When it comes to sun protection, serial outdoors-people like beach volleyball players have to worry about much more than just their skin. Sunscreen works wonders and we could recommend brands to you all day long, but we figure you have that under control by now. So we’re going to focus on two oft-neglected body parts suffering from sun damage: your eyes and hair.
According to the American Optometric Association, exposing your unprotected eyes to the sun’s rays can lead to cataracts, pterygium (raised wedge-shaped growths on the eye that cause irritation and obscured vision, also known as surfer’s eye), and, in some cases, even cancer. What’s the best way to protect your eyes from these rays? The simple and stylish sunglasses! Here are two of our favorites from Polaroid. They’re UV 400, meaning they protect you from all the UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, and the polarized lenses minimize glare.
These red-lensed aviators scream trendy and sporty. Not great for playing, as they sit very flat across the face and are likely to slip with sudden movements, these glasses are perfect for the early morning drive right into the sunrise or lounging courtside.
It can be difficult to find glasses that are functional, sporty, and sturdy enough to be volleyball sunglasses and aren’t, well, hideous. This simple brown model provides plenty of coverage for vulnerable eyes and your ability to track that sky ball will be impeccable through the polarized lenses. Not to mention they’re fashionable without being ostentatious. The only downside is that as large as the lenses are, it can get pretty sweaty behind them.
The Paul Mitchell Sun line protects hair from both UVA and UVB rays using sunflower extract and UV absorbers. This will help keep your locks from getting dry and brittle, and it prevents color from fading. All the products have a fruity, and very unique scent dubbed “Island Passion Flower.” The product likely to give you the best protection is the spray, because with the shampoo and the masque it’s hard to tell how much of the protective formula actually remains after you rinse.
Prices vary, paulmitchell.com
But the best way to control hair and eye damage in one easy move? Put on a hat! Hats help shield your eyes from the majority of the sun’s rays, and they cover up the hair on the crown of your head where it is most vulnerable to damage.
This O’Neill “Taylor” snapback hat for women is super comfortable and fits tight to the head so there’s no slippage during a match. The mesh back keeps you cool, but does mean a little less UV protection for your locks, so make sure to double up with the Paul Mitchell spray.
RVCA’s motto, “The Balance of Opposites,” fits well with volleyball, a game where we need to be very balanced between strength and finesse, confidence and humility. This RVCA trucker hat has a fairly simple design, but the flat bill style is popular and the optional red mesh back gives it a little funky flare.
Originally published in May 2013