By Melissa Stephans
Summer can be brutal on hair. Sun exposure, styling, saltwater, and tap water all contribute to damaging healthy hair.
Here are five glorious ways to prevent bad hair days this season:
1. Buy a water softener or purification system. If you live in an area with hard water, your hair is likely absorbing the metals–like copper and iron. Buying a water purification system/filter for your shower is a great solution for the dull, dry hair you probably combat. Some of these systems can be expensive; however, filtration systems that hook up to your shower head are easy to install and a cheaper alternative to pricey methods such as salt treatments.
2. Protect your hair by wearing a hat or scarf. Duh. Having “hat-head” may make you grumpy, but it’s better than the anger you will feel at the end of the summer when your hair stops behaving and looking healthy. If you simply can’t stand to wear anything on your head, then try to only wear a hat or scarf on the days where you will be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time. Try these: BCBG Max Azria or Eugenia Kim. Otherwise…
3. Use a product with UV hair protection. Invest in products with ultraviolet reflectors to block UVA and UVB rays. Shampoos and conditioners with UV protection don’t rinse away completely, so they guard the hair shaft from damaging rays. Rinse away products will give you less protection, of course, than anything you leave on the hair. So amouse, spray, or oil treatment should do the trick. I’m partial to Moroccanoil’s Treatment Oil or Phyto’s Sun Care line.
4. Condition it up when going to the beach. If you plan on going into the ocean, then prior to your adventure you should wash your hair with a very gentle shampoo (such as Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Shampoo), and then drench it in a conditioning treatment that is not easily dissolved by the saltwater, such as pure grapeseed or olive oil. These can be tedious to use on a regular basis, but when you plan to do a lot of swimming, oil keeps your hair from getting dry and tangled. Douse your hair with oil then slick it back into a ponytail. Make sure you don’t end up like a Soul Glo commercial from Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America by washing with a clarifying shampoo afterward. I am not a big fan of Redken products, but they do have a great Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo. Don’t let the “cream” part fool you; it is very efficient at removing product buildup, minerals, and oil.
5. Keep heat styling to a minimum. According to Matrix, 87% of women use heat to style their hair, and of those, 36% use at least two different tools to do so. Yikes. Not the best idea when you are fighting summer’s harsh elements. Try embracing your natural waves instead by using something like Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray. If you detest your the shape of your natural curl (that would be me), then try manipulating only the bangs or the pieces that frame your face. Those of you who have a death grip on your styling tools should probably look into a ceramic or tourmaline blow dryer, such as the T3 Pro, or some seriously sturdy styling products. Biolage has a new heat-activated styling line that includes a Biolage Thermal-Active Repair Cream and a Biolage Thermal Active Repair Gloss, which uses ceramides, mango seed and coconut oils to provide high temperature protection against future breakage.
What are your summer hair protecting tips?