Summer means sunbathing, dipping leisurely in the pool and depending on where you live, the creek, river or ocean. In all of our excitement to enjoy our summer celebrating, we tend to forget about our luscious locks and the damage that can occur to our scalp and hair throughout the summer season. The same activities that bring us so much joy can cause long term damage to our hair follicles and scalp. With every problem comes a solution, and we’re here to share with you the biggest threats to your hair this summer and how to counter these threats and protect the crown you never take off.
Damaging UV exposure from the sun does more than affect your skin, it can damage your hair, too. UC San Diego Health Dermatology specialist, Dr. Arisa Ortiz, MD, FAAD notes that it is important "to not only protect your skin from UV rays, but also your hair. Protect your hair from harmful rays by using hair care products that contain SPF in a spray, gel, or cream formulation." Summer rays cause damage to the cuticle, the outer layer of the hair shaft. This damage can cause discoloration of the hair, broken or split ends, thinning hair, frizziness, and dry and brittle hair. Light colored and fine hair are most susceptible to damage, as it lacks the pigmentation and thickness to help protect the root.
Experts recommend applying hair products that contain UV filters, as they protect hair from sun damage and can keep processed color from fading. Some additional protective ingredients to look for are coconut oil, shea oil, watermelon extract and karanja seed oil. Of course, you can also wear your favorite floppy hat or baseball cap to cover your hair and scalp.
LOCKrx's latest product launching early this summer, Bio Balance Scalp Therapy and Hair Detangler, is made with organic compounds and offered as a leave-in scalp and hair detangling treatment. Made with organic compounds, Bio Balance by LOCKrx is formulated for daily use to help balance the scalp microbiome, while creating the best environment for healthy hair growth. The formula contains watermelon extract, a known UV protectant to protect your strands and let you continue enjoying your summer activities!
When it comes to hair, heat and humidity are public enemy number one during summer months. The humid summer heat contributes toward the damage of the keratin layers, which affects the fragility of the follicle. If the summer heat isn’t enough, hot irons and rollers add to the damage of hair and scalp during the summer months. It’s also important to dial back on the heat when styling your hair -- all year round, but especially in summer. Since too much UV exposure can actually fry your hair shaft, overusing straighteners, curlers, and blow dryers will only add to the heat damage and worsen the problem. If hair is naturally dry, it will soak up the extra humidity and cause the shaft to swell, which leads to cuticle breakage and unhealthy hair. To protect the scalp against humidity and frizz, consider wide brimmed hats or umbrellas in the summer and treat your hair with a shampoo, serum, or heat protectant.
Another good idea is to start summer off with a trim to get rid of split ends. According to Jessica Krant, a New York dermatologist, there are more hairs in the anagen (or growing) stage during the spring in summer, as opposed to in the winter. As hair typically grows faster in the Spring and Summer, trimming the ends will keep hair looking healthy and may prevent tangling.
Over-Washing + Dangerous Detangling
One major factor to stressed out summer hair is dryness. It’s important to try and not wash hair too often in the summer, as it will contribute to over drying. Regular shampoo and conditioner routines should be replaced with hydrating formulas. To contribute toward healthier hair, hair masks may be considered once per week to lock in moisture. To prevent tangling, use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush when detangling wet hair, as they are more gentle, don’t snag on hair, and lead to less breakage.
In addition to showering more frequently in the summer months, one of the best ways to cool off is by taking a dip in a pool, lake, or ocean. Unfortunately, natural and man-bodies of water tend to leave hair dry and prone to extensive damage. Chlorine is known to strip hair of its natural protective oils, and saltwater draws water out of the hair and skin. To help combat damage, saturate hair with fresh water or a leave-in conditioning treatment before getting in the water so that it doesn’t absorb as much of the chlorine or saltwater. Immediately following, rinse hair to remove residue.
Tips for your Top
1. Make an on-the-go spray bottle out of mixtures like water, aloe vera juice, and avocado oil, or water and argan oil. This will provide a helping hand when you need to tame your hair or restore some moisture.
2. Use a little bit of anti-frizz oil or serum to keep hair looking shiny and healthy.
3. High Ponytails might look cute, but stray away from tight hairstyles, as they tend to tear your hair, especially if it is already dry. If you must tie your hair up, consider a loose fitting pony.
Applying leave-in conditioner, reducing heat use, and tossing on a favorite hat is a sure way to maintain strong, healthy hair while still enjoying summer.