Summer Hair Care: Fact and Fiction
By Hope DeAngelis Schmid for Brilliant Color and Beauty Today
Your skin isn’t the only thing you need to protect from the sun — summer can wreak havoc on your hair color too. Those strong UV rays that cause wrinkles can dry out your hair, and chlorine and saltwater can strip your hair of its natural oils and leave it discolored. We all know that the best way to protect our skin is to wear sunscreen, but when it comes to preventing damage to our locks, it gets a little trickier. James Cornwell, celebrity stylist for PR at Partners Hair Salon and Spa in Washington, D.C., separates the fact from the fiction.
1. Wetting your hair before swimming protects it from the ocean or pool: True.
By taking a shower or spritzing your hair with a water bottle before swimming, damaging chlorine or salt water can’t penetrate your hair’s structure. To protect hair even more, “go one step further and use a color-protective conditioner on your wet hair before going out in the sun. It’ll give your hair moisture while protecting it from the sun and from the ocean or pool.”
2. Use a clarifying shampoo after swimming in the pool to keep your color bright: False.
Clarifying shampoos are too harsh on most color-treated hair. Reds are especially vulnerable to color loss with harsh products, but shades of brown and honey blond also fade quickly with the wrong shampoo. The one exception is a blond that has a green tint from too much chlorine: A clarifying shampoo will strip the chlorine buildup and return the hair to a more beautiful blond hue. Cornwell says to look for products that are “color-protective,” not just “color-safe.”
3. Use sunscreen to protect your hair: True.
In fact, there are plenty of hair care lines that have sprays and gels with UV filters designed for hair that work the same as sunscreen does on your skin to ward off sun exposure.
4. Wear a hat or scarf to block out the sun and protect your color: False.
If it’s especially hot outside, the hat can act like an oven, which is equally bad for hair as sun exposure. If you like wearing hats (especially for keeping the sun off your face), try putting on a deep-conditioner first and you’ll have soft locks at the end of the day.
Remember that your hair can’t rejuvenate itself like your skin does. Taking precautions before going out in the sun is far better than worrying about repairing dry, damaged hair.
Hope DeAngelis Schmid has written for many websites, including DailyMakeover.com, Sephora’s Beauty and the Blog, Glamour’s beauty blog Girls in the Beauty Department and TheDCLadies.com. She is the co-founder of the popular travel website, TheJetSetGirls.blogspot.com.