How you treat your hair this summer determines how your hair will look for the rest of the year, so take care of it! Summer fun can take its toll on hair but if you follow these tips your hair will survive the summer.
SPF and Hair. SPF is not an ingredient, it’s an acronym for “sun protection factor”. Skin is a living tissue and we know that UVA and UVB from the sun can cause damage that leads to premature aging and even skin cancer. The higher the number the greater protection, so skincare products put SPF on packaging to show you the amount of protection. Hair is basically keratin (protein) and dead skin cells, so SPF is not displayed on hair products because it’s irrelevant to hair. Most sun blocking ingredients in sunscreens and skincare are greasy and can weigh down hair, so hair product companies don’t use them because they are not a good fit. Nobody wants greasy looking hair! The best way to protect hair from sun (or any damaging elements) is by using products that help keep the hair PH level low. This in turn keeps the cuticle sealed which protects hair. Unless you are purchasing a hair product that is specifically marketed for summer, many companies don’t bother putting SPF on the packaging because most quality hair products contain ingredients that act as an SPF anyways. Hair companies know this though most consumers don’t, so when choosing hair products for summer remember that if it doesn’t say SPF on the bottle it still has ingredients that serve as a protective barrier against the sun.
Shower first and last. It may seem silly to take a shower before you get in the water, but hair is like a sponge and it can only absorb so much. If you rinse your hair with water before you get in the pool it will absorb less of the chlorinated pool water. Salt water can be drying to the hair so this is good to do at the beach as well. Almost every pool or beach has a shower nearby so take advantage and rinse your hair before! Squeeze out the excess water then apply oil or leave in spray. When you leave for the day do the same thing. If your hair is damaged or blonde do a quick shampoo with a deep cleansing shampoo. If you shampoo with a product like F18 deep cleansing shampoo, it will pull out salt, copper and chlorine before it oxidizes and attaches to the hair. We’ve all seen the dreaded “green” pool hair on blondes. There is a misconception that chlorine causes hair to turn green, but that’s only partially true. There are high amounts of copper in pool treatments. When it is absorbed into hair, the chemicals in chlorine act as an “activator” which make the copper oxidize. This oxidized copper in the hair is what causes the green color to appear. Regardless, you don’t want any mineral or chemical build up in your hair because it affects your color and dulls your hair. At the end of summer we do a de-mineralizing treatment on ALL salon clients because it helps pull out all the things your hair has absorbed.
Oil up. Oil and water don’t mix so hair treatment oils are great for summer. Almost every line has protective oil products now (think Argan oil) so coat the hair well after you rinse and wring out hair.
Leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioning spray is your friend and the most important of all summer products! I keep a good leave in conditioner in my pool bag and I mist it on my hair (and skin) while pool side. Just like you can get a sunburn on your skin, sun can scorch hair making it look dry and brittle. Avoid this by misting a leave-in conditioning spray on your hair every time you apply sunscreen and it will keep the PH low and moisturize hair.
Wear a Bun. If your hair is long wear it up. Pulling hair up into a bun helps protect hair, especially if you’re doing water sports. It may be fun to frolic around with your hair blowing in the wind but that causes tangling which can cause more damage so protect hair by securing it.
Wear a hat or swim cap. I had to include this because it’s obvious. Personally I hate wearing hats because my head gets hot and I would never wear a swim cap. I just wouldn’t. I love the women who do because they are taking hair protection to next level but if you’re like me and feel like you’re attending Kentucky Derby poolside in a big floppy hat then stick to other tips in this post.
Get a Trim. All of the extra vitamin D you are getting from the sun makes hair grow more quickly. That combined with all of the extra wear and tear your hair gets from summer fun, causes your hair to need more TLC. A trim is always the best way to prevent damage from the ends to split farther up the hair. It’s important to get regular haircut’s during summer months. Ironically people get less hair cuts in summer once they get busy with sports and traveling. Keeping your ends (and hair) healthy with a trims, good products and the tips above will prevent that “parched post summer” look this fall.