The first day of Sum­mer is Fri­day, June 21st.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excit­ed about Sum­mer. Warm nights, bright col­ors, cute san­dals, neon pedi­cures, beach days, and sun­glass­es galore. Let me stop playing…I live in LA, I’ve been doing this stuff since March (lol). In all seri­ous­ness though, many tran­si­tion­ers and nat­u­ral­is­tas tend to grav­i­tate toward “out” styles in the warmer months. And why not? You’ve been dili­gent all Win­ter and Spring with mois­tur­iz­ing, seal­ing, and pro­tec­tive styling. Reward your­self, and shake that hair out!

Before you strut out the door and flaunt your tress­es to the world, you need to be aware of how to best pro­tect your hair while the sun is shin­ing bright. I know you all know about keep­ing mois­ture in with light prod­ucts (water/glycerin, aloe vera juice, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.), but what about UV pro­tec­tion? Just like you pro­tect your skin (don’t believe the myth that Black folks don’t need sunblock…our skin, regard­less of col­or, is just as sus­cep­ti­ble to dam­age from UV rays), you need to pro­tect your hair.

Hair doesn’t sun­burn, but there are some tell-tale signs of UV/sun over­ex­po­sure. When your hair has spent too much unpro­tect­ed time in the sun, it lacks elas­tic­i­ty and strength — mak­ing it prone to break­age. Addi­tion­al­ly, pho­to-oxi­da­tion can occur; result­ing in dis­col­oration and fad­ing of col­or, both nat­u­ral and dyed.

How do you pro­tect your hair from the sun, and still have fun? Sure, you can go the hat, head­wrap, or scarf route to keep the sun’s rays from reach­ing your hair direct­ly. But if you’re inter­est­ed in let­ting it all hang out, look for the fol­low­ing ingre­di­ents in your favorite prod­ucts, or in a pro­duct you wish to try this Sum­mer:

  • 1. Eth­yl­hexyl Methoxycin­na­mate (EHMC)
  • 2. Butyl Methoxy­diben­zoyl­methane // Methoxy­diben­zoyl Methane
  • 3. Par­sol SLX
  • 4. Toco­pherol (Vit­a­m­in E)*
  • 5. Mau­ri­tia Flex­u­osa (Buri­ti) Oil*
  • 6. Ben­zophe­nones


To get you start­ed, here are some pro­duct rec­om­men­da­tions, along with the active UV pro­tec­tion ingre­di­ents they con­tain:


1. Ion Inspired by Nature Nour­ish­ing Oil Treat­ment
Price: $11
Active Ingredient(s): Vit­a­m­in E, Buri­ti Oil
Avail­able at:


2. ApHogee Ker­at­in & Green Tea Restruc­tur­iz­er
Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Buri­ti Oil, Vit­a­m­in E
Avail­able at:


3. Neu­tro­ge­na Silk Touch Leave-In Cream
Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Eth­yl­hexyl Methoxycin­na­mate, Butyl Methoxy­diben­zoyl­methane
Avail­able at:


4. Silk Ele­ments Curl Defin­ing Mousse
Price: $5
Active Ingre­di­ents: Eth­yl­hexyl Methoxycin­na­mate, Ben­zophe­none-4
Avail­able at:


5. Der­mor­gan­ic Flex­i­ble Hold Alco­hol-Free Sculpt­ing Spray
Price: $15
Active Ingredient(s): Eth­yl­hexyl Methoxycin­na­mate, Vit­a­m­in E
Avail­able at:


6. Biotera Mois­tur­iz­ing Leave-In Con­di­tion­er
Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Eth­yl­hexyl Methoxycin­na­mate
Avail­able at:


7. Infu­sium 23 Colourolo­gie Leave-In Treat­ment
Price: $12
Active Ingredient(s): Eth­yl­hexyl Methoxycin­na­mate
Avail­able at:


8. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Take Charge Curl Boost­ing Mousse
Price: $6
Active Ingredient(s): Ben­zophe­none-4
Avail­able at:


