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Being out in the sun all day is often unavoidable. Most people are well aware of the possible skin damage, including wrinkles, burns and premature aging. Fewer people are aware that the sun can damage other parts of the body too, from your nails to your hair.

Overexposure to the sun can cause your hair to become dry, brittle and discolored. UV rays permeate your nails, which may eventually become yellow with raised ridges. Your lips also feel the wrath of the sun — they have almost no melanin, so they’re not protected against sunburn. Excessive UV rays can also cause eye diseases such as cataracts.

Prevention is key when it comes to sun damage, so follow these tips for thorough protection.

Skin & lips

Sun protection is especially important during summer months, but even cloudy days can damage your skin and lips. Young people are particularly vulnerable, though the damage doesn’t show up until later. In addition to arming yourself with a high-quality sunscreen to prevent burns, wear a wide-brimmed hat to provide all-day shade. Use a chapstick that contains SPF, and apply it regularly throughout the day.

Hair

To prevent hair from becoming brittle or discolored, you can use a conditioner that contains sunscreen or simply run sunscreen through your hair. A more practical solution, however, is to wear a hat or scarf when you’re outside for long periods of time. This protects your scalp as well as your delicate hair.

Nails

Nails are one of the most-often neglected areas of the body when it comes to sun protection. Excessive sun isn’t any more healthy for your nails than it is for your skin. Luckily, the solution is simple: protect your nails with an opaque nail polish. There are also top coats on the market that are specifically designed to handle extra UV rays.

Eyes

You may already be doing everything that you need to do to protect your eyes from the sun –wearing sunglasses. To reduce the risk of eye damage even further, however, make sure to choose sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV rays. The lenses should be dark, as well as large enough to shield your entire eye. Make sure to wear your sunglasses whenever sunlight is reflecting into your eyes, even if the sun isn’t high in the sky.

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The Top Five At-Home Hair Color Tips

At-home hair coloring saves money and increases in popularity as products continually improve. In order to obtain the best results, whether you’ve been doing this for a while or are new to coloring, you should know these five important at-home hair color tips.

Know What You’re Getting

Going darker than your natural color is always easier and fairly straightforward. If you want to lighten your hair, enlist professional help, unless you’re only lifting hair a maximum of three shades. Keep in mind that going red equals lightening your hair, unless your hair is naturally blonde and lighter than the shade of red you have in mind. You should also consult a professional when you already have colored your hair and want to change the shade.

You will not get the exact color that’s pictured on a box, unless you start with a blank slate. This means the result on the box only applies when you add the product to hair that has been stripped of its natural color (pre-lightened). To find the approximate shade the dye will give you, consult the chart that’s usually listed on the side or back of the box. This will also tell you if the product will work with the natural color of your hair.

Perform the Allergy Test

Many people fail to perform the allergy test because they’ve colored their hair for years. However, even if you’ve been using the same product for a long time, you have to test for allergies every time you use it because adverse reactions can develop at any time. To test for sensitivities, apply a small amount of the product on a patch of skin and wait at least 24 hours.

Perform a Strand Test

To avoid disappointment, color a small piece of hair that’s not visible beforehand. You can do this at the same time as the allergy test. However, don’t leave hair color on for longer than 40 minutes because it loses its effectiveness after this time frame.

Don’t Apply Hair Color to Freshly Washed Hair

You should wait at least 24 hours after shampooing before applying hair color. While you might think that clean hair would easily absorb color, the opposite is true. Hair color will hold better on unwashed hair. However, the main reason for not washing it right before coloring is that you’re more likely to cause irritation because your scalp will lack the protective natural oils. This especially applies to products that bleach hair.

Protect Your Skin and Clothing

Protection is key when working with hair dye. Use gloves during the coloring process, and apply petroleum jelly to the skin around the hairline before coloring to avoid staining. Wearing old clothes or a smock is always a good idea as well.

When asking around, you’re likely to get contradicting advice such as that it’s OK to forego the allergy and strand test when you’re used to a product. However, spending the time to do things right will give you peace of mind and help avoid potential disaster.


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