Want to keep your hair looking its very best this summer?
Make sure that you follow these eight hair care rules…
Minimize Sun Exposure
Let’s begin with the most important summer hair care rule – minimizing sun exposure as much as possible.
Why do you need to do this?
Because UV rays can cause so much damage to the hair, especially to the cuticles. The cuticles are basically the outer coating on each strand of hair, and are there to provide protection. When this gets damaged, the results include:
- Split ends
- Thinning hair
- Extra frizz
Over time, you will notice that your UV-damaged hair becomes so much harder to style, making it near-unmanageable.
So, how do you actually go about minimizing sun exposure?
For starters, keep your hair physically covered up from the sun. You could use a hat to do this, or even a scarf. This will also help to prevent the wind from damaging your hair, while encouraging your scalp to retain moisture. An umbrella works too, although this can be a little inconvenient to carry around in the summer.
You should also try avoiding direct sunlight as much as possible, especially during the hottest hours of the day. These are usually between 11am and 3pm, although it does depend on your exact location. Try to stay in the shade as much as possible during these hours, as this is the best way to keep your hair protected from the sun.
Invest in UV Protection for Your Hair
While staying out of direct sunlight as much as possible, along with wearing a hat or a scarf, is a great way to prevent UV damage, there is also another step that you could take…
There are now quite a few products out there that are designed to provide UV protection to the hair.
How do they work?
It varies, but they usually contain UV filters or absorbers. These either block the UV rays from entering your hair, or absorb them and emit them in a safe way. Essentially, these work in a similar way to a sunscreen, but for your hair instead of your skin.
They are available in a variety of different formulas, from creams to sprays. Remember to keep your hair type in mind when choosing one.
Your scalp will need protection too!
Even though your hair likely covers the majority of your scalp, you still have that pesky parting to worry about.
How should you protect your scalp?
A regular sunscreen for skin will work on your scalp too.
However, if you are prone to greasy locks, you may want to try an SPF mist to prevent oily build-ups.
Shampoo Less Frequently
Do you wash your hair more often in the summer?
Many people do, because they feel as though their hair is much greasier. However, washing your hair too often can actually make this worse…
Because although a shampoo clears away any dirt and grime from your hair, it also strips away your hair’s natural oils. This may seem like a good thing, but those natural oils are there for a reason…
They provide your hair with vital protection, acting as a protective barrier between your hair and the harmful environment around you.
Wondering what happens when a shampoo strips these oils away?
Your body responds by sending those oil glands on your scalp into overdrive. Rather than only producing a little bit of extra oil, they will now start producing way too much. This will then cause you to wash your hair again, creating a vicious cycle.
How often should you wash your hair in the summer?
Most experts recommend once or twice a week.
Wondering what you should do with greasy locks in between washes?
Try a dry shampoo. These are designed to absorb any excess oil, without stripping your hair of its natural oils.
Don’t like dry shampoo?
Try soaking a cotton ball in some witch hazel. You can then dot this along your scalp, as the witch hazel will dissolve away any excess oil.
Cut Back on Heat Styling
Your hair is already dealing with enough heat in the summer – it doesn’t need to be exposed to more through heated styling tools!
The tool that tends to be most commonly used is a blow dryer, with many people turning to one almost every day. After all, how else is your hair meant to dry after your daily swim?
Well, air drying is so much better for your hair. As an added bonus, the time your hair takes to air dry will be so much less in the summer compared to the winter.
A couple of things to keep in mind when air drying your hair:
- Don’t towel it too much first, as this will only encourage frizz. Gently dab and squeeze at your hair instead
- Switch to a microfiber towel – it will be so much gentler on your hair cuticles
In addition to using your blow dryer less, you should also cut back on how often you use heated styling tools.
Can’t live without your hair straightener or curling iron?
Summer is the perfect season to embrace some of the more natural hairstyles out there. There are so many natural ways of achieving beautiful curls that don’t require a curling iron. When it comes to super-straight and sleek hair, this will only end up frizzing more in the heat, so you would be best off with a different style any way!
Embrace Relaxed, Natural Hairstyles
Trying to think up of a few natural ways in which you could style your hair?
Waves and curls are always popular in the summer months, so these would be the best styles to go for. They’re also quite easy to achieve without the use of heated styling tools.
Wondering how to create waves and curls without heat?
