There’s no question that summertime is one of our favorite seasons. From long afternoons by the pool to weekend beach trips, summer is the season where we love to swim, lounge, and soak up the sun—but all that exposure to the elements can wreak havoc on your strands!
Increased exposure to UV rays from the summer sun, as well as salt water, chlorine, and sweat can leave your strands fragile and damaged. The solution? Smarter hair care to prevent potential problems before they start. Here are the steps you need to take to keep hair happy, healthy, and thriving all summer long.
Trim and triumph
Want to start your summer haircare off on the right foot? Begin with a haircut. Getting rid of your split ends prevents fragile strands from being damaged, making your hair look fresh and clean as you kick the season off in style. Getting rid of split ends makes it harder for chemicals to get into your strands and prevents further breakage as you enjoy potentially hair damaging fun in the sun.
Keep your strands strong
The most important part of staying ahead of summer strand damage is making sure your strands are strong and healthy enough to resist whatever the sunny days throw at them. And when it comes to nourishing hair health, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and eating a diet high in protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and veggies, and treat your strands with a serum designed to nourish hair health from the inside out for maximum protection.
Protect your hair from the sun
By now you definitely know that wearing sunscreen is a beauty must, but did you know it’s equally important to protect your hair from UV rays? Spending too much time in the sun can lead to UV damage, leaving strands brittle, thin, and frizzy. Wear a hat, a head scarf, or other form of protection to shield your strands from sun damage, and opt for hair products that include antioxidant ingredients and UV protection for an extra dose of damage control.
Dip before you dive
Ready to swim in the hot summer sun? Take the time to pre moisten your strands to prevent them from soaking up any hair damaging compounds that water may contain. Thoroughly wetting through your hair before a swim makes it absorb less saltwater, pool chemicals, or whatever else you might be swimming in. Chemicals like chlorine can damage strands, and saltwater can suck moisture from your hair and skin, so a little dose of prevention from their damage can go a long way.
Don’t neglect your scalp
Your scalp is as vulnerable to the negative effects of swimming as your strands. Chlorine and other chemicals and salt buildup form the ocean can get trapped at the roots, causing blockages that may impede hair growth. When you wash your hair, make sure to scrub deep and remove any buildup or impurities to set your strands up for success.
After a long, sweaty day in the sun it can be tempting to make a daily cold shower part of your routine—but experts advise pinning up your hair or donning a shower cap before you cool down. Overwashing your hair can cause damage to your hair and scalp, especially if you use a harsh cleansing shampoo. Washing too frequently can cause strands to dry out, as your scalp is stripped of its protective oils. If your hair is getting sweaty and uncomfortable between washes, try using a dry shampoo to soak up excess sweat and oil and tide you over until your next wash day.
Change your look to beat the heat
Want to stay fresh in the summer months? Try adapting summer friendly hairstyles and switching up your routines to work better in warm weather. Generally experts recommend avoiding heat styling tools such as curlers and straighteners in the summer, when your hair is already getting all the heat it can handle. Instead, use smoothing, hydrating products to keep frizz at bay, and opt for effortless protective styles like braids to stay neat and tidy while keeping long hair off your sweaty neck.
Incorporate the sun into your beauty routine
Last but not least, while the sun can be a source of damage to your strands, you can also use its power to your advantage as an unexpected beauty tool! Summertime is an excellent season to lay off the heat styling tools and hair dye and embrace the beachy waves, pivoting to a more natural look. Keeping your hair down as you enjoy the summer days can add subtle highlights from the strong summer sun, giving strands a more complex, dimensional shading without chemical exposure. Just make sure you’re being extra careful with your moisturizing and conditioning routines to prevent sun damage as you enjoy the beauty impact of those natural rays!