Protect your hair from the harshness of summer. Here are some tips from top beauty professionals and some tips that I’ve learned over the years of being very protective of my hair.
Start Summer Off With A Fresh Cut
It doesn’t have to be a new style, just a trim. This tip I picked up from my hairstylist. As a woman who loved having long mermaid hair (recently cut it into a bob), I used to skip getting regular hair cuts because i thought that if I wanted to have long hair, I had to just let it grow. False! Breakage leads to more breakage.
If you already have a ton of split ends, before you start scheduling your summer pool parties, schedule a haircut. I like to get a hair cut right when the weather heats up, usually at the end of May. I have noticed that my hair stays healthy longer through the summer this way.
When you know your hair looks good:
Condition Before You Swim
It really is that simple. The night before you go swimming, condition your hair a little more heavily than you normally would. This is a tip I learned a few years ago. I can attest to a noticeable difference in the delay of summer hair damage.
The conditioner coats your hair with moisture protecting the natural hair oils from being stripped by chlorine and salt water. When I was blonde, this tip also helped protect my hair color from turning green or looking rusty. “The color [change] isn’t caused by the chlorine itself, but by the chlorine’s interaction with copper pipes and other metals. The chlorine causes small amounts of metal to enter the water and tint the hair” (Live Strong)
You can also condition your hair the day of. I often mix my conditioner with water and put it in a spray bottle. I spray the mixture throughout my hair mainly focusing on the ends. I’d then throw my hair in two dutch braids and dive in!
Scalp Sunburn? Arm Yourself With A Few Cute Hats!
It is possible! “Exposure to harsh sunlight is also damaging to your scalp” (Style Caster). You need to protect your scalp from the sun. Nothing a cute hat can’t fix!
Keeping Cool Drains Your Hair
Everyone knows that the heating systems in the winter drain our moisture. But, did you know your air conditioner is doing the same thing? I feel betrayed! The very system that has been keeping us sane from the sweltering heat has been ruining our hair. Marie Claire reported that “central air is sucking the moisture right out of your strands.” Their advice: leave-in conditioners. Here are few to look into.
Shampoo Less + Co-Wash Instead!
Ew? No, not really. Not as ‘ew’ as having crusty looking hair. After a long day in the heat, it can be so damn refreshing to wash off all of the days woes and sweat. But shampooing every day… you’re gonna regret it! Style Craze said daily shampooing “will cause more harm than good. Too much shampoo can dry up your scalp and hair even more.” They advise that if you just can’t resist it, use a gentle shampoo and only applying shampoo to the scalp.
It is also tempting to shampoo after each beach trip or and afternoon spent poolside. But, if you know you’ll be at the pool everyday for a week, instead of shampooing, rinse out your hair and go straight to conditioner so you’re not overly stripping your hair. Co-washing is my year round preferred method with more scattered shampooing. “Co-washing is short for “conditioner washing,” or cleansing your hair with your favorite conditioner instead of shampoo. I believe the actual term was coined by Curly Girl Method creator and author of Curly Girl: The Handbook, Lorraine Massey.” (Babble). This is what I like to do when the weather is going to be 98 degrees three days in a row. There is no way I’m not going swimming but there is no way I’m going to bed with the smell of chlorine filling my room. A great co-wash gets out the smell, the dirt, and restores my hair to her natural state.
Up Your Mask Game
Am I a broken record yet? Sun, chlorine, and salt water have made your summer perfect, but it has stripped the natural oils your hair has to protect itself. All summer, you can routinely use restorative hair masks to reverse weekends at the beach. I found doing a hair mask every two weeks kept my hair in a healthy balance. Here are some mask recommendations.
Put. Down. The. Curling. Iron.
Or the flat iron for that matter. As a matter of fact, take all your heat styling tools, put them in a box, and shove that box to the very back of your closet until Labor Day. Let your natural hair just live this summer. Skip the styling tools. It’s just one more way to protect your hair and have less damage. Have an event? Girl, please, not an excuse. Wrap up that hair, throw on a wig, and keep it moving. No heat styling unless it’s on hair you bought!
What tips can you offer on keeping your hair healthy this Summer?