, many overlook the fact that the same goes for their hair. According to the Cleveland Clinic, if your hair has prolonged exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can damage the cuticle, the outside cover of the hair strand. The result is lackluster, brittle, and dry hair.
“If you are someone with dry, brittle hair, you might have overexposed it to chlorine or sun,” says Kopelman. The combination of chlorine and sun is especially potent: Chlorine opens up the cuticle, and UV rays can infiltrate more easily. Thankfully, protecting yourself isn’t a tall order. Wear a hat in the sun and if you take a dip, rinse your hair out with fresh water after.