During the summer months, swimming and water sports are a great way to stay active, yet the exposure to heat and sun can really create a mess for our hair. Just as important as keeping our skin protected from sun/UV over exposure, we need to also protect our beautiful locks from the drying affects that occur from spending the extra time outdoors. I will provide some added information to help you feel and look your best while being active during the warm summer months.
1. Use Mineral Removal Treatments/Swimmer specific shampoo/conditioner
If swimming at a public pool or even the salt water ocean, chlorine and the natural salt damage will occur. Both chlorine and salt are very drying on our skin and hair. A good way to help keep your hair at a minimum damage is by using Mineral Removal Treatments which help draw out the excess chemicals/minerals from your hair without further damage. These are easy to pick up and use. Malibu C (http://www.malibuc.com/content/default.aspx) is a great brand to which has packets of these treatments. They are an inexpensive way to help promote healthy hair. Use once or twice a week at most. They also offer a “Swimmer’s” hair solution line to which I would also recommend if you are in the water frequently.
2. Condition and add moisture back
The sun is so very drying. When your skin is dry, you use lotion. When your hair is dry, we suggest conditioning often. This is something that will promote silky beautiful hair outside the sun exposure and limit the amount of damage being done. What the conditioner will do is form a barrier on the outside shaft of your hair. For extremely dry hair, you can also go into your salon of choice and ask them what Deep Conditioning Treatment options they offer.
Another daily option which will also help is using a little Argon or Moroccan Oil through your hair. Use sparingly as it may make your hair oily verses silky, but it will help promote moisture.
3. Avoid over processing and over working hair; use Heat Protectors
Rule of thumb, if your hair is already dry–avoid chemical services (coloring, permanent wave, and chemical relaxers), straightening, curling and blow drying your hair. If your hair is already dry going into the summer months, be proactive and moisturize it.
If you must straighten and blow dry your hair, use a Heat Protector from a professional line. These can be found in serums or sprays and it is so important to use them regularly. The heat is not good for the hair and what these Heat Protectors do is form a barrier on the outside hair shaft protecting your hair and allowing the iron to do the least amount of damage possible. Argon or Moroccan Oil also make great heat protectors.
4. Protein Treatments
So we have done a lot of talk on protecting the outside of your beautiful locks, but just as it is important to keep your inside of your hair as strong as it can be too. Since our hair is made up of protein, we need to restore what has been lost through processing it. In the salon, we offer Protein Treatments to assist in this matter. There are both leave-in options as well as a once a week solution. The leave-in option you can use on a daily basis and the once a week is never a bad idea. Ask your salon professional what options they offer and they will be able to suggest which would be best to fit your lifestyle.
5. Trim ends frequently during summer months
In the salon, we recommend a trim every 4 to 6 weeks. When you follow this recommendation, it minimizes how much we cut off and promotes beautiful looking hair. When our hair dries out the ends of our hair if split can begin to unravel much like yarn. If it unravels too far, that means we have to trim off more hair. You would be amazed what even a 1/4″ off of the ends would do for the over all quality of your hair.
All in all, there is only so much we can do to protect our hair from damage in the summer sun, salt water and chlorine. When we feel good on the outside, it also helps promote good self-esteem, build our confidence, and bring a smile to our faces. Being proactive allows you to have the upper hand in the quality of your hair and in return your hair will thank you kindly.
-Ms. Catie Manning, Hair Stylist