When it comes to sun protection, skin gets most of the focus, but our hair needs some consideration as well. As anyone who's ever suffered from stringy strands or a burned scalp knows, the sun can do some major damage to your tresses.
Here are some tips to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy all summer long.
1. Avoid the Burn
Your scalp needs SPF, too. Nothing is worse than an itchy red scalp that peels after a bad burn. Powder sunscreens and sprays make it easy to protect your scalp so don't skimp on the sunscreen.
2. Be Gentle
If you plan to be outside a lot—sweating and swimming—you'll end up washing your hair more often. Some shampoos contain harsh chemicals that will dry out your hair with more frequent washes. Try a sulfate-free formula instead. Although it may be difficult at first to get used to the lack of suds in these shampoos, the sulfate-free formulas will be much gentler on your stressed-out strands. Another way to lessen your hair stress is to use no-tangle bands when you wear it up. Ribbon ties are the only thing I'll use to style my hair up these days—they don't cause creases and they never twist my strands into knots.
3. Protect All Day Long
Give your hair a boost of moisture that lasts all day with a light, nourishing leave-in conditioner. This will give you a healthy dose of shine and help prevent static in dry conditions. My favorite formula is Sexy Hair Concepts' Healthy Sexy Hair Soy-Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner.
4. Repair Your Hair
If the damage is already done and your hair looks limp, frizzy or dull, do a deep conditioning and repairing hair mask to restore shine and body. Applying a hair mask once every week or two is a great practice for everyone during the summer months. I love to use Argan oil and coconut oil for this, although they can be difficult to rinse out. Moroccan oil makes a wonderful restorative hair mask, too. If you're dealing with split ends, schedule regular trims with your hair stylist over the summer months and lay off the flat iron and hair dryer a couple days a week.
5. Wear a Chic Topper
You already have your stylish bathing suit cover-up, why not scoop one up for your hair as well? Hats and scarves are back in a big way. They make any summer ensemble more chic and double as perfect protection for your hair. Try a straw fedora with your jeans and tee, a glam wide-brim hat with your sundress or a cool scarf tied around your chignon when you're running errands.
You may also want to read:
3 Easy Hairstyles for Summer
Natural Beauty: Ingredients for Great Skin and Hair May Be in Your Fridge
The Fix for Itchy Scalp
Bethany Porter is a blogger and beauty junkie. She believes in healthy living and that women have powerful potential for beauty both inside and out.