Summer may bring glorious visions of natural highlights and long windblown hair.
The reality? Summer sun, spiraling hot temperatures and related humidity may damage your hair's cuticle resulting in dry, drab, split, brittle or frizzy hair and ragged ends.
Sun exposure can be just as damaging to unprotected tresses as a super hot blow dryer.
All types (fine, medium, thick), textures (straight, wavy, naturally curly, coiled) and conditions (healthy, damaged) of hair can suffer from too much summer sun which can result in dryness, frizz and moisture loss.
Note: For related Summer Hair, Beauty & Skin tips, blogs and articles refer to:
- Summer Sun, Summer Fun, Summer Safety For Skin And Beauty - 1 Million SPF Sunscreens For Beautiful Skin? - Summertime Environmental Factors Cause DNA Changes In Skin Plus Advanced Aging - Matching Hair Color With Yellow Summer Fashions
Summer Hair Care Tips
Consider some of these basic tips for preventing unnecessary damage and having great summer hair:
1. Give your tresses a summer shampoo break
Shampoo less often to allow tresses to absorb natural oils. Or switch to more gentle cleansing methods which won't dry out sun exposed strands. Opt for Conditioner Only (CO) or Diluted Shampoo (DS) washes.
Hair needs to be treated more gently during the summer. Consider switching to a more moisturizing and overall gentle shampoo formulas like Phytojoba or similar.
When possible, finish with a cool to cold rinse to seal the hair cuticle and impart natural shimmer.
2. Go natural
During summer months when hair tends to be moisture deprived, limit use of hair chemicals (bleach, hair color, relaxers, chemical straighteners) as much as possible.
Celebrities like Eva Longoria understand the importance of protecting their hair in the summer.
Depending on your hair type, texture and condition you may wish to consider avoiding hair care products which contain known ingredients (some forms of alcohol) which may be drying to some type, textures or condition of hair.
Consider switching to hair care products which are as natural as possible.
3. Back off heated hair styling tools
If you normally use hot styling tools (blow dryers, hot irons, rollers), give your hair a rest during summer months. Air dry whenever possible or opt for easy chic styles.
Braid damp tresses waves which create natural waves as the hair air dries. Play with half up/half down styles or Boho side braids.
If you're attached to your blow dryer and can't give it up, use a leave- in conditioner designed to protect your hair against dryer heat. When you do blow dry, dry on high heat.
Why? It's actually much better to dry with high heat because you expose your hair to heat for a shorter period of time than you would if you used medium heat.
4. Amp up rinse-out conditioning treatments
When you cleanse be sure to apply a rinse-out conditioner appropriate for your hair, type, texture and current condition.
After towel blotting tresses apply a drop or two of a great leave-in product, like Phyto's #7 or Phyto #9, to the palms of your hands. Rub hands together and then distribute leave-in products completely through your strands.
5. Schedule deep conditioning treatments
Hair regularly exposed to the sun needs regular deep conditioning treatments and moisture replenishment.
For extra conditioning treatment apply deep conditioner to tresses (damp or dry) then wrap in plastic wrap or a shower cap.
Allow conditioner to soak into damaged hair sections for an extended period or overnight for extra repair and re-moisturizing benefits.
Keep in mind some hair care products designed to add shine, may only add shimmer, but not necessarily add moisture.
Be sure to read all ingredients on the hair product labels to understand what benefits the product is designed to provide to your strands.
6. Treat fragile ends with TLC
Jojoba oil applied to the ends of your strands will help soften them. Jojoba oil works wonders on frizzy hair. Jojoba oil can also be utilized as a pre-shampoo treatment or applied to dry strands for protection throughout the day.
Prevent static electricity from occurring which is more prevalent when your shampoo during summer months. Keep static at bay during hot months by applying a rinse out or leave-in hair conditioners which instantly adds back moisture and shine.
7. Use protection
Hanging out in the sun without protection for your hair and scalp is the worst thing you can do. Use leave in hair products with SPF protection when you know you will be at the beach if you're unwilling to wear a hat or a cover-up.
If you don't have specific leave-in or protective sun care products for your hair and scalp slather a regular SPF product on your tresses. Make sure to concentrate the product onto your scalp as well. Although not a perfect solution, it will help save your tresses from major sun damage.
8. Cover up
When you find yourself out in the sun, the beach or at the pool without pre-planning, reach for a hat to cover delicate strands.
With all the sizzling fashion options you can opt from a sassy floppy straw hat or go with a cute baseball style cap turned backwards.
Remember to buy a hat which allows for proper air circulation and blood flow. If you buy a hat that doesn't allow for air flow you will get too hot to endure keeping the hat on.
9. Be religious about trims
Be religious about your trims. Since summer sun can rob moisture from your tresses, make sure you have your ends trimmed every 4-6 weeks during the summer months. When your ends are fizzy, its a sure sign that they are either damaged, split or both.
Hair can get sunburned just like the scalp. The only way to deal with severely burnt hair is by trimming the damaged sections off. Prevention is the safest plan. Frizzy hair is often the result of too much sun time.
10. Block frizz
Depending on your hair type, texture and condition you may be also be able to use shine products as a quick fix to control frizzies. Remember that a little bit goes a long way.
11. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
While it's important to amp up your moisturizing and conditioning duties during summer months, remember to keep your roots and hair hydrated from the inside out.
Drink plenty of liquids to keep roots and strands flush with fluids. Water will also keep your skin soft and plump. While it's tempting to drink ice cold alcoholic drinks keep in mind that they can dehydrate skin and strands. Water is always the best choice for your tresses.
Prevention is always the best action for your tresses. Take care of your hair during the summer and you won't have to spend the Fall and Winter working to repair your hair.
- Revised Publication Date: 05/19/12