Summer- it’s almost here!…..your body may look hot and ready for summer, but what about your hair? One day in the sun and your hair color (if you color your hair) can literally go from gold to brass. If you have dark colored hair, one day in the sun can cause your color to significantly fade. Add some chlorine from the swimming pool and now your hair is dry and brittle. Swimming in the summer is a fabulous way to stay fit and cool, but major precautions must be taken if you want your hair to look as great as your body.
Before hitting the pool:
- Wet Your Hair! Dry hair absorbs everything. To help prevent your hair from soaking in all the pool chemicals, completely wet your hair BEFORE making a splash!
- Slather on Leave-in hair conditioner: After wetting your hair, slather on a leave-in hair conditioner, like Paul Mitchell’s “The Conditioner.” It has Dimethicone which coats the hair and protects it from the sun and pool chemicals. If you prefer, wearing a swim cap will not only protect your hair and help the conditioner soak in, but the chemical balance of the pool will not be affected.
After hitting the pool:
- Shower with a clarifying shampoo (The shower will also be good for your skin.) These shampoos are designed for occasional use and should have an ingredient called “EDTA.” This ingredient removes the chlorine. Some say chlorine turns blonde hair green, but it is really copper sulphate. Since a well maintained pool won’t have any copper sulphate in it, this should not be a problem. If you happen to be swimming in a pool that has copper sulphate in it, however, the low Ph found in clarifying shampoos won’t activate with the copper to turn hair green. Most pool stores have swim shampoos, or try Rene Furterer’s “Repairing Shampoo – After Sun.”
- The ultimate weapon – a mask! My fave is Leonor Greyl’s “Masque Quintessence.” The ultimate weapon for desperate hair, this deep conditioning mask deeply revitalizes regenerates and repairs the most damaged hair. Use this or another mask once a week, and your summer tresses will look as amazing as the rest of you.
- Hat or umbrella: A chemical reaction called “oxidation” can occur in unprotected hair while in the sun. Oxidation weakens bonds between hair cells and this gives us that “lovely” dry and brittle hair of summer. Whether you’re pool side, on the golf course, or just running errands and find yourself in the sun, nothing will protect your hair like a hat. (It will also protect your scalp.) If you have long hair, the bottom half will only be protected if you tie it up into the hat. An umbrella is also a good option and works best if you carry it close to your head. Umbrellas allow the heat to escape from the top of your head and cover long hair.
- Dry Shampoo: Before spending time in the sun mist a dry shampoo on your roots and then all over. It will soak up the oil (or sweat) and your hair will look so much better. Since it contains silicone, the dry shampoo coats the hair protecting your hair color. My pick: Klorane Dry shampoo with oat milk.
- Protective veil: If you don’t like the idea of dry shampoo, there are other options. Products made specifically to protect your hair and hair color from the sun includes Kerastase’s Micro-voile Protecteur and Aveda’s Sun Care Protective Hair Veil. These products provide an invisible film that protects hair from UV rays up to 16 hours, and minimizes (note the word “minimize”) loss of color. There is no SPF for hair yet, so don’t look for SPF as a guide. Honestly, I don’t really love the way my hair looks after using any of the “protective veil” products. Although they leave the hair shiny, they also make it look a little flat and sticky looking. They do, however, reflect some of the harmful sun rays. If I’m just going poolside with my kids, it’s perfect. Lastly, if you want some protection, but not the full, sticky veil, then Leonor Grey’s Lait Luminescence Bi- Phase (celebrity favorite at the Oscar’s) offers protection shine and is just a great styling spray.
After spending time in the sun:
- Follow all the tips under “After hitting the pool” except disregard the clarifying shampoo.
Make it a beautiful summer and remember….Beauty without virtue ….is like a rose without a scent!