As the days start to warm up and the clouds break way for sunshine, we can’t help but think about the summer days that are just ahead. Gorgeous blue skies, short shorts, ice cream cones; there are so many things to love about this time of year! But, as most ladies know, while you may have fun in the sun, your hair does not.
The ocean’s salt water, high temperatures and the blazing sun are all summertime blunders that lead to frizz, overly dried strands, color fading, and a number of other hair woes. So, whether you plan to soak up the sun beachside, ditch the treadmill to run in the park, or simply spend more time outside, it’s important to know all the tricks and tips to keep your hair under control from the warm weather elements.
Healthy Hair Is Happy Hair
Before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to understand how your overall health plays a vital role in your hair health. No matter what specific hair type you have or what time of year, good-looking hair always boils down to healthy hair (not literally, of course!). When you take care of your hair, then you will see a noticeable difference in your strands. The texture will improve and you’ll grow longer and stronger hair.
If you experience hair loss, dull strands, or breakage, look at your eating and exercise habits first. Stress, dehydration, low iron, and protein levels all contribute to these factors (plus other more serious, non-hair-related ones.)
Getting enough daily exercise is a good start. Also, work on reducing the stress in your life. Exercise will help, but you also need to learn what triggers, such as certain relationships, add unnecessary stress. So, learn to meditate or take deep breaths to help you relax. Obviously, a good diet is essential. Eat enough vegetables, fruit, and protein. If you find that your diet is somewhat lacking, look for vitamins and minerals to make up for it.
Last, get enough sleep each night. That alone can help banish the stress that wreaks havoc on your mane. While a healthy lifestyle won’t fix all of your hair woes—especially those induced by the summer heat–– an active lifestyle will contribute to healthier, happier tresses!
Beat the Heat
Worried about your locks in the impending summer months? Cool down, we have you covered! Below, are key tips and tricks to banish all those summertime blunders, so you can spend less time worrying about your hair and more time outdoors.
● Cover up. Not only is wearing a hat good for covering your skin from harsh UV rays, but it does the same for your hair. Not to mention, it stops those ocean breezes from creating a tangled mess out of your hair. If you know you’ll spend an ample amount of time outside, be sure to wear a hat or scarf to cover your head.
● Pick the right styles. When you think of summer hairstyles, you probably think of tousled beach waves, messy buns, and braids, all of which are perfect to beat the heat. Not only do they offer a manageable but cute way to control your hair, but tight hairstyles can be detrimental in the summer sun. If your hair is dry or damaged from the summer heat, severe pony tails and buns can only further the damage by pulling and tearing your tresses.
● Reduce heat. The summer months are already hot enough with their scorching temperatures. Try to lay off the heat tools as much as possible. Flat irons and super-straight, sleek hair will only make that humidity-induced frizz stand out more. Blow dryers give off a ton of heat. That plus the sun will quickly damage and dry out your hair.
Instead, use this season to go for a natural look to preserve moisture. Opt for a carefree style mentioned above, such as a loose braid, and apply a de-frizz product to smooth down your strands. Play upon your natural texture by spritzing your hair with a conditioning texturizer spray. This will give you those envious beach waves without stripping your hair of moisture, while at the same time giving you more control.
● Change your washing habits. Over washing your hair does strip the scalp and hair strands of their natural oils, leaving you with parched hair and an itchy scalp, an added hair woe that you don’t need. However, the heat and humidity may cause you to sweat more. When sweat, oil, and dirt sit on your hair and in your scalp, it leads to clogged pores. If you’re a heavy sweater, you’ll have to wash more frequently during the summer to avoid skin issues. So, it’s important you use a gentle shampoo that is free of harsh sulfates during this time (ideally, you should always use a gentle shampoo.)
● Avoid swimmer’s hair. Brunettes may draw a blank on the term swimmer’s hair, but blondes know all about this one. Blonde bombshells who like to take a dip in the pool know all too well the icky green color your hair turns due to the chlorine. Avoid this summer faux pas by making sure your hair is already wet before jumping in. This way, it doesn’t absorb as much chlorine. Also, be sure to rinse it immediately after you’re done hanging poolside for the day.
● Condition, condition, condition. We cannot say this enough! You have to condition during the summer. Conditioner is to your hair as water is to your body. You will always need it, but you tend to become thirstier when it’s hot out. Since the heat can seriously dry out even the silkiest of tresses, apply a deep conditioner to your strands once a week. This should help your hair maintain moisture while also smoothing frizz and fighting against breakage.
● Protect the color. The sun is colored hair’s worse enemy. Harsh rays can leave your color looking brassy and lackluster. While a hat should be your go-to to protect your color, it’s not always possible. Before heading outside, apply a leave-on conditioner so the sun doesn’t suck the moisture out of your strands. Also, a protective product or one with SPF will help keep your color safe.