9. Silk Ele­ments Kera Min­er­als Smooth­ing Leave-In
Price: $6
Active Ingredient(s): Vit­a­m­in E, Ben­zophe­none-4
Avail­able at:


10. Crème of Nature Argan Oil Gloss and Shine Pol­ish­er

Price: $8
Active Ingredient(s): Ben­zophe­none-3
Avail­able at:


11. GVP (Gener­ic Val­ue Prod­ucts) Cream
Price: $8
Active Ingre­di­ents: Eth­yl­hexyl Methoxycin­na­mate, Ben­zophe­none-4
Avail­able at:


12. ApHogee Gloss Pol­ish­er Ther­a­py Spray
Price: $8
Active Ingre­di­ents: Buri­ti Oil, Ben­zophe­none-3
Avail­abile At:

This list is by no means con­clu­sive, rather it’s a spring­board. There are tons of prod­ucts with UV pro­tec­tion ingre­di­ents, and as Sum­mer rolls along, I’m sure more will be intro­duced. What are some of your favorite UV-block­ing prod­ucts?

For more from Christi­na check out her blog, The Mane Objec­tive. You can also find her on Insta­gram and Face­book.

*Although Vit­a­m­in E and Buri­ti Oil aren’t exclu­sive­ly regard­ed as UV pro­tec­tants them­selves, there is research that sug­gests each pro­vides a degree of pho­to­pro­tec­tion again­st UV rays. Vit­a­m­in E is able to absorb UV ener­gy, which pre­vents UV induced free-rad­i­cal dam­age. The carotenoids in lipids/oils such as Buri­ti Oil are believed to be able to absorb UV light and pre­vent pho­to-oxi­da­tion. If you are inter­est­ed in a more nat­u­ral and/or sil­i­cone-free approach to UV pro­tec­tion, seek prod­ucts with Vit­a­m­in E and Buri­ti Oil high on the list (with­in the top 5 or 6). Of course, you always have the option of pur­chas­ing pure Vit­a­m­in E and Buri­ti Oil them­selves, and com­bin­ing them with your car­ri­er oil of choice.

Christina Patrice

Born, raised, and liv­ing in Los Ange­les, Christi­na is BGLH’s res­i­dent tran­si­tion­ing expert and pro­duct junkie. In addi­tion to lov­ing all things hair, she is a fit­ness novice and advo­cate of wear­ing san­dals year-round. For more infor­ma­tion on tran­si­tion­ing, nat­u­ral hair, and her own hair jour­ney, vis­it Or, if you like pic­tures fol­low Christi­na on Insta­gram @maneobjective.

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30 Comments on "12 Products that Provide Sun Protection for Natural Hair"

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Sur­prised at the chem­i­cal rec­om­men­da­tions. What hap­pened to nat­u­ral prod­ucts like avo­cado, lemon and shea but­ter. Very dis­ap­point­ed in this post.


I rec­om­mend pleope buy a jar of dia­per oint­ment (I use E. FOUGERA — 20% non-nano zinc oxide and min­er­al oil, beeswax and white petro­la­tum (aka: Vase­line)), a bot­tle of glyc­er­in and some dis­tilled water. Take an emp­ty squeez­able may­on­naise bot­tle. Fill it 1/3 with the oint­ment. Add an ounce of glyc­er­in and an ounce or two of water. Shake well. There’s your sun­screen. Add more water if you need it (it’s going to evap­o­rate soon any­way). I use this and I can’t tell it from the nano-type. It works great too.

S. Smith

I always use all nat­u­ral sun­screen when I go out­doors. I don’t like the idea of putting any­thing on my skin to absorb that I wouldn’t ingest. I might try some of the­se prod­ucts, too. I always get my scalp burned and that HURTS!

if wheat­germ oil and shea but­ter both have some spf pro­tec­tive pow­ers, i will prob­a­bly be ok. my sealeant con­tains good amounts of both and well i use that every oth­er day or so. plus, it is true, this stiff is prob­a­bly ben­e­fi­cial but not necce­sary. Our hair care has to be hol­lis­tic, may­be wear­ing pro­tec­tive styles 80% of the time and nev­er using heat will bal­ance out the sun. After all it is about min­i­mal­iz­ing dam­age you can not pre­vent all damange from all sources all the time–that is plain unre­al­is­tic and i do not want to live in… Read more »

I make my own skin/hair mois­tur­iz­er with shea but­ter, car­ri­er oils and essen­tial oils, but I also add in zinc oxide. Sim­ple, nat­u­ral and works real­ly well at pro­tect­ing my hair and skin.


