Here we are again in the heat of summer. The days are getting hotter and one of the easiest ways to cool off is to spend more and more time at the pool. This brings up an important topic and my most asked summer question. "How do I protect my hair from all that sun and chlorine damage?" It is no easy task that is for sure. Between all those chemicals and the damaging UV rays our hair can take a beating! Not to mention if you drive around on a boat, motorcycle or in a convertible, add wind whip to our list of culprits. Luckily there are quite a few things you can do to prevent, protect and even repair summer's frizz and fade.
Prevent and Protect: Let's start from the beginning and assume you have zero damage to your hair. How do you prevent the dryness from over exposure to harsh pool chemicals and the sun's rays? My prevention must is to never enter the pool with dry hair. If your hair is dry when you enter the pool, it will absorb all that chemically treated water. If your hair is already wet fewer of those chemical will be absorbed. I also highly recommend spraying your hair with a leave in conditioner after it is wet and before the pool. This offers an extra barrier between your hair and chlorine. Kevin Murphy makes and amazing leave in called Untangled. Untangled offers the added benefit of an SPF to protect against UV rays as well. This is important because UV rays not only dry out your hair but can cause color fade! My protection tip is more of a reminder. Wear a hat. Not only are they cute but they block the sun from hitting your hair and face. You can also tuck your hair up into a tight fitting cap when you are out in extreme wind. Tucking your hair up into a hat, helmet, ball cap, braid or bun will keep your ends from whipping you in the face as well as keep them from tangling and snapping in the breeze.
Now let's be real, it isn't always convenient to hop in the shower and wet down your hair before you jump in. I recommend keeping a water bottle and leave in conditioner in your pool bag. If you don't have a leave in you can always shake a couple of tablespoons of your daily conditioner into your water bottle. If nothing goes according to plan and you find yourself with a head full of pool water make your post pool shower a priority. Rinse really well with warm water before you shampoo and leave your conditioner in for a few extra minutes, or even overnight, for good measure. Cleansing and conditioning your body and hair after a day of summer fun is a must for preventing damage, especially if you didn't have the opportunity to protect first.
Repair: Eventually no amount of protection and prevention can stop the inevitable. Our hair will dry out with continual exposure to sun and chlorine. What do you do now? This is where a professional comes in. Keeping up with regular haircuts is more important in the summer than any other time of the year. Getting a tiny "dusting" of dry ends every 6 weeks during the tough summer months should do it. While you are in getting trimmed, a hydrating deep conditioning treatment will do wonders to reverse damage. Your stylist will know what is perfect for your hair. I use Brazilian Blowout's Acai Conditioning Treatment for a quick quench or Enjoy's Hair Mask for deep hydration that seals itself into the hair shaft with a protective layer of polymers.
If you take the time to follow these tips will keep your hair healthy and hydrated all summer long. Now get out there and enjoy!