Summer is here with all its sunshine, water fun, and outdoor adventures. It is the time of year when flowers are blooming, grass is green, and people are more active. With all the splendor that comes with summer rejuvenation, there is another side to summer that can wreak havoc on hair. Humid weather, chlorine, saltwater and sun damage all take a toll. As Philip Kingsley states in The Hair Bible, “The sun weakens the hair’s protein structure, de-moisturizes it and reduces elasticity so the hair breaks more easily.” The summer can do damage, but protecting your hair and having a good hair care routine can help in keeping those locks healthy.
Tips for Beautiful Hair this Summer
Hair damage due to the sun comes via those UV rays. It can dehydrate hair and make the outer layer rough. Products with UV filters are great for summer and come in sprays, gels or creams. Another way to protect hair from the sun is to wear a wide brimmed hat. These can protect not only your hair but also your skin.
Chlorine and saltwater both can have a bad wrap with hair. Chlorine can strip out natural oils while saltwater dries out hair because of the high salt content which draws water out of hair. Before taking a dip, it’s best to either wet hair thoroughly or spray leave-in conditioner all over. Hair cannot absorb as much saltwater or pool chemicals when it is already saturated with water/conditioner. After taking a dip, rinse hair well. As an alternative to water, try sparkling water- the fizz can help get out pool chemicals.
Humidity also does its harm. When moisture is in the air (humidity), dry hair will soak it up. This then causes the hair to swell which leads the hair to puff up making breaks in the outer layer. Keeping the hair moisturized (conditioners, leave-in conditioners, creams) and then adding an oil on top of your moisturizer (oils keep the outer layer closed to hold in moisture) will keep humidity at bay.
There are many good masks and leave-in conditioners in the market today, but here is a recipe for an at-home conditioner that you can whisk together: 2 eggs, 2 half eggshells of olive or other light vegetable oil, 1/2 ripe avocado, 2oz of purified water (from The Hair Bible). This mixture is worked into the hair and left on for ten minutes and then washed off.
LAST OF THE SUMMER ADVICE
Remember, life is not perfect. There will be days when your hair will not act accordingly. Do not worry, do not fret, take a breath, let it go and wear your hair in a stylish ponytail, braid, or bun.
Enjoy the sun!
Originally published June 7, 2016