Summer Hair Care

Summer girl
Photo: Istockphoto
When summer is in full swing, it is time to think about the special care that our hair needs. Whether it be the sun, the sand, the sea, or the pool, our hair takes a beating when the temperatures rise.
It doesn't take much to ruin our hair, but getting it back to a healthy state is another story. Let's talk about prevention instead. So, sit back in your recliner, sip on your iced tea, and read on to learn how to beat summer hair damage.
There is no escaping the sun, unless you live in the land of the midnight sun and only have a few hours of sun a day. Short of wearing a hat, there are some other things that can be done to help prevent sun damage. Just as you wouldn't spend the day at the beach without your trusted sunscreen, you also shouldn't spend time in the sun without sunscreen in your hair. Use a leave-in conditioner that contains SPF to help prevent damage to your hair.
If you're in a pinch and you find yourself taking a road trip in a convertible or spending the day at the pool without a hat or the all-important SPF, just use the same stuff you put on your skin. Your hair will probably feel pretty slimy and gross, but a few hours is nothing compared to several months of work to repair the damage. Hair that has been damaged by the sun may become brittle and frizzy. Many times the only way to fix this summer hair issue is to trim away the damaged follicles.
So you are covered in sunscreen from head to toe and now you are ready to go swimming. When you are done, you are always sure to rinse your body and your suit. I mean, for what you pay for those suits, you need to take care of them. Don't forget to also rinse your hair. Pools contain all sorts of damaging chemicals, as do hot tubs.
You wouldn't dream of pouring Clorox on your hair and then leaving it there for the rest of the day. Well, one of the most damaging chemicals in pools is a cousin of that bleach, known as chlorine. Chlorine not only will bleach your hair but can also dry it out making it brittle. It can also affect your scalp making it sensitive and itchy.
Woman who is wearing a swim cap to protect her hair
Photo: Jacob Lund via Canva
To prevent these symptoms, always wash your hair after swimming. No matter what, always wash your hair as soon as you are done swimming, preferably with a swimmer's shampoo. Another way to protect your hair from chlorine damage is to wear a silicone swim cap. Try putting a good conditioner in your hair before putting the cap onto your head, it will help it go on a little easier and will also protect your hair from being damaged further.
When it is warm enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, it is also warm enough to fry your hair cuticles. Try to stay out of the heat as much as possible if you are concerned about heat damage. However, for most of us, this is just not possible, so how can you protect your hair without installing central air on your head? Start by simplifying your daily hair routine. Cut back on the blow-drying and heat styling - that's right, just put down the curling iron and no hair will get hurt! Also, try using a heat-activated conditioner to make your job even easier. Make the summer heat work for you.
Summer is a time to pamper your hair and let it go on a vacation. Just as we all need a break from our daily routines, our hair does too. Try doing hair in braids, popping on a straw hat, or even getting a short, fun cut. This is a great time of the year to try something new like a modified bob with tons of texture. A razor will be needed to get the kind of natural texture required to get the desired look without the use of a million styling products which can also dry out the hair when it's hot.
Enjoy your summer and take care of your hair. It only takes a few minutes to prevent months of damage from the hot summer sun and all the fun that comes with it.
See also:
How hair responds to sun exposure
Summertime must haves for your hair and skin