5 Smart Tips to Keep Your Hair Healthy This Summer

Summertime is fast approaching, and that means barbecues, swimming, and all-around fun in the sun. It’s an exciting time for all–except your hair. Excessive exposure to the sun, salt water, chlorine, and other environmental irritants present at the beach or pool can dry out your hair, causing damage and breakage. Fortunately, there are things you can do to limit exposure to harmful elements and repair already damaged strands. Check out this list of clever ways to keep your hair healthy this summer–and all year round.

1. Protect Your Tresses

Before you take a trip to the beach or dip in the pool, it’s a wise idea to protect your tresses. Salt water, chlorine, and other chemicals can penetrate your hair shaft, damaging your hair disulfide bonds. When these bonds break, your hair loses moisture and is quickly stripped of its natural oils, causing breakage and encouraging frizz. If you have colored hair, you must be especially careful; swimming in the pool can fade your color or even turn it green.

Before your water adventure, wet your hair with cold water–this will help close the hair cuticle, making it more impervious to swimming damage. For extra protection, you can add a good quality leave-in conditioner to coat your strands. If you don’t want to take any chances, use a waterproof swim cap to keep your hair dry.

2. Wear Sunscreen Everywhere

Water isn’t the only threat against your best summer hair day–the sun’s rays can also cause damage. Your hair can actually get a sunburn, just like on your skin. If you’re out and about on a bright sunny day, try wearing a hat or scarf, or consider using an umbrella to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. You can also purchase sunscreen designed specifically to protect your hair and scalp; if you can’t wear a hat (or the occasion doesn’t call for one), give your tresses a spritz before heading out into the sun.

3. Don’t Forget to Moisturize

During the warm sunny months–and really all year round–be sure to give your Hair care products some extra love in the form of moisture. At least once a week, treat your tresses to a conditioning hair masque. You can also apply an oil treatment or hair serum; all of these methods will help replace some of the moisture and nutrients lost during those sunny days.

Frequent shampooing can also strip your hair of its natural moisture, drying it out even faster. Consider skipping the shampoo a few days per week to give your hair a chance to replenish its natural supply of oil. If your strands feel a little grimy, try a dry shampoo between washes to absorb excess oil and keep your hair smelling fresh.

4. Experiment with Style

If your hair is not cooperating, whether it be from frizz, breakage, or excess oil, don’t be afraid to change up your hairstyle to accommodate your hair’s changing needs.  Have too much oil, but it’s not time to wash? Try using that oil to put your hair into a sleek pony. If frizz is getting you down, wear a headband to keep flyaways out of your eyes. Working with your hair’s current condition instead of forcing it into a particular style will help safeguard against breakage and further damage. Additionally, consider researching techniques on how to keep African American hair from frizzing in the humidity for better management.

5. Hydrate Your Entire Body

You can apply all the hair products in the world, but if you’re dehydrated, you will still not see optimal results. When you drink enough water, your hair is hydrated from the inside out, which helps to combat the adverse effects of environmental stressors. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it by two, and drink that amount of water in ounces. For example, a 100-pound person should ideally drink 50 ounces of water daily. Make it a habit, and your hair and the rest of your body will thank you.

Once your hair is nourished and protected, you can enjoy the season without worrying about damage. Follow these tips to ensure your hair stays as healthy as possible this summer and beyond.

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