Summer is finally here! In your eagerness to get out and enjoy the sun you put on a cute pair of sandals, shorts and that all important sunscreen. You’re now ready to go, right? Well, that depends. Have you taken any extra steps to ensure that your hair won’t be a dried, fried mess at the end of the day? Naturally curly and dryness-prone hair are most likely to experience the negative effects of the sun. How you go about protecting your hair from dryness and breakage during the summer requires some of the same methods you used during the winter.
What won’t work
UV Shampoos and Conditioners
You might be excited to see some shampoos and conditioners labeled with SPF or protectants from UV rays in your local drug store. However, before you get too excited, consider this: If you spend all day at the beach you will likely have to reapply your sunscreen a few times to combat the decrease in protection from sweat and swimming. Likewise, even if a shampoo or conditioner does have SPF, once you wash the product out of your hair, your hair would no longer be fully protected. While it is catchy marketing, I would caution against any UV shielding product that requires you to rinse it out.
What Will Work
Leave In Products
In addition to shampoos and conditioners, there are some products that are leave in sprays. These are certainly more promising and can help to protect your hair especially if you will be spending a significant amount of time under the sun. To save money, however, you can make you your own hair sun shield. Simply take two teaspoons of SPF sunscreen and mix it with one cup of water. Voila! Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and lightly mist your hair before going out in the sun.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
It will come as no surprise to many of you that the same solution to many other hair challenges still applies: Keep you hair thoroughly moisturized. Arid heat from the sun is very effective at drying out hair, so you’ll want to be sure to moisturize your hair daily, if you live in a particularly dry climate (places like Arizona, for example). However, if the place where you live experiences more humidity than dry heat, you might find that you can use humectants like honey or glycerin to maximize the moisture of your hair.
Be Fashionable and Smart
Those wide brimmed floppy hats aren’t only for the beach. They are a great way to shield your hair and your scalp (which can get sunburned by the way) as you run your errands. It also helps to hide your not-so-great hair days. And while I’m on the topic of fashion, be sure not to use hair lighteners that can dry out your hair. As a teen, I tried the lemon juice trick to add highlights to my hair. While it may seem harmless to use lighteners like lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide, take caution. They can dry your hair out significantly, which probably isn’t worth a few highlights.
How do you protect your hair in the summer?
Is it more difficult for you to keep your hair moisturized in the summer or the winter?