The sizzling summer sun, high humidity and wonderfully wet outdoor activities can make summer a season that wreaks havoc on your hair. Here are some easy ways to combat the elements and make your great outdoor days great hair days, too.
Protect Your Hair and Scalp from the Sun
Just like the sun can damage your skin, long hours of direct exposure to the sun can “fry” your hair. The sun’s ultraviolet rays cause damage by drying your hair out and roughing up the normally smooth cuticle, or outer layer, of the hair shaft. This type of damage is most obvious when you see color-treated hair become faded, bleached and brassy. To protect your hair and scalp from the hot summer sun, try these tips:
- If you’re out in the sun for any length of time, the best way to protect your hair and scalp is to wear a hat. It’s a good idea to make sure the hat is well vented, so your head stays cool.
- If hats are not your thing, find a hair product with UV protection for your hair and scalp. They come in sprays, gels or creams to suit your preference.
- Make the heat work in your favor by slathering on a deep conditioner while you’re outside enjoying the rays. The conditioner will act as a barrier against the drying sun, salt and wind, while giving your hair a boost of softness and shine.
Chlorine, Algaecide and Salt–Oh My!
You wouldn’t buy a shampoo or conditioner that contains chlorine, algaecide or salt, right? So, why expose your hair to those harsh chemicals while you’re swimming this summer? To minimize the amount of chemicals your hair absorbs, follow this advice:
- Wet your tresses with clean water and apply a few drops of hair oil or conditioner when you’re headed to the pool for a swim. By starting off with a wet head before taking the plunge, you can lessen the amount of chemicals or salt absorbed by your hair.
- After your swim, rinse your hair thoroughly with clean water. If there isn’t a shower nearby, keep a spray bottle of fresh water on hand and give your locks a good spritzing.
- Green hair? Yes, it really does happen—and not just to those with blonde hair. The green tint is just more noticeable on light colored hair. The copper molecules and other chemicals used in pool water can react and build up on your hair, leaving a greenish hue. Plus, the chemicals strip your hair of its natural protective oils. Rinse with sparkling mineral water after your laps to help loosen any gunk that may be leftover on your strands.
- The salt in seawater sucks moisture right out of your hair, so deep conditioning before and after you ride the ocean waves will help prevent parched locks and breakage, which can lead to the appearance of thinning hair.
Fight Frizz in Style
The summer temperatures, high humidity levels and damage caused by swimming pools and ocean water can make this time of year a frizz festival for your hair. Here are a few tricks that can help:
- Ensure you’re using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner to help fight dryness and smooth damaged cuticles. High temperatures can lead to excess sweating and make the oil glands on your scalp produce more sebum, so don’t skip washes. Keep your scalp clean and healthy by using a clarifying shampoo once a week.
- Get a regular trim. It’s tempting to skip a trim, especially if you are trying to grow your hair longer. But, the ends of your hair are usually the first place you’ll see split ends and breakage. Start the season with a fresh, clean cut to keep your hair looking healthy.
- Try adding a few drops of an essential oil or silicone-based serum to smooth any frizz.
- Take a break from your hot styling tools. Partially blow dry your hair, or let your locks air dry. Use headbands or hair clips for some added style and embrace your natural texture.
- Avoid products with alcohol or ethanol, including many hair sprays. They can dry your hair and just accentuate the problem.