The warmth of the summer sun is always welcome after a long winter. Long summer days bring the promise of barbecues, festivals, pool parties, beach days, and days at the park enjoying the sunshine.
However, the same elements that make summer fun can also damage your hair.
So what can you do to keep your hair healthy this summer? Maintaining healthy hair throughout the summer is simple if you plan ahead and take precautions.
Summer Elements That Damage Your Hair
In the summer, your hair is exposed to several elements that can harm the structure and the amount of moisture it can hold. A few weeks of summer fun can leave your hair looking tired and unmanageable.
Intense summer sun can damage your hair follicles and destroy the structure of the hair. UV rays dry out hair and rough up the hair shaft's usually smooth cuticle or outer layer. Dry hair, split ends, frizziness, and fading of colored hair are common signs of sun damage.
Too many summer swims, if there is such a thing, can also weaken hair and lead to breakage. Chlorine strips your hair's natural oil, leaving it dry and brittle. In addition, frequent exposure to chlorine makes your hair highly porous and weakens strands, resulting in split ends.
Like chlorine, saltwater draws moisture from your hair, leaving it dehydrated. Frequent exposure to saltwater can damage the cuticle and lead to split ends, breakage, and frizz.
Pool chemicals and saltwater don't only do damage while you're swimming. If the contaminants aren't thoroughly washed out after swimming, they remain in your hair, continuing to dry out the strands and making them brittle.
How to Keep Your Hair Healthy This Summer
You don't have to give up the outdoors and hide inside to keep your hair healthy this summer. However, if you want to protect your locks and keep your hair looking healthy, you should take a few precautions.
Protecting your scalp and hair from the sun is similar to protecting your skin; cover up or apply sunscreen. Hats and scarves are a simple, practical, and stylish way to protect your head.
When covering your head isn't practical, sunscreen products can protect your scalp and hair from the sun. You can use any sunscreen you would usually apply to your face or choose an SPF hair product specifically formulated for your hair and scalp.
If you don't plan on spending much time in the water, keeping your hair healthy may be as simple as keeping your hair dry or wearing a swim cap. However, if you spend a few days a week at the pool or beach, taking additional steps to protect your scalp and hair is vital.
Regardless of how often you swim, you should always rinse your hair with clean water before and after swimming. Your hair is porous. Soaking it with clean water before swimming minimizes the amount of chlorinated water or saltwater your hair can absorb.
It's equally important to rinse your hair after swimming to wash away any remnants from your hair. Using a gentle shampoo followed by a conditioner after every swim is a good habit.
If you're a frequent swimmer or your hair is prone to damage, oiling your hair may be the most crucial step you can take toward protecting your hair. Applying natural oils, such as coconut, olive, or jojoba oil, before swimming provides a protective barrier. The oil penetrates the hair shaft, filling the gaps between the cuticle cells and preventing the absorption of pool or salt water.
Keep Your Hair Healthy This Summer
The scorching sun, saltwater, and chlorine can all take a toll on your hair. Heat, saltwater, and pool chemicals deplete your hair's natural protective oils, leaving it dry, brittle, and easily damaged. However, spending a few minutes protecting your hair can keep it looking healthy throughout the summer.
If you have questions about how to keep your hair healthy this summer or are concerned about the health of your hair, contact us today and schedule your FREE initial consultation.