Did You Know?
Did you know that all seasons have the potential for being damaging to your hair? You may have thought summer was an exception to hair damage, being that there are no coats causing nape breakage, or harsh cold weather sucking the moisture from your strands, but summer has it’s own bundle of hair challenges.
Excessive amounts of sun damages hair, chlorine and continuous restyling causing crippling blows to your once long luscious locks? If you’re a mermaid like me, who loves to bask in the sun and flaunt in the chlorine, I know that you’ve encountered these issues.
But don’t give up yet, I have a few tips to beat the summer damage!
Preventing Symptoms of Sun Damage to Hair
When hair is exposed to an abundance of sunlight, it can have lasting adverse effects on the overall health of the nose.
While excessive sun to the skin which can cause cancer, sun spots, and sunburn, the excessive sun can, however, break down the integrity of the hair. Hair can experience discoloration, dehydration, and breakage when it faces the sun unprotected, and these are the main symptoms of hair damage.
Discoloration is a result of the sun’s ability to lighten or darken the hair strands. Hair that is ordinarily blonde may become lighter and reddish hair will take on lighter hues. Discoloration is quickened by the lack of moisture in hair and the suns natural lightening ability.
Tip: To avoid hair discoloration try not to bleach or dye hair right before the sunny season. Use a leave-in conditioner that contains zinc oxide, which will restore shine and add reinforcements to hair and natural coloring.
Yes, your hair can get dehydrated! All the exposure to the sun can strip the hair of its natural oils and make hair dry and brittle. Strong sun rays can also cause a crusty scalp to form when not adequately moisturized and conditioned.
Tip: Drink more water! You don’t have to down eight glasses a day but aim for at least three bottles or glasses of water. It’s good for your organs, skin, and hair! Eat foods high in protein to strengthen hair from the inside out.
Protect Your Hair From Chlorine and Salt Water
I am a Pisces, which are two fishes swimming in opposite directions. Oddly enough this is how I picture the pool and beach water and my hair. Regularly together but working against one another.
The hair has oils and nutrients like sebum which lubricates the hair shaft; sebum is stripped out by chlorine and salt from beach water. The lack of sebum along the hair shaft and scalp can cause an itchy scalp, and thick, dry hair follicles.
No one should have to choose between the cold water, and healthy hair. If you’re like me and put the pool first, here are a few tips to protect your hair from these two drying agents:
Use a leave-in conditioner that helps shield the hair from the effects of salt and chlorine.
Apply coconut oil before hitting the water. Oil is great for sealing in moisture and pushing back against the drying effects of drying agents like chlorine and salt water. Silicone-based products are also useful to fight back against chlorine; silicone-based products are used to fight frizz and damage from heat tools.
Apple Cider Vinegar is a mild and natural way to cleanse the hair. Apple cider vinegar is a natural clarifying shampoo; this mixture is equal part water and apple cider vinegar or one part vinegar and four parts water depending on the thickness and strength of your hair.
Another trick is to lightly wet your hair with water before getting in the water. Wetting hair beforehand will slow the absorption of the chlorine into your hair shaft stopping the hair from drying out as quickly.
Lastly, wear a swim cap when possible. These caps will allow less water to impact the hair directly.
Things To Avoid To Keep Hair Healthy
You should never spray your hair with hairspray or spritz or grease your scalp too heavily before going out into the sun for an extended period.
It may seem like products will build a barrier between the sun and your strands. However, the added products fry your hair.
Opt out of products that contain peroxide, alcohol, or lemon. Peroxide, alcohol, and lemon based products cause hair to dry out at a much faster rate and trigger or aid the oxidation of your strands at higher levels which can cause your hair to lighten or darken quicker.
Simple Ways to Combat Damage and Breakage
Wear Protective Styles
Protective styling is meant to give your hair relief from styling, heated tools, and products. Sew-ins, wigs, and braids are a great way to allow hair time away from the sun. These styles tuck your hair away braided safely to protect hair ends and new growth.
1. Wear A Weave
2. Order A Wig
I love wearing wigs! Wigs double as a hat and a sew in, the opportunity to use two of the protection options. A wig can provide a beautiful style and wearing the wig places hair out of direct sunlight.
3. Get Braids
Braids are good protective styles to keep hair out of the sun.
However, braids do not adequately protect your hair from the sun. With twists, your scalp and roots of the hair are still at the mercy of sun rays. However, the ends of hair and the rest of the hair strands protected.
Jazz Your Hair Up With Accessories
1. Rock A Scarf
Scarves are beautiful and comfortable ways to protect your hair during the summer.
Wrap it around your braids or fro and slick your edges. Wrapping your hair up reduces breakage. The ends of the hair are the weakest and oldest, and therefore the most susceptible to splitting, losing valuable nutrients and breaking off.
2. Hats On!
During these shining months, a hat can have multiple uses for protection. A cap protects the skin and the hair. A hat conveniently and efficiently to shield your hair from the sun without changing your hairstyle or deviating from your hair habits.
Reverse The Damage
If your hair has sustained sun damage, don’t worry it’s reversible.
The best way to heal sun damaged hair is by conditioning your hair and using a UV protectant shampoo. Skip a few shampoos which can strip your hair of essential oils and build a heavy coating on the hair that will ultimately contribute to hair damage.
Opt to co-wash your hair once a week after sun damage instead. Be careful not to over condition hair; over-conditioning can lead to dull, slimy, coated hair with adverse effects on hair health.
Using these two products will restore moisture and shine to your hair making it harder for harmful UV rays to get through.
Another way to restore health to your hair is to give your locks some time away from the sun to avoid further damage.
Skip Out on Summer Hair Damage
Don’t skip any day-parties, work days, shampoo-days or weave appointments; skip hair damage!
Your hair does not have to change with the weather. Pay attention to the needs of your hair as well as the symptoms of sun and chlorine damage like split ends, discoloration, dehydration, and brittle hair.
Protect your hair this summer by throwing on a sun hat, swim caps or my personal favorite, your new closure wig!