Tousled tresses and beachy waves are the look for summer no matter what your age or proximity to the ocean. The vacation vibe that makes the season so special also applies to your hair care as you relax your pace and daily routine. With so many breezy, pulled-back looks to choose from, you can relax from the more time-consuming styles you may favor other times of year.
Your hair appreciates the much-needed break, too. Over time, heat styling and blow-drying can ravage hair follicles and rob strands of natural radiance, leading to dry, dull and wiry hair that ultimately needs even more product and styling to tame. And the sun’s intense UV rays during hot weather months can further push hair into damaged territory.
But there’s more at stake than dry strands: When follicles become stressed, it can upend your hair’s growth and maturation cycle. The anagen phase – when hair grows – may get shorter while the pace to the exogen (shedding) phase accelerates. And if you’re already dealing with excess hair shedding, it can only get worse.
This summer, protect your hair the way you protect your skin with the right ingredients for maintaining health, strength, growth and shine through the heatwave of summer and beyond.
SPF your scalp
If you think sun protection is only for skin, think again. Not only is your scalp susceptible to sunburns, especially your part, strands themselves can get fried and discolored as sun rays destroy hair’s pigment proteins. According to scientists, the sun’s UV radiation increases by a factor of 10 during summer, making prolonged exposure all the more harmful when you consider it only takes a few minutes to burn.
Apply sunscreen to your part and other areas of exposed scalp. Roots and the first couple inches of hair growth on your crown are most vulnerable, because they get little protection from sun exposure. Whether you use a spray or lotion-base sunscreen, apply some to the palms of your hands and glide them over the crown of your head.
When heading outdoors, wear a wide-brim hat to shield your hair, as well as your face, neck and chest, especially if you plan to be out in the sun for extended periods. And if swimming in the pool is your favorite summer pastime, remember to rinse your hair with clean water to remove chlorine and other harsh chemicals that can damage and dry your mane.
Lastly, take it easy with hair-care products… the sun can intensify the chemicals, which can further damage your locks.
DIY hair repair
On those days when you’ve had too much fun in the sun and your strands are paying the price, spend some spa time at home repairing your hair. No fancy products necessary—just use ingredients you have in your kitchen, such as olive oil, coconut oil, honey, an overripe avocado or banana, egg yolk, and yogurt (the higher the fat content, the better). Aloe vera gel is a great way to quickly hydrate and nourish your locks.
Make your own soothing hair mask by combining some natural fat, protein and a binder until smooth and creamy. Apply to hair starting with your roots, wrap in a bun and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. For intensive treatment for dry, brittle hair, wear a shower cap after applying the hair mask.
Hair care from the inside
While a stylish hat and pretty hair ties are definite summer must-haves, there are other essentials that are even more important to the long-term health and shine of your tresses.
Healthy, beautiful hair is built on keratin—the fibrous protein that comprises up to 90% of hair’s structure. But aging and other factors cause synthesis of keratin to wane over time, which makes loading up on dietary protein necessary to provide the amino acid building blocks your body needs to maintain the steady pace of keratin production needed to reduce excess hair shedding and support growth.
Unfortunately, palatable food sources of keratin are nonexistent. So for a direct source of keratin, make Keratin Enrich part of your daily summer hair care routine. It contains clinically studied, natural keratin shown to reduce thinning hair by an incredible 46% when used for 90 days.* Plus, Keratin Enrich contains hair-healthy biotin and a natural absorption booster for enhanced benefits.
Get out there and enjoy a season of summer vibes and lustrous locks!