You have no idea how much I am thank­ful for this! Last sum­mer my hair went absolute­ly wild after head­ing down to the beach : ( and it was even worse when I would jump into my pool. Not to famil­iar with most of those names, but I am with John Frieda, so I’ll start with this one. Have you per­son­al­ly tried this one? If not, which one have you per­son­al­ly tried??

Ugonna Wosu

anoth­er list of prod­ucts and brands we do not have here in Mon­tre­al, sigh.


Actu­al­ly girls there are nat­u­ral alter­na­tives that have very high spf. They are all nat­u­ral oils as well.

Red Rasp­ber­ry Seed Oil- between 28 and 50 spf
Car­rot Seed Oil- between 38 to 50 spf
Wheat Germ+ Vit. E oil blend — 20 spf
Soy­bean Oil- 10 spf

The­se are all based on the stud­ies in the “Phar­ma­cog­nosy Mag­a­zine”.

Actu­al­ly the “Wild Growth Oil Light Oil” in the yel­low bot­tle con­tains car­rot seed oil and oth­er great nat­u­ral oils for good alter­na­tive “ready made” pro­duct. :)


Yeah, I’ll stick to my nat­u­ral stuff. Hon­est­ly, it hasn’t failed me yet.


I just found this arti­cle that gives a few oils that have uv pro­tec­tion for those look­ing for alter­na­tives to the prod­ucts men­tioned in the arti­cle.


I don’t know that this would be up a “nat­u­ral­is­tas” alley. There must be some nat­u­ral alter­na­tives out there for those that don’t want to put chem­i­cals in their hair. My advice would much rather be shea but­ter mixed with vit­a­m­in e and any oth­er oil of your choice. I would prob­a­bly wet my hair with water or aloe vera juice, sea with the mixed oil and sport a cute hat to pro­tect my lus­cious locks from the uv rays! But that’s just me!

I read some­where that shea but­ter does not have a high enough SPF to actu­al­ly do any­thing worth­while. I’m also inter­est­ed to know whether the prod­ucts list­ed actu­al­ly have a high enough SPF them­sevles. It could be they are bet­ter than noth­ing, but aren’t sig­nif­i­cant­ly effec­tive regard­less. Every­day, there is some­thing new to ‘wor­ry’ about when it comes to nat­u­ral hair. Many of them we didn’t even think twice about years ago and our hair was fine (child­hood for exam­ple). Not to men­tion, I’ve nev­er heard a nat­u­ral style icon men­tion sun pro­tect­ing their hair and their hair is thriv­ing… Read more »
Anon­Since87, I con­cur!!! I have been relax­er free for 18 years now and even when I was applied exces­sive heat to my hair (from hot combs to flat irons and any­thing in between) my hair grew effort­less­ly. Although some peo­ples tex­ture and resis­tance is dif­fer­ent I doubt all this is nec­es­sary. I live in Flori­da so it hot year round and I don’t make a con­science effort to put any kind of pro­tec­tant in my hair and it is health­ier than ever. I wager to say the­se things are ben­e­fi­cial but NOT NECESSARY.

I hope and prey that shea but­ter is good enough. Jesus, I dont want to put some of that stuff on my hair.
There are many wom­en out there who do not use sun pro­tec­tants on their hair and grow healthy long hair
shea but­ter has to be enough, wom­en BLACK wom­en in africa were grow­ing nice healthy hair before the inven­tion of those crazy chem­i­cals. How about we wear hats? use shea but­ter? scarves, sit in the shade etc?


