Best Tips for Protecting Your Hair During Summer
Summer is here! The weather is warmer and the sunshine out in full force. With the enticing call of the sun, sand, sea and pool time, also comes the potential stress and drying damage to hair from UV rays, chlorine and salt water. What’s a gal to do? With a little help from INTACT Scalp & Hair Primer, you can have some piece of mind to enjoy the activities of summer without wreaking havoc on your hair.
How Does the Sun Damage Hair?
When it comes to the sun, most of us are aware of the damage it can cause to the skin, but many forget to think about the risk of UV rays to our hair. The sun’s rays act much like bleach on the hair and the sun’s heat can cause dehydration. In order to understand the potential damage to the hair, it is important to understand hair’s structure.
Hair is made of the protein keratin and has three layers. The outer layer, called the cuticle, is made of overlapping protein scales that keep the cuticle closed. It also has a light lipid (oil) layer to protect and maintain moisture. The cuticle defends the second layer called the cortex. This inner layer gives the hair its strength, color (pigment) and texture of hair. There is a third layer typically found in thicker, coarser hair called the medulla. Naturally blonde and fine hair generally does not have a medulla.
Once the cuticle gets compromised, it allows damage to the inner cortex. This leads to dull, weak hair that is prone to breakage. A damaged cuticle has layers that are lifted or “open” leading to loss of moisture from evaporation. A lifted cuticle may also have holes, missing scales, cracks and as a result causes tangling, split ends and breaks off easily. It also will not reflect light as well – thus appearing lackluster.
Pool chemicals, salt water, summer heat, and the bleaching effect of UV rays cause dehydration and damage to the cuticle. Finer hair lacks the thickness or pigment that can help protect from the sun’s rays, whereas darker, coarser hair is typically oilier and may be better protected. In any case, there are ways you can help protect your hair during the summer months.
How to Protect Hair from the Sun
Fortunately, there are many actions you can take to protect your hair from summer sun damage. From hydration to diet to homemade hair masks, you can help minimize the risk of over exposure of your precious strands.
Hydration & Moisturization
Yes, hair is dead, but the practices we follow still have an impact on its health and beauty. Avoiding dehydration of your hair is not the same as drinking a bunch of water. Hydration of hair is defined by increasing the moisture content within the hair – and YES, there is a difference between hydrating and moisturizing. Hydration is attracting moisture to the hair, while moisturizing is the act of keeping it there, in other words sealing it in. Humectants, which attract moisture from the air, help bring water into the hair shaft. Common humectants are panthenol, glycerin, propylene glycol and honey. Moisturizing ingredients physically prevent water loss and seal the hair cuticle. Moisturizing agents, aka emollients like coconut oil or coconut fatty acid, avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil and argan oil help moisturize and smooth hair as well as help seal the cuticle. Using hair care products high in moisturizing ingredients is important. You can also serve up a little TLC for dry, summer strands by mixing avocado, coconut oil and honey together, then apply as a homemade scalp and hair mask. Chico-Honey Co has a great DIY recipe here.
Protecting your hair in the sun by wearing sun hats, baseball caps, scarves, or seeking shade is one of the easiest ways to guard against UV damage. Wearing a physical barrier to the sun during the peak hours
of 10am – 2pm, when the sun is strongest, will go a long way to defend your hair. If you have longer hair, protect hair in summer by tying it up or wearing a scarf that can cover the top of your head and length of your hair.
Gentle cleansing and using a shampoo that is free of harsh sulfates is important to maintaining a moisture balance on the scalp and hair in summer. Shampoos that are too drying or over-washing your hair will strip the hair and scalp of essentials oils that help lock in moisture. Salt water and chlorine can be rinsed off hair with lukewarm water immediately following swimming. A quick cold water rinse will help close the cuticle.
Eating for healthy hair is definitely something to do year round, however in the summer you can take advantage of an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits high in essential vitamins and antioxidants to support hair and scalp. Fill up on fresh leafy green salads and don’t forget to add some avocado or salmon to introduce omega fatty acids for shinier, healthier hair. You can also opt for Greek yogurt and berries or a superfood summer smoothie with chia seeds to increase your intake of quick, light, and enriching hair food. Don’t forget you can make iced green tea or add fresh citrus to your water for cool drinks high in antioxidants.
Summer Hair Care Routine
Summer tips for hair also include modifying your hair care routine to help counter summer damaged hair. Try to avoid heat tools and tight hair styles as hair is more fragile, dry and prone to breakage. Instead, go for a sugar spray to create beachy waves and try pinning hair when it’s damp, then let air dry to create more defined waves.
INTACT Scalp & Hair Primer
A great product to include in your summer hair care routine is INTACT Scalp & Hair Primer. INTACT provides a moisture infusion to hair, featuring coconut fatty acids and panthenol. The patented formula also retains and protects hair while adding body, volume and shine. After one use, INTACT reduces hair shedding by up to 77% - so you can have healthier-looking hair and more of it!
How Does INTACT Work?
INTACT Scalp & Hair Primer is the first and only product designed to improve hair retention, control hair shedding and provide intense moisture for more beautiful hair with body, volume & shine. INTACT is used as a pre-shampoo treatment on the scalp and hair.
INTACT features Seville orange and niacinamide which energize the scalp to secure and strengthen hair at the root to improve hair retention and help control hair shedding during washing and styling.
Coconut fatty acids (emollient) and panthenol (humectant) provide moisture to scalp and hair without creating a barrier. Moisture-infused hair comes to life with improved volume, body & shine
Start Protecting Your Hair Today!
Retain and protect your hair, plus add body volume and shine with INTACT Scalp & Hair Primer – the essential summer product to let you enjoy all the summer fun without the dreaded hair damage!