Summertime’s amazing for lots of reasons: outdoor parties and barbeques, and playing hooky to hit the beach. But one thing that doesn’t rock in the summer months? The damage it can do to your hair. Even though your locks may look fantastic—with natural highlights and the effortless style of air-dried, beachy waves— there are factors working against your tresses. So what’s wreaking havoc on your hair?
- Increased exposure to UV rays: Sun exposure pulls the moisture out of your hair, causing dryness and frizz and changing its structure. What's worse, sun exposure breaks down the pigment in your hair that acts as a filter from light radiation—making it harder for your hair to ward off damaging UV rays.
- Humidity: Your hair’s enemy both for styling reasons and because too much moisture in the air can actually make hair feel dry, coarse and brittle.
- Swimming: Frequent dips in chlorinated pools and salt water means your hair is exposed to damaging elements. Both salt and the copper and algaecides found in pool water are harsh on the gentle protein makeup of your hair and can even cause discoloration.
- DIY hair hacks: Home-made remedies to lighten hair and bring out summer streaks, including squeezing lemon juice on your locks, can lead to bleaching and dryness.
The result of all of this? Decreasing your hair’s natural shine, strength and resilience. But fear not! We’re here to provide some tips to minimize the damaging effects of summer, and to repair the dryness our favorite season has caused to your hair.
Pre-emptively Protecting Your Locks
So how can you maintain your hair’s natural strength and shine during the summer months?
Wearing a hat or using an umbrella are the only surefire ways to block exposure to the sun’s UV rays, but there are some alternatives to being a slave to shade from May to September. Two words for you: leave-in conditioner (OK, so maybe that’s three). Either way, make it your new best friend during the summer months. It will help keep your hair hydrated—sealing in the moisturization it already has—while preventing the penetration of moisture into your strands, which can have an opposite, drying effect on your tresses.
Hair Damage Control
But, if you’re already feeling the effects of three months of fun in the damaging summer sun, there are some additional things you can do to help repair your hair. Try these solutions:
- Rinse!: Make sure you always wash your hair thoroughly after swimming to remove any unwanted damaging elements like chlorine or salt
- Lay off the home remedies: Avoid using “natural” bleaching hacks such as lemon juice. The results are unpredictable (orange hair much?) and can leave your hair looking duller
- Adjust your regimen: Choose hair products specifically designed to deal with summer’s dryness and give locks that are really frazzled a vital conditioning boost with an intensive treatment to help lock in hydration from root to tip. We suggest lathering your hair in these products and covering it with a swimming cap when bathing and swimming.
- Embrace your natural hair: Instead of fighting your natural hair texture, use the summer as an excuse to try out wavy textures