Here are a few of your options, but there are many more out there that you could try too:
- Scrunch it up – this simply involves applying some mousse or gel to your hair while it is still damp, before bending forward and scrunching your hair between your fingers. Remember to be gentle, as you don’t want to damage your delicate locks
- Pin curls – again, apply some gel to damp hair and then wind one-inch sections around your index finger, to form a loop. Roll this upwards towards your scalp and then pin each loop in place. Once your hair is completely dry, remove the pins and enjoy your classic curls
- Braiding – this is one of the easiest ways to naturally curl your hair. Simply braid your hair while it is damp, but make sure that the braids aren’t too tight, otherwise this will only cause them to frizz. Different styles and numbers of braids will give you different results, so take some time to experiment with this technique
- Rollers – apply the rollers to damp hair, removing them when your hair has fully dried. Rollers are available in different sizes, with each one giving you different-sized curls
If your hair is naturally wavy, try spritzing on a sea salt spray while your hair is still drying. This will help to enhance your beautiful, natural curls.
Weekly Deep Conditioning
You probably already use a conditioner on your hair each time you shampoo it. However, since you are going to be shampooing your hair less in the summer, this means that your hair may miss out on the vital nourishment that a conditioner provides.
This is where weekly deep conditioning treatments come in…
What are deep conditioners?
In a way, they are similar to a regular conditioner, except for the fact that they are usually noticeably thicker. They are designed to penetrate deep into the hair shaft, nourishing the hair with their many beneficial ingredients.
Since they are thicker and heavier than a standard conditioner, you will need to leave a deep conditioner in your hair for longer. However, all of the instructions that you need will likely be found on the packaging of the deep conditioning product you choose.
For a product like this Hair Mask, you can easily apply it through your hair using your fingers, leave on for 5-8 minutes, then rinse. It’s quick, easy, and deeply hydrating.
Love the way your hair feels after it has been deep conditioned?
You may be tempted to do this more often, but try to limit your deep conditioning to no more than twice a week.
Because over-conditioning your hair can disrupt the natural balance of protein and moisture in your hair. This would cause it to go limp, dull and lifeless.
Purchase a Wide-Toothed Comb
Most people use a brush to de-tangle their hair, but brushes can lead to so much extra breakage when used on wet hair.
Since your hair is likely to be wet more often in the summer, a wide-toothed comb will quickly become your best friend.
What exactly is a wide-toothed comb?
It’s basically a comb whose teeth are set quite widely apart, rather than having many teeth sitting close together. This means that the comb is so much gentler when de-tangling hair, meaning less breakages and less hair fall. Since there is less friction created with a wide-toothed comb, compared to a standard comb or a brush, this also means less frizz, less fraying, and fewer split ends.
In addition to using a wide-toothed comb to de-tangle your hair, you can also use it to help spread your conditioner through your hair.
Apply your conditioner through your hair, and then dip the comb in some conditioner too. Comb this through the ends of your hair, while it is still wet. This will also help with de-tangling, meaning that you won’t have as much work to do once your hair is dry.
One tip to keep in mind when choosing a comb…
Try to go for one that has been made from wood rather than plastic.
Because plastic combs can often create an electrostatic charge on the hair, leading to it looking and feeling dry. Not only does a wooden comb not have this effect, but it also boosts blood circulation and is better at distributing your scalp’s oils through your hair. This prevents oily build-ups at your roots, while keeping the ends of your hair better moisturized.
Rinse Your Hair Before and After Swimming
Planning on doing some swimming this summer?
You probably already rinse your hair after your swim, but make sure that you do this beforehand too!
Because rinsing your hair before swimming means that your hair will already be wet when you enter the swimming pool. This then prevents it from soaking up as much chlorine as it otherwise would have.
Chlorine is a chemical that you definitely don’t want lingering around on your hair, as this will lead to so much damage.
For extra protection, try applying a conditioner over your locks, or even a light layer of an oil. This will work as a physical barrier, preventing your hair from coming into too much contact with the chlorine in the water.
What about if you are going to be swimming in the ocean rather than a pool?
Your hair still needs protection. The ocean may not contain chlorine, but it is still packed with so many pollutants, along with oils and other residues. These can quickly coat the hair, meaning that some extra protection would really go a long way in keeping your hair healthy.
When rinsing your hair post-swim, it may be worth applying an anti-chlorine product too. These are designed to target and remove any traces of chlorine in your hair, without damaging any other parts of your hair.
The summer months can really take their toll on your hair, leaving it looking dry, brittle and lifeless before the season is through. To prevent this from happening to you, make sure that you keep these eight hair care tips in mind throughout the summer.