Fighting summer hair enemies: Frizz, scalp sunburn, split ends & more


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When we venture out into summer’s overwhelming heat, we often go into protection mode: sunglasses to protect our eyes, sunscreen to protect our skin, a hat to protect our face. But what about our hair ? They need to be properly shielded from the elements too, and luckily there are some steps we can all take to protect our locks from some of the following summer hair enemies.

The sun
UV rays can burn your scalp just as they can any other part of your skin, according to WebMD. The rays can also fade colored or highlighted strands. Try wearing a hat, or use hair spray or a leave-in conditioner made to protect hair color against sun damage. You can also spray some sunscreen along the part in your hair and massage it into your roots to protect from the sun’s damaging rays.

Saltwater and chlorine
Chlorine strips hair of its natural oils, leaving hair frizzy and prone to split ends. Before a swim, coat your hair with tap water or conditioner to prevent your hair from soaking up chlorine or saltwater. There are also shampoos on the market that remove chlorine, but if your hair is already damaged, try a moisturizing conditioner. Wearing a tight-fitting swim cap when you swim will also protect your hair.

It’s that frustrating, yearly struggle: fighting the summer frizz. The first step is using a moisturizing conditioner every time you shampoo. Hydrated hair is less likely to soak up water from humid air. Then try using a smoothing anti-frizz product, which helps create a barrier between your hair and the humidity. An ionic blow dryer can also help.

And remember, we need to keep our hair healthy all year round. Board-certified dermatologist Zoe Draelos advises, "When shampooing, concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than the entire length of the hair, as washing only your hair can create flyaway hair that is dull and coarse.” However, conditioners should only be used on the tips of the hair — skip your scalp and the length of your hair — because conditioners can make fine hair look limp.

• If you have oily hair, Dr. Draelos recommends washing hair more frequently.
• If you have chemically treated hair, wash less frequently since your hair may be drier.
• As you age, your scalp produces less oil, so you may not need to shampoo as often.
• Choose a shampoo and conditioner formulated for your hair type.
• Don’t assume expensive brands mean better results. Many brands offer the same benefits, regardless of cost.