10 best sun protection for hair 2023 | The Sun

IT'S common knowledge that SPF is essential for your skin, but did you know it's just as crucial for keeping your locks healthy? No? Well then, let us introduce you to the best sun protection for hair.

Sun protection for hair can come in a variety of forms with the most common being lightweight sprays that mist softly over strands.

Others come in the form of creams, masks and serums and work just like your regular face SPF by creating a barrier against the sun's seriously unsociable UVA and UVB rays.

Quick rewind – what are these ominous rays that our hair, skin and eyes are exposed to every day? UVA are longer waves that are often associated with increased ageing for skin and fading colour for hair whereas UVB are much shorter and appear in the form of burning for skin and drying, damage and breakage for hair. Big no's all around.

But, with a little due diligence and some good products, you can make sure your strands stay hydrated, strong and healthy which will circumnavigate frizz and pesky flyaways that are the result of split ends and damage.

Curious about what these good products are? We've done some research and created a comprehensive list of the best sun protection for hair out there. Thank us later.

Best sun protection for hair at a glance

  • Best for coloured hair – Wella
  • Best high protection – Clarins
  • Best for conditioning – L’Oreal
  • Best cream – Philip Kingsley
  • Best protect spray – Moroccanoil

1. Moroccanoil Prevent and Protect Spray

  • Moroccanoil Prevent and Protect Spray, £19.95 from Amazon – buy here

Moroccanoil has some seriously big hitters in the world of hair (we're looking at you, Treatment Original which is the number one hair care oil in the US) so it's not a huge surprise that it offers one of the best hair sun protection sprays on the market.

Even if you haven't tried the brand (yet), you might remember the text exchange between Radio 1 breakfast host, Greg James and seriously A list pop star, Shawn Mendes where the latter recommended the Hydrating Styling Cream as his go-to. If it's good enough for Shawn Mendes etc.

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The Prevent and Protect Spray prevents (like the name suggests) sun damage, which leads to dryness, split ends and generally unhappy hair, by protecting (see what we've done here) against UV rays as well as pollution and heat from styling tools.

Just spritz evenly over strands and then leave it to work its magic, which also includes some useful detangling and softening benefits.

It's also not particularly spenny at less than £20, which is a big added bonus.

2. L’Oreal Professionnel LORHP-67151 Serve Expert Solar Sublime Protection Conditioning Spray

  • L’Oreal Professionnel LORHP-67151 Serve Expert Solar Sublime Protection Conditioning Spray, £17.99 from Amazon – buy here

For salon-level hair care, look no further than L'Oreal Professionnel.

This spray is a light mist that spritzes over damp or wet hair, so is best added to the end of your wash day routine, post shampoo, conditioner, mask and serum if you're feeling like an all-out pamper session.

It's formulated to protect against harmful UV rays in the same way that your face SPF shields the skin from sun damage.

On top of doing the less glam work that's crucial for showstopper results in the long run, it also conditions the hair for that super soft, famous L'Oreal shine we're all after.

Just leave this one in and let it get down to business.


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3. Philip Kingsley Swimcap

  • Philip Kingsley Swimcap, £19.50 from Boots – buy here

When it comes to hair health, Philip Kingsley is an iconic name.

Its most famous product, the Elasticizer, was created for none other than Hollywood royalty Audrey Hepburn, to encourage thicker, more conditioned hair and it has been adopted by people the world over for its seriously good results.

Following the theme of products created with specific people in mind, Swimcap was originally formulated for Olympic swimmers and is a mask that protects against chlorine, salt water and, of course, UV rays.

Deeply conditioning, just shampoo it out after you've finished your swim and revel in the fact that your hair couldn't have been any more shielded.

4. Wella Invigo Sun UV Hair Colour Protection Spray

  • Wella Invigo Sun UV Hair Colour Protection Spray, £13.34 from Amazon – buy here

Created with hair that has been coloured in mind, Wella's Invigo protection spray is all about nourishing strands that have been through it. And as anyone who's dabbled with bleach knows, it's no walk in the park for your hair.

Quick science lesson: when you bleach your locks, it raises the hair cuticle to allow the bleaching agent to penetrate and lift the colour. However, if you continue to get this done, it can lead to the cuticle being permanently raised which means a lot of moisture loss.

Less moisture means dry hair, split ends and breakage which can make your hair appear frizzy and feel brittle. Raised cuticles also means weaker defences against the sun, which is not ideal.

So it's handy that Invigo is all about long-lasting moisture retention and UV protection and continuously hydrates throughout the day while ensuring any weakened strands get the protection they need from harmful rays.

And it's less than £15 for 150ml which is a very good deal for this sun-protecting spray.

5. Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil

  • Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, £24.50 from Lookfantastic – buy here

In need of a lightweight, water-resistant, UV defence mist? Let us direct you towards Aveda's Sun Care Protective Hair Veil.

The spray sits lightly on hair, creating an invisible shield between your strands and the UVA and UVB rays that are constantly being emitted from the sun come rain or shine.

You'll find a whole host of natural ingredients in this one, including cinnamon bark oils and green tea extract as well as typical skincare hero vitamin E which protects against free radicals (unstable molecules that damage skin or hair cells if you're unsure what the jargon means).

Whether your strands are wet or dry, opt for a cautious approach and layer up making sure not to saturate the hair.

It also works as a kind of after-sun for your locks – just leave it in for two to three minutes after you've been in the sunshine and then thoroughly rinse. Easy.

6. Clarins Sun Care High Protection for Beautiful Body and Hair UVA/UVB 30 Oil Spray

  • Clarins Sun Care High Protection for Beautiful Body and Hair UVA/UVB 30 Oil Spray, £39.93 from Amazon – buy here

When Clarins comes to mind, you'll probably think of its much-loved skincare or makeup products but the Sun Care High Protection Oil Spray is all about hair and body.

It's a dry oil which means you can spritz it over your hair and body without any greasy residue.

High-level filters protect against UVA/UVB rays and inside the formula, you'll find natural ingredients that do the trick.

To make sure you get the full protection that you need from this multitasker, spray this on 15 minutes before sun exposure and top up at least every two hours, but if you go swimming, really sweat or dry off reapply.

7. Oribe Invisible Defence Universal Protection

  • Oribe Invisible Defence Universal Protection, £39.50 from Space NK – buy here

Oribe hair products are a real, luxury treat from its indulgent shampoos and conditioners to its hair masks and creams.

We'll admit, none of them come cheap, and the Invisible Defence Universal Protection is no different at just under £40.

However, as well as protecting against UVA/UVB rays, it also helps to repair and detoxify (basically remove dirt and grime) strands as well as protect against pollution. It'll also shield against heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. That's pretty comprehensive coverage.

Inside this formula, you'll find watermelon, edelweiss, plant-based collagen and vitamin B which all work together to increase moisture retention, reduce frizz and protect any colour you may have from fading. All the good stuff.

This one is great for all hair types and is best used on damp hair before styling.

8. Malibu Scalp Protector with SPF50

  • Malibu Scalp Protector with SPF50, £6.35 from Amazon – buy here

If you're on a tight budget and the thought of spending nearly £20 or more on hair protectants isn't bringing you joy, then the Malibu Scalp Protector is a good option.

Costing less than £7, this focuses on the often overlooked scalp as well as the hair.

Formulated to be non-greasy and non-drying it sits lightly on the scalp and strands and has a very pleasing SPF 50 protection.

It shields against UVA/UBB rays and has a summery, coconut-like scent that will transport you to warmer climes – something everyone in the UK could always do with.

The bottle is only 50ml if you want it at this price but if you have Prime, you can get next-day delivery for free. Result.

9. Sachajuan Hair in the Sun

  • Sachajuan Hair in the Sun, £31 from Sachajuan – buy here

Those in the know will already be on the hair serum hype, but if you haven't tried this extra step in your routine yet, fill the gap with Sachajuan's Hair in the Sun serum.

Stick this on to dry or damp hair before heading out into the sun to make sure your strands are protected against those ever-harmful rays.

On top of making sure your hair stays nice and healthy, it also prevents colour fade which saves you money between appointments and helps to smooth locks, a particular bonus for those who are constantly battling frizz.

Its credentials are good with the formula being free from parabens (chemicals that interfere with hormones, anything with parabens is a big no-no) vegan and cruelty-free.

Super-hydrating, once this cream is on your locks, you won't even notice it's there.

10. Nuxe Sun Moisturising Protective Milky Oil for Hair

  • Nuxe Sun Moisturising Protective Milky Oil for Hair, £14 from Nuxe – buy here

Want some serious multi-protection for you hair? Then we've got just thing for you in the form of the Nuxe Sun Moisturising Protective Milky Oil.

Milky oils are a lot of fun and you'll often find this sort of consistency in bath oils and face cleansers because they start off with the classic oil texture before transforming into a milky lather.

Of course, this protects against UVA/UVB rays but it also leaves hair feeling soft, healthy and shiny too.

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The divine scent is made up of orange, Tiare flower and vanilla, and evokes the feeling of sitting under a parasol on holiday, with a cocktail – or mocktail – in hand.

Ultra-light and non-greasy, you'll be spritzing away all day with no residue.

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