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 is the final installment of summer hair care tips to keep your locks aglow.
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 preswim. 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,” says Kingsley. For extra summer hair care protection, coat wet or dry hair with leave-in conditioner, such as Redken’s UV Rescue Swim Cream ($13; salons), 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.
Try a clarifying shampoo (ThermaSilk makes one; $4 in drugstores), which has residue-removing properties, or rinse your hair with 1/4 cup cider vinegar mixed into a pint of water, which also removes dulling and discoloring films. Après swim, a ponytail keeps you cool poolside and minimizes damage (only the very outer layer gets exposed to the sun’s rays). Avoid elastic bands with metal seams, opt for softer scrunchies, and make sure your hair isn’t pulled too tight–that can cause breakage.
Previous blog posts from this series
Source: Adapted from Prevention Magazine, Wendy Korn