Summer Hair Protection Tips

A girl with long blonde hair standing on an overcast beach. Her back is to the camera.

We all love summertime and the joys it brings, but sand, sun, seawater, and chlorine can all leave your hair damaged and not looking its best. Just like heat tools can damage your hair, so can the sun. Combined with its harmful rays, the sun can really do a number on your hair in the summer. To keep your hair healthy all season long, check out our summer haircare tips.

Cover your Head

First thing’s first: protect your hair from those harmful rays by wearing something over your hair, like a hat or a scarf. You could also try to stay in the shade or sit under an umbrella to avoid direct sunlight. Just like UVA and UVB rays can damage your skin, they can damage the hair cuticle. Cuticle damage can lead to dry, discolored hair or hair that is thinning and broken. If you notice that your hair is drying very quickly and won’t hold a style, it may be sun damaged.

All types of hair can be damaged by the sun, though light-colored hair, fine hair, and chemically treated hair may be more susceptible to sun damage. Oilier hair—typically dark, thick hair—protects your hair from sun damage better.

Use Sun Protection Spray

If you’d rather be in the sunshine all day with your hair flying in the breeze, use an after-sun cream or a sun protection spray. Sun protection spray works overtime by protecting your summer hair from sun damage, heat damage, and saltwater or chlorinated water damage.

Use Leave-In Conditioner

If you know you’ll be hopping in the pool, prevent dreaded swimmer’s hair by using leave-in conditioner or wearing a swim cap. Chlorine can weaken the structural integrity of your hair, leaving it feeling rough. Your hair soaks in the chlorine like a sponge. You can mitigate this by either wetting your hair before getting in the pool or by saturating your hair with conditioner. The conditioner acts as a barrier, prevents the chlorine from penetrating your hair, and locks in moisture and nutrients. A hair mask will do the same thing.

Be sure you always rinse your hair after getting out of chlorinated water, too.

Switch Up your Hair Routine

Knowing that your hair is more likely to be damaged in the sun, it’s good practice to be a little more mindful about your summer haircare routine. If you’re not already using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner, switch during the summer. You may also consider switching to an SPF shampoo and using hair oil after you shampoo and conditioner. This will give a much-needed boost to sun-damaged locks. If you’re not already regularly applying a hair mask, do one weekly during the summer. Skip the heat tools entirely if you can.

If your hair damage feels beyond your control, it might be time to book an appointment at the salon for a trim or a conditioning treatment.

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