Summer is a time for celebration, a time for being outdoors as much as possible and enjoying the sun. Just as it’s important to protect your skin, however, it’s important to protect your hair. Drying caused by the heat of the sun can leave it brittle, and UV rays can cause both natural and artificial color to fade. Extensive sun exposure also increases the risk of allergy and autoimmune reactions in the scalp, which can cause hair to fall out. What can you do to protect it?
Cover your hair
This may sound simple, but it’s all too easy to overlook the simple things. A wide-brimmed hat is a great way to protect your hair during the day, and you can shake it free at dusk. Scarves are another good option, but if you’re wearing a lightweight one, make sure that it provides UV protection – not all fabrics do. If you have long hair, taking it up in a French braid or a bun makes it easier to keep it all covered, and keeps you from ending up with two-tone hair where the upper part looks the way that it’s supposed to and the lower part is faded or bleached.
Change your hair-washing routine
How often do you wash your hair? Many people assume that more often is better, but that’s really not the case, especially when it’s being subjected to heat stress. Everyone’s hair is different, but on most people, the optimum time between washes is around four days. This allows time for natural protection mechanisms to do their job. Make sure that you rinse hair that’s been subjected to chlorine or salt during a summer swim, but don’t shampoo it more often than is necessary. Restrict yourself to gentle shampoos when you do.
Fuss over your hair
It might sound odd, but even ordinary brushing or combing can help to protect your hair from heat damage. If you brush right along the length of your hair from the roots, it spreads natural oils evenly along each strand. Try to brush several times a day. Don’t tug at tangles. Keep it gentle and work through them with your fingers to avoid additional stress. Softly massaging your scalp with your fingertips helps to protect hair at the production stage and can also provide some relief from heat-related headaches.
Just as you can get sunscreen products for your skin, you can get them for your hair. They usually come in the form of a spray or a leave-in conditioner. This creates a physical barrier around your hair to protect it from sun damage, and many such products also protect against heat from blow drying and styling tools. Bear in mind that not all such products are water-resistant, so you may need to reapply it afterwards if you go for a swim.
Try the Viabrance system
Whatever you do, spending a lot of time outdoors on hot days will inevitably take a toll on your hair. This means that it’s a good idea to use a treatment that’s designed to revive and replenish hair after damage has occurred. Viabrance offers tips on how to use its products to achieve this, and it’s particularly effective at repairing serious damage and preventing hair loss. Furthermore, it helps to improve the condition of your scalp, which can also be damaged by heat, so that it retains its grip on individual strands for longer and new hair grows more healthily.
Reduce other forms of stress
Even if you can’t protect your hair from all forms of heat damage, you can reduce the number of other stress factors that it’s subjected to, thereby improving its ability to cope. Wearing it in natural styles and avoiding styling products immediately reduces both physical and chemical stress. Avoiding pollutants such as cigarette smoke and traffic fumes also helps. If you dye your hair and you’re keen to preserve your color, choose a dye with an inbuilt conditioning element and avoid anything containing bleach.
Looking after your general health will also help to protect your hair. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and make sure that you consume a good balance of nutrients. If you’re on a beach body diet, don’t worry – you can get most of what you need from salad vegetables, provided you have enough different ones.
Looking after your hair will help you look and feel fantastic so that you can really make the most of those long, hot summer days.