None of those sound like some­thing I would want to put in my hair. Wouldn’t shea but­ter, vit­a­m­in e and a seal­ing oil pro­tect your hair?

Hi:This is Christi­na from Chicago. My son is 2 1/2 years old and has seen three hot, sun­ny sum­mers. I am in total amree­gent with Stephanie and have been so since he was born and looked at all the ingre­di­ents in the safe, “baby,” sun­screens. He has nev­er used sun­screen and has NEVER had a sunburn…more than an occa­sion­al “farmer’s tan” on his fore­arms. No, it’s not easy hav­ing him keep long sleeves or his hat on while play­ing in the sand at the beach or hav­ing fun in the pool. But, I real­ly feel that lack of ease is… Read more »
I feel you, that is exact­ly what I was think­ing at first . that why I went to aveeno because it is only “near-nat­u­ral” I can think of.  I was­nt nat­u­ral things because I always pur­chase them to use in hair, so I was think­ing abt shea but­ter but I know it real­ly is not as strong as oth­er pro­duct that is last­ing sun­screen pro­tec­tion. It is like FDA approved.  Have you heard that most nat­u­ral stuffs real­ly don’t last or have much pro­tec­tion as store­bought because store­bought has a lot of inge­di­ents you may not wan­na miss.  If you wan­na try… Read more »

My Lord, now I have to pro­tect my hair from the sun, too? This is crazy lol. But seri­ous­ly, are there any nat­u­ral alter­na­tives to the­se prod­ucts?


I’ve heard that avo­cado oil is a nat­u­ral sun­screen. I use that on my scalp and hair just for gen­er­al mois­ture but it is also meant to have the sun­screen ben­e­fit so you can’t go wrong with try­ing that out :)


That’s what I was won­der­ing. Any pro­duct lines with nat­u­ral ingre­di­ents that pro­tect from the sun?

Ubah Luar

Gio­van­ni direct leave inn con­di­tion­er. And thats what i use alongside my hat.
It is nat­u­ral and has Toco­pherol (Vit­a­m­in E)* as 3rd ingere­di­ent.


I think shea but­ter is a nat­u­ral ingre­di­ent that pro­tects your hair from the sun. I don’t think it’s has long last­ing or as strong as oth­er sun­screen ingre­di­ents, but it can help.

I already know that hair MUST have sun­screen in it. It may sound fun­ny when it said “sun­screen in hair, but if you wan­na healthy hair with­out loss , bald, etc.) Then get sun­screen ! Not the kind one of sun­screen lotion you used for skin, it is not designed for hair. It don’t pen­er­ate well. Unsless you want look at EWG for nat­u­ral ingreints infused sun­screen lotion, it can be used on hair. Because it is the same kind of car­ri­er oils we use on hair , that are on EWG list sun­screens. Any­way I have 3 sun­screens for… Read more »

This is dumb


Moi, le bio, e7a m’inspire pas. Juste­ment parce que j’aime pas me pren­dre la teate avec ce gen­re de tetxrue. Alors pay­er 19 euro pour le met­tre une fois et puis plus jamais, je trou­ve e7a trop cher. Apre8s si on est une accro au bio et qu’on est dote9 d’une patience d’ange, pourquoi pas?Merci Mag­a­li de tester pour nous.



you can say it is dumb if you want your scalp burnt. Again i don’t know why you come here to look at it. it is only for ppl that want hair to be healthy. we always have dif­fer­ent hair roun­tine for every sea­sons. we are here to learn , not to insult hoe it is dumb. dis­like it then leave pls. thanks


That lady is a troll. She just says stuff to get atten­tion.

Leslie Mac

You def­i­nite­ly missed the Phillip Kings­ley line which has some­thing called Swim­Cap that is great for swimming/summer nat­u­ral hair. Pro­tects hair from salt & pool H2O + has SPF. It REALLY works.


Some­one could’nt have told me about this in high school when I was on the swim team. My poor hair was dam­aged from the con­stant chlo­rine and dai­ly wash­es. i am def­i­nite­ly going to check this pro­duct out. thank you sooo much :]