Summer can be particularly trying for your hair, and not just from one source. The sun, sea and excessive styling due to your busy social calendar can wreak havoc on your hair, leaving it looking dull, dry and greasy. The beauty world make a killing with a plethora of hair care products that promise to rejuvenate and nourish your brittle locks. Here’s what you need to know because we’ve got your back.
Before we get started it is important to clarify what happens to hair when damaged. The best analogy for a strand of hair is that of a rope. When the fibers in the rope are intact the rope appears and feels smooth. The light reflects off it giving it a shiny appearance. Once the fibers are frayed the strand itself weakens and the light is unable to bounce off it effectively leaving it dull.
1 || Sun Protection
Sunblock for your hair is a real thing and we highly recommend you use it to protect your hair quality and color from the sun’s harmful rays. It may be too much to ask to use yet another product on your hair which is why you should be looking for products that do more than one thing. Many styling products protect your hair from both heat and UVA/UVB rays. Work these serums and creams into towel-dried hair for general protection. Drybar’s Hot Toddy and Living Proof’s Restore Instant Protection hairspray are good examples.
2 || Chlorine and Salt Water Protection
Most of us don’t wet our hair at the pool or beach, preferring to tie it up or hide it under a hat. For the more courageous of us it is crucial that you coat your hair in a water-resistant product first. Although there are plenty of creams out there that promise protection we believe that coconut, almond or olive oil are the very best at sealing the hair shaft and protecting against the pool’s harsh chemicals and the sea’s drying salts.
3 || Wind, AC and Hair Dryers
The three culprits of dry, brittle hair are wind, air conditioning and hair dryers. All weaken the hair by dehydrating the hair shaft causing breakage and dullness. In the case of hair dryers there is the added insult of heat. Instead of trying to fix the problem once it has occurred, we would recommend you protect your hair in the first place. Two of the most important products to consider are leave-in conditioner and styling primers. Good ones to consider are Briogeo’s Reparative Leave-in Conditioning Spray and Bumble and Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer .
Another suggestion is to reduce the frequency of hair-washing which may feel counter-intuitive in the hot and sticky months of August and September. We are not recommending you walk around with greasy hair, which is where dry shampoos and no-poo and co-washing comes in. Dry shampoos are self-explanatory, no-poo perhaps less so…. Shampoo strips the hair of valuable oils that exasperate the dryness issue, instead pass on the ‘poo’ as in shampoo and go straight to conditioner, which goes some ways in cleaning the hair as well. Good ones to consider are Ouidad’s Curl Immersion Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner Briogeo’s Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado Quinoa Co-Wash.
4 || Detoxifying
Build-up is probably one of the greatest summer issues. Whether it’s sweat, product buildup or excessive sebum secretion due to a dry scalp the result is the same, dull and lifeless hair. Detoxifying treatments stimulate the scalp and remove buildup, these help rebalance the hair’s pH, returning it back to its usual vibrance.
5 || Nourishing
Yes its true protection and prevention and better than nourishing damaged hair but a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do. Hair is as you well know dead, so once the hair shaft has been damaged its hard to fix it, you can however help conceal the damage using a variety of hair care products that the beauty world are just dying for you to buy…. So what do you really need? You need to nourish your hair with a rich mask. Shea butter is a great one and relatively inexpensive. On its own, its quite hard to handle, melt it into some coconut, almond or olive oil. There are probably hundred’s of thousands of DIY hair masks on You Tube so give them a try. If you aren’t really into doing it yourself, then a good old-fashioned hydrating mask from your favorite hair care company will do just as well.
6 || The Silent Assailants
One of the worst things you can do for your hair is to harshly tie it into a ponytail with a rubber band, telephone cord or hair grip. We absently tie and untie our hair tens of times a day, and each and every time we are inflicting damage onto our hair shafts that may eventually break creating split ends and brittle dull hair. The second worse thing you can do for your hair is aggressively pull at it when wet. Wet hair is elastic, which means that it can be damaged much more easily. Use a wide-tooth comb or a wet hair brush to gently take out any tangles.