Summer is here in all its blazing glory. Here are some tips to protect hair from the sun that will help you take good care of your luscious locks. The hot summery months mean that it is time to get the sunscreens out, wear those funky sunglasses and step out in style!
However, in all the summer prep, we forget to take care of an important part of ourselves – our hair.
The harsh rays of the sun are known to cause damage to hair and scalp health. These rays are as harmful to our hair as they are to our skin; yet, we often ignore our hair health. Prolonged exposure to the sun leaves hair feeling lifeless and limp. The summer sun can be quite cruel to our crowning glory.
Here are some of the harmful effects to hair that exposure to the sun’s rays can cause:
- The UVA and UVB rays of the sun can cause damage to the hair cuticle, which results in dryness and brittleness of hair strands, increased split ends, frizz and hair thinning. This occurs because the sun’s rays break down Keratin, the protein that hair is composed of
- If your city or town is humid, then the moisture from the air tends to weigh your hair down, making it appear dull and unhealthy
- Increased sweating from the scalp, along with dust accumulation can lead to an increased intensity of hair damage – from dandruff, brittleness and hair thinning to hair breakage and hair fall
- The sun’s rays also dry out your scalp, making it flaky and itchy. This cumulates in damage to the roots of the hair
- In dry heat, the hair is ripped off of most of its moisture. This will lead to brittleness of the strands. The more brittle and dry your hair feels, the more you will overload on conditioners. However, this does no good to the hair. In fact, it harms the hair and the scalp
- Hair discolouration is a common phenomenon of prolonged sun exposure. This effect is more pronounced in those who have coloured hair; the colour tends to fade away and looks pale
So it seems that the summer sun is not our hair’s best friend. Yet, there are some simple tips to protect hair from the sun. However, for these tips to work, one must have a good understanding of one’s scalp and hair type. Determine if your scalp is oily or dry, and if you hair is straight, wavy, curly and if it has been colour treated.
These tips to protect hair from the sun are simple, yet effective. Follow them religiously and regularly, and you will see a visible improvement in your hair health this summer.
Tips to protect hair from the sun
Hydration is extremely important, especially during the hot summer months. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will help cleanse your skin, including the scalp. It leaves you feeling fresher from within and keeps you feeling cooler.
Drinking fluids will help flush out harmful toxins from your body. Also remember to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, either as salads or as juice
Avoid too many hair treatments:
Your hair is already being subject to the cruel effects of the UVA and UVB rays. Avoiding hair treatments such as hair coloring, chemical and heat based treatments and so on is one of the key tips to protect hair from the sun.
Plan out your hair colour appointments such that you get your hair coloured or treated at least a month before summer is at its peak.
The excess dirt, grime and sweat compel you to wash your hair every day. However, this could cause unwanted damage. Shampooing every day, especially with strong shampoos can strip the hair of its natural oils and dry out the scalp. Try to shampoo your hair on alternate days.
Also, apply shampoo only on the scalp, avoiding the hair strands; as you rinse your hair, the shampoo will rinse down, cleansing your hair in the process. If you are still inclined to shampooing your hair daily, either use a mild shampoo or opt for co-washing.
Co-washing is simply using conditioner to wash your hair instead of shampoo. Wet your hair, apply conditioner and rinse off after 2-3 minutes. Not only does it cleanse your hair for the most part, it also helps to limit the daily application of shampoo.
Restoring moisture to the hair shafts is as essential as hydrating the body from within. To counter the drying effects of the sun, use a rinse-out conditioner to restore moisture and body to your hair. There are different conditioners that suit different hair types.
Spend some time figuring out the right conditioner for your hair. Remember, however, to not overload your hair with conditioner. This will leave your hair feeling heavy and sticky.
While stepping out:
Wear a large hat or a scarf when you step out, wherever possible. This will prevent the overhead rays from affecting your hair to a certain extent. Also, try using light leave-in conditioners which have sunscreen in them.
Of course, the summer heat will make you want to take a dip in the pool! However, chlorinated water is just as harmful to your hair as the sun. So when you’re going for a swim, do not shampoo your hair before dipping into the water.
Shampooing immediately before swimming will strip the hair of its natural oils and will make your hair vulnerable to chlorine and other chemicals have been used to treat the pool water. Also remember to wear a swimming cap, to prevent your hair from gaining contact with the water.
For those with colour-treated hair, extra care must be taken during summers. Scour the market for the right hair care products for your hair. Avoid direct exposure of your hair to the sun’s rays. Use a scarf or a hat if you are stepping out during the day.
Summer is the ideal time to show off your style with a short bob, a high ponytail or a funky braid. Experiment with your hair styles in ways that give you more breathing room; this will leave you feeling fresher while protecting your hair.
Opt for a good, hydrating deep conditioning treatment available at your regular stylist, parlour or spa. These conditioning treatments help restore moisture to your hair, leaving it feeling soft and healthy.
Identify a good leave-in conditioner that suits your hair type. Apply it to dry and frizzy hair, wrap your hair in a towel and leave it overnight. You will wake up to tamed and manageable hair in the morning!
Home-made hair masks:
For Dry and Damaged Hair
Plain yoghurt – 1/4th cup
Mayonnaise – 1/4th cup
Egg white – 1
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend till a mask of paste-like consistency is formed
Apply it to your hair, spreading it to the hair strands with the use of a wide-toothed comb
Leave it for about 30-40 minutes and rinse off with water
For restoring moisture and shine
Mayonnaise – 1 cup
Egg yolk – 3
Olive oil – ½ cup
Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well
Apply the mixture to your hair, concentrating on the ends
Wrap your hair in a towel or a cloth
Leave for about 20-30 minutes and then rinse off with water
Drinking plenty of fluids and applying a mild yet hydrating conditioner in moderate amounts can work wonders for summer-damaged hair.