Summer Hair tips

The summertime is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. With all the attention we give nowadays to protecting our skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, it’s easy to forget that we also need to protect our hair.  Excessive exposure to the sun damages our hair. The hair becomes lighter in color, loses its softness and shine and becomes drier and more brittle. Broken or split ends and frizzy hair may also be a sign of sun damaged hair.  

Protecting the hair really comes down to one thing – protecting the outermost layer of the hair fiber called the cuticle.  Many factors over the summer can damage the cuticle including sunlight, chlorine in swimming pools, salt water from the ocean, sand, hair dryers and chemical processing. Keep your hair at its best during summer with these tips:

sunprotecthair.jpg

1. Sun protection is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Wear a hat or scarf when outdoors. Most people underestimate how much of a difference this can make by the end of the summer.

2. Shampoo less often but condition regularly. People forget that shampoos are meant to be used to clean the surface of the scalp and conditioners are designed for the actual hair strands. Shampoos don’t have to be used with the same frequency.  In the summer,  shampoo a few times each week but condition every day. Conditioners help protect the cuticle of the hair and improve the moisture content of hair.   If you are going to be in the sun a great deal, use a ‘leave-in’ conditioner as well.

condition&shampoo.jpg


3. Use a deep conditioner with protein or keratin once per week.  This is particularly important for women who have chemically processed hair.  Color-treated hair is particularly sensitive to the effects of sun.


4. Use a clarifying shampoo once per week. This will help keep the hair free from build-up caused by hair products. 


5. Limit the amount of heat used on the scalp. Heat damages the cuticle of the hair. Let their hair dry naturally as much as possible (air dry). Let it dry at least 80 or 90 % before styling.  This simple step can make a tremendous difference to the health of the hair.


6. Limit salon treatments over the summer.    Hair that is exposed to sunlight is more likely to break if it has been recently subjected to excessive chemical or heat treatment. Hair bleaches and dyes cause hair damage.    


7. Get a trim every month.  Unfortunately, split ends from sun damage can’t really be remedied and need to be cut off.  For many women, this is a fantastic way to quickly and dramatically improve the look of the hair. New ends are less subject to static electricity and are less frizzy.


8. Avoid products with high alcohol content. Alcohol containing products, including hair sprays, can be particularly drying to the hair.  Alcohol with cause the hair to dry out faster and speeds up the rate at which sunlight causes damage.


9. Be pool savvy.  There are many helpful tips to protect the hair for those who enjoy the pool. Before getting into a chlorinated pool, wet the hair.  That can help to reduce the amount of chlorine absorbed by hair.  For maximum protection, it can be helpful to wear a swimmer’s cap.  But don’t forget that there are important steps to protect your hair once you actually leave the pool.  Rinse your hair under the shower to rinse off chemicals.  Instead of rubbing the hair with a towel, blot it dry.  If women have extremely fragile hair, dry hair with super absorbent microfiber towels.


10. Carry dry shampoo. Humidity can be a problem in the summer. Humidity can create major problems with’ frizz.’  A dry shampoo can really help absorb moisture. 


11.  Look for products that block UV. Several styling products now contain ingredients which reduce the amount of UV radiation reaching the hair.  Read the labels and look for products containing benzophenones or cinnamates.  While these products are helpful they are much less important than wearing a hat or scarf. To maintain great hair, there is simply no substitute for a hat.