After you pack your beach or outdoor activities bag and lay out your clothing and sunscreen do you even think of your hair? Do you wonder what the soil, salt, and sun does to it and how to treat and protect it?
Here are 8 steps to summer care for your hair.
1. Treat – Yes treat, do this first before you even leave the house. Apply a good oil or leave in conditioner to place a barrier of protection between your tresses and the elements.
2. Protect – If you enjoy wearing your hair loose then, by all means, do so but if hats and pretty scarves and headwraps are your thing, wrap or pin up your treated hair for an extra layer of protection and to keep your hair from being fried and your scalp from being burned and add a fun hat, scarf or wrap. This is especially important if you wear twists, braids, locks or parted hairstyles. Apply sunscreen around the hairline and dab a bit on exposed parts if you have chosen to wear your hair loose and feel the summer breeze on your scalp.
3. When you get home, rinse hair very well in warm water. This will loosen any sand or dust and begin to help wash away your pre-treatment oil or conditioner.
4. Wash with a mild shampoo or a mix of shampoo and light daily conditioner. Rinse well.
5. Follow up with a rich conditioner and squeeze it through to the ends of your hair. Rinse well until water runs clear and complete your final few rinses in cold water to seal the cuticle of the hair and leave it shiny. If you are wearing locs, twists or braids and don’t use heavy conditioner you may choose to skip this and move on to the next step.
6. On damp hair, apply your favorite hair oil, moisturizer or leave in conditioner of your choice. Massage into hair and scalp thoroughly.
7. Air dry hair when possible, blow dry on low heat or braid or twist up for take down later. Place hair into a low manipulation hairstyle like a ponytail, puffs or bun or wrap up your hair with a satiny scarf or satin lined cap or head wrap and relax.
8. When hair is dry, do as you wish knowing you gave your hair excellent care.
Your hair deserves your full attention after exposure to sun and the elements. Swimming in the pool or ocean and excursions like hiking and walking tours expose your hair not only to the sun but to sand, dust and environmental free radicals that can damage hair and make it look dull. Don’t let that happen to you. Practice after-sun hair care this summer for the healthier hair year round!