Come April and summer begins to set in. You might need to take extra care of your hair and scalp so that your hair looks its very best this summer. Humidity affects the hydrogen bonds in the hair and to a lesser extent, the salt bonds. During the summer season, look out for these hair dangers:
HUMIDITY: The higher the humidity, the more these bonds are broken. Hence, the more moisture in the hair, the more the hair will stretch.
THE SUN: The sun cannot really burn hair, but sun exposure will damage your hair’s natural protective film. According to a recent study, after just three days of sun exposure, the scale-like cells that cover each individual hair shaft begin to pull off. This makes your hair, dry, dull, fragile and brittle.
THE WIND: While traveling, avoid letting the wind rush through your hair. This can cause tangling and matting and dry out your hair. Cover your hair with a scarf while traveling by trains, auto- rickshaws or bus.
CHEMICAL TREATMENT: Hair that has been dyed or highlighted (stripped of its natural color) is especially prone to UV damage. Color-treated hair is already damaged and the sun will make the cuticle even rougher. This makes the hair more fragile and dried out. Stay away from hair lightening products. Most contain some form of peroxide or metal and can cause severe damage to your hair.
WATER SPORTS: Both chlorine and salt water dry and discolor the hair. Chemicals in pool water bind to the hair and give it a greyish or greenish cast. Mineral deposits in salt water, in combination with sunlight, severely dehydrate hair and turn it brittle. If you plan to go for a swim, thoroughly wet your hair before you dip in the pool and add a bit of conditioner too. Wash your hair immediately upon exiting the pool.
Hair tips to beat the summer heat:
Invest in a hair conditioner that contains a sunscreen. The sun’s heat will activate the conditioner, softening your hair, while the sunscreen will prevent UV rays from causing damage to the strands. If you can’t find one, simply massage some of your sunscreen into your hair, it should wash out. If your hair is color- treated, be especially sure to use a leave-in conditioner with sunscreen to prevent the color from fading out.
Use a scalp cleanser that is designed to remove toxins from your hair like chlorine as well as auto emissions and other environmental pollutants.
Oil your scalp every alternate day to stimulate blood flow and relieve stress. Sluggish blood flow and stress can both cause hair loss. Use Jaborandi hair oil to massage your hair ones a week, leave overnight and wash off the next day.
Eat a balanced and sensible diet to ensure you are getting essential nutrients.
Avoid excessive dry heat, such as that from blow dryers and curling irons.
Finally, schedule trims before and after summer to keep dry hair and split ends in check. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, though of course, due to the heat, this is something that comes naturally.
While outdoors, keep your head covered from the summer heat.
Be careful in the sun. Try to use hats, scarves or products with sunscreens to help protect you against the drying effects of the sun. However, make sure that these are not too tight as they may cause hair to rub off (friction alopecia). Similarly, keep braids and ponytails loose.
Our hair goes through natural cycles of growth and fall. If you notice your hair is falling excessively, it could be due to other factors than the hot season. Contact a trichologist immediately.