Spring is here for those of us in the northern hemisphere. As the snow melts, flowers appear, and the grass begins to grow, we start noticing that our hair routine isn’t quite working. Plus we start looking forward (especially here in Canada) to getting outside in the sun!
First let’s talk about the sun. It is a form of heat and UV light so in that respect exposing your hair to the sun will result in some damage. I am not advocating to completely avoid the sun, but want to give you more ideas about how to protect your hair (and scalp).
My best advice is to get yourself a good hat or a sun protective buff. This protects your hair and scalp and those hats with a brim will protect your face.
When you can’t wear a hat, here are two products that we carry that have some UV protection: Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel and Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Featherlight Styling Cream (note this has some non CG-approved ingredients if you are strictly following the Curly Hair / Curly Girl Method).
Remember to put a little sunscreen in you scalp area if you are heading out without a hat. If you are planning to stay in one area for a while, grab an umbrella or sit under one.
I put heat and UVB protection in two different categories even though I know the sun contains both. UV light can cause your hair cuticle to shrink and this can result in higher porosity. It is also dehydrating which leads to cracks and breaks. Like everything, there are some who can spend a lot of time in direct sun without any issues and others who can quickly experience sun damage to their hair.
Products containing both heat protectants and UV protectants are ideal. The Innersense Hair Love Prep Spray, Curl Keeper Thermal Defense, and Curlsmith Miracle Shield have natural ingredients of oils and proteins and will protect against heat. They will provide some UVB protection but not the same as an actual product formulated with the ingredients that are "sunscreen" for hair.
The hair sunscreens that I see out there that should work best for UVB protection will have some silicones. If you are using a good shampoo and want to spend a lot of time in the sun without a hat, this might be a better choice for you. I am certain there are many products out but examples of products we can get in Canada would be:
- Aveda Color Conserve shampoo, conditioner and Strengthening Treatment
- Amika Super Nova Blonde Cream
- Living Proof Restore Instant Protection
- Bioterra Alcohol Free Styling Gel (CG approved)
- Paul Mitchell Color Locking Spray
- Sun Bum Conditioner and Leave In Spray
- Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Heat and UV Primer
- Drybar Hot Toddy Heat & UV Protectant
Swimming and Water Activities
Since you might be spending more time in the pool/lake/ocean water etc., consider cowashing between your shampoo days so that your hair doesn’t get too dried out from being wet more frequently. You may want to deep condition if your hair feels dry.
Before going in the water, wet your hair from the tap/shower so it doesn’t absorb as much pool or ocean water. After you have been in water, you can shampoo and condition if needed. If you plan to spend a lot of time swimming, consider getting a swim cap to protect your hair.
Copper can cause hair to go green when swimming in pools. Copper can be found naturally in the water used to fill the pool, in chemicals used to keep algae at bay, and even in the rocks lining the poolside. Using Malibu C's Swimmer's Wellness Shampoo can help prevent discolouration and mineral build up if you're swimming regularly.
Additional Suggestions for Summer Waves and Curls
If your hair is okay using pure oils or blends, these will offer some heat protection. They can also be used after your primer or your gel to help to seal your hair. They also keep hair lubricated and flexible. Some pure oils like sesame, avocado, coconut or olive are great options, or pick one of the nice ready-made blends like Ecoslay's Moonshine Hair and Body Oil or Righteous Roots Rx.
Sprays are a great product to throw in your beach bag to protect your hair when you are out enjoying the day! Ouidad's Advanced Climate Control Detangling Heat Spray has dimethicone (a silicone) so make sure you have a good lathering shampoo to remove it.
A spray leave-in conditioner like AG Hair's Remedy Leave On Mist (light) or Coco Nut Milk Conditioning Spray (medium to heavy) sprays are great to use between summer activities to keep your hair moisturized.
Summer hair tends to fade and get brassy. This can effect all shades including dark and silver hair. The occasional use of one of our purple conditioner bars from Jack 59 or Vida Bars will help to keep the tones beautiful throughout the season.
Want more information on how to modify your routine for warmer weather and/or humidity? Check out my blog Do I Need to Change My Routine for Summer? for tips and suggestions.
Last but not least remember to stay hydrated: drink lots of water! This is good for your body inside and out.