One part of hair care that many people don’t consider is how your hair’s needs change throughout the year. Each season brings different environmental factors that directly influence your hair’s condition and appearance. If you simply follow the same hair care regimen year round, your locks could be left dull and damaged.
The summer months can be especially damaging on your delicate locks. The warm sunshine may turn your skin a golden bronze, but it also wreaks havoc on your hair.
The sun’s unrelenting UV rays directly attack your hair’s protective protein layer, causing it to break down and disappear. The loss of protein results in bleached out strands, loss of shine and brittleness. Add to that exposure to humidity, salt water and chlorine and it is easy to see how sexy beach hair can quickly turn into a parched mess.
All of these factors can quickly conspire to keep a girl indoors during the beautiful summer months. Rather than missing out on the extra-long days and carefree fun of the sunniest months of the year, read on for some top tips to preserve your hair and keep it in tip-top shape throughout the dog days of summer.
Keep Your Color
Perhaps the most obvious damage inflicted during the summer months is the natural bleaching that occurs due to the sun’s harsh UV rays. While natural hair may take on subtle, sun-kissed highlights, color treated hair fares much worse. Hair that is already sensitive due to coloring often turns brassy and loses its luster and shine.
To avoid the unpredictability of sun bleaching, protect your hair with its own sunblock. Although you won’t find a miracle cream or lotion that can fully negate the impact of UV rays on your strands, you can avoid a lot of damage by simply keeping your hair out of the sun with a wide-brimmed hat. You can also use leave-in conditioners that are specially formulated to shield hair from the sun.
Forget The Frizz
Along with all that glorious sunshine, the summer months also bring with them higher humidity levels. All that moisture in the air can turn even the healthiest, smoothest hair into a frizzy mess. Locks that are already damaged are even more susceptible to the ravages of humid air.
To avoid the dreaded summer frizz, apply a silicone-based smoothing serum to freshly styled, dry hair. The silicone creates an impenetrable barrier on the hair shaft, keeping moisture from penetrating it which in turn causes the strand to swell. For extra frizz protection, you can also spritz your styled hair with an anti-frizz finishing spray.
Manage The Oil
Summer’s heat acts as a stimulus for your body’s oil-producing sebaceous glands, resulting in oilier scalps, even for those with normal scalp conditions the rest of the year. Add to that perspiration that occurs naturally in the summer months and your hair can appear greasier and dirtier than normal. To combat the oily hair blues, increase your regular shampooing schedule to keep your scalp clean and oil free. However, don’t forget to apply a quality conditioner to the ends of your hair, especially if you have dry, damaged tips.
You can also combat oily buildup by using a dry shampoo on the roots. The ingredients in a dry shampoo will absorb the excess oil and keep your hair looking fresh. In a pinch you can also soak a cottonball with witch hazel and dab it along your part and hairline. Witch hazel is a natural astringent that quickly dissolves oil.
Treat The Chlorine
Anyone who spends a lot of time in a swimming pool can tell you that chlorine is hazardous to your hair. Over time, exposure to chlorine results in a build up on the hair that leaves a discoloring green film. Commonly referred to as swimmer’s hair, the green tint is most noticeable in those with lighter colored locks, but it happens to all hair colors.
To avoid this unfortunate side affect of regular dips in your local pool, be sure to properly prep your hair by thoroughly wetting it with tap water before taking the plunge. Wet hair won’t absorb as much chlorinated water as dry hair. Also be sure to thoroughly rinse your hair to remove any residual chlorine after each swim.
If you’re already a victim of the dreaded green tint, you can use a clarifying shampoo that is designed to remove the chlorine residue.
Your Summer Hair Woes Solved, 2014, Prevention Magazine.
Summer Hair Care, May 2, 2013, WebMD.
Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/beauty/sun/hair-care
Winterizing Your Hair Care, February 20, 2007, WebMD.
8 Don’t’s for Healthy Hair During the Winter, December 27, 2013, TheHealthSite.com.