Summertime, and the living is easy…but not for your head. Heat from the sun degrades the protective protein in hair–which oxidizes the color to a brassy hue, wipes out shine, and leaves locks brittle. On top of that, UV rays, follicle-frizzing humidity, and moisture-zapping chlorine and saltwater can parch your ‘do. Here are some summer hair care tips to keep your locks aglow.
Whether your hair is dyed or au naturel, sunlight bleaches it out. Unfortunately, results can be unpredictable and unattractive. Create a “sunblock” for hair. Because there’s no effective chemical product or dye designed to counteract the impact of ultraviolet rays on hair (though added SPF helps), a wide-brimmed hat is your best weapon for summer hair care. Try one made from a tightly woven UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) fabric.
A product specifically formulated to shield hair from the sun will offer some protection. Before venturing outdoors, spray wet or dry hair with protective spray or your everyday leave-in hair conditioner. Respritz each time you put sunscreen on your skin. It’s no coincidence that the hair along your part, which sees the most sun exposure, seems to age faster than the hair hidden underneath. The sun sops moisture from hair and dries out the scalp, zapping shine and making color look dull and faded. Shielding your strands from UV light, especially around your hairline and part, will help lock in moisture and preserve your color. Try a sunscreen-pumped styling cream, which absorbs rays while smoothing the hair with moisturizing extracts, strengthening proteins, and protective UVB inhibitors. Smooth a dollop throughout strands, focusing on your part and hairline. And try moving your part around—an inch up or down every few days—to minimize localized sun exposure.
Take Your Vitamins
Your hair needs vitamins too. Shampoo, conditioners, and hair masks fortified with vitamins A, B, C, E, and nutrients such as calcium and magnesium help repair damage, lock in moisture and boost luster from the inside out. Check the ingredient label to make sure the formula doesn’t contain sulfates—these harsh cleansers, found in many shampoos, can strip hair of its natural oils.
There’s no need to keep your hair under wraps – literally – due to our follicle-frizzing high humidity. Though it can wreak havoc with your hair, since moisture in the air makes hair prone to frizzing, there are things you can do to help keep the frizz in check. Even if your locks aren’t normally vulnerable, any damage–whether from the sun or from coloring, straightening, or heat appliances–roughens cuticles, enabling water molecules in humid air to penetrate the hair shaft, causing it to swell.
First and foremost, keep your hair as healthy as possible. Regular trims and deep conditioning treatments go a long way in aiding in your hair’s health – and are available services at Health and Style Institute for pennies, compared to other salons. For our salon services menu: http://healthandstyle.edu/salon-services.php
When styling your hair at home for the day, try a silicone-based smoothing serum. These styling products temporarily ‘glue’ hair cuticles smooth, flattening out roughness and preventing the absorption of water molecules from the air. Today’s more advanced silicone is the ingredient of choice for frizz fighters because it’s non-greasy and micro-fine, allowing for tinier particles to deposit on hair more uniformly than previous silicone products. Work in a dime-size dollop of a smoothing serum, which has added vitamins. Spritz styled hair with an anti-frizz to help hair stay smooth in any level of humidity. Use alone or after applying silicone serum.
And, when all else fails, and your hair still has a mind of its own…. whip out one of your fabulous hats, turbans, or scarves! It’s a chic look anyway, when worn with your beautiful smile and confidence!
Like oily skin, an oily scalp gets worse in summer. Heat prompts sebaceous glands to churn out more oil, and perspiration compounds the problem because it makes hair appear dirtier and greasier.
Frequent shampooing (once or twice daily) is the most effective technique for removing buildup. You can have greasy roots but fried ends, so even if you’re afraid conditioner will make your hair greasier, apply it to your ends to prevent sun-related dryness and damage. You can also banish grease with a dry shampoo made from oil-absorbing powders, or dip a cotton ball in witch hazel–a natural astringent that dissolves oil–and blot your scalp along your part and around your hairline.
Rescue Swimmer’s Hair
It’s no myth–chlorine builds up on the hair and leaves a discoloring green film. And this isn’t a blonde-only problem, although the buildup is more obvious on light-colored locks.
Be sure to prep hair pre-swim. Like a sponge, dry hair absorbs the first liquid to which it’s exposed. Wet hair with tap water before you take the plunge and it won’t absorb much chlorinated water. For extra summer hair care protection, coat wet or dry hair with leave-in conditioner, and then reapply to protect hair as it dries in the sun. Also be sure to rinse well. You can prevent chlorine buildup by washing your hair within a few hours of exposure. Race you to the pool!