Summer means three things: Beautiful weather, tan lines, and fun weekend barbecues. It also means heat, sun, and humidity -- three of hair’s worst enemies. Don’t let summer weather get you down. Just read this article on how to prevent some common hot weather hair problems, with tips for every hair type.
Keeping Hair Moisturized in Summer: How much is enough?
Summer air tends to pretty humid in many parts of the world. In general, this is the time of year to switch back to regular shampoo and conditioning products. The reason? Moisturizing formulas can leave your hair feeling soft, dull, and mushy when they are overused. Pair this with steamy summer heat, and it really just isn’t necessary to use in most cases.
Type 1 hair that is straight should steer clear of moisturizing cleansers in the summertime because this hair type usually doesn’t lack moisture. Of course, if your straight hair is dried out from excessive styling and color damage, you can rotate between moisturizing and anti-breakage formulas in summer.
Type 2 hair that is wavy can do the same as straight-haired girls. Add a light leave-in conditioner, concentrating on your ends rather than your roots to avoid looking greasy or weighing hair down.
Type 3 curly hair tends to be far more dry and porous than wavy or straight hair. This is doubly so if your hair is colored or you regularly straighten or relax your hair. Your hair type may still need moisture in the summer, but you can switch to lighter formulas since natural moisture in the air helps your case.
Type 4 textured hair craves moisture most. This hair type is fragile and has a dry tendency at all times of the year, though perhaps less so in summertime. This season, you can dial back to light or medium weight moisturizers. The oil-based products you normally use might be overkill in the summer heat.
Protecting Hair From Chlorine
Nothing beats a dip in the pool to fight the heat on a hot summer day. But chlorine can do damage to every hair type. Not only does it discolor hair, but the real problem is that it can really dry your tresses out.
Chlorine is commonly used as a cleansing agent. While it is great for keeping pools clean, it can do a number on your mane. A quick lap or two in chlorinated water won’t do serious damage, but if you spend too long swimming on a hot summer afternoon, it can leave your strands frazzled, parched, and dull.
Straight Type 1 hair is least likely to be affected by chlorine’s drying properties. Type 2 and 3’s wavy and curly hair can get seriously dry if you’re an avid swimmer. Textured Type 4 hair is always lacking moisture in the first place. Chlorine can take your naturally dry tendency from bad to worse.
A swim cap is the best way to keep hair from getting damaged, no matter your hair type. Unfortunately, that’s not the most practical advice for most women. A swim cap trap the afternoon heat and raise your body temp to uncomfortable levels on a hot day. The fashion of a swim cap also leaves something to be desired. Let’s face it…they aren’t exactly trendy.
Luckily, there is another trick to try. Simply douse your hair with fresh faucet water before jumping in the pool. When the hair cuticle is already saturated, it is less likely to take on as much chlorinated water.
Another tip is to rinse your hair with fresh water as soon as you get out of the pool. Even if you don’t have time for a full shower with shampoo, plain, clean water can help rinse away most of the chlorine that remains. Head over to the outdoor pool shower and give your hair a rinse before heading for that lounge chair.
Banish Summer Frizz
The number one hair enemy in summer is frizz. You can thank humidity for that. Summer tends to be the most humid season, unless you live in an arid climate like, say, Arizona. For the rest of us, excess moisture in the air can be a serious buzzkill.
While Type 1 hair is least likely to be affected, flyaways can still be a problem. Ladies with hair Types 2 to 4 get it worse. It can be so bad that they start to dread high-humidity days. Frizz-control products are going to be essential for you. Coating your hair with a protective layer of dimethicone (a key ingredient in most anti-frizz products) can help keep unwanted moisture in the air from getting into your hair cuticle and causing it to poof.
It can be tempting to run your fingers through your hair in an effort to keep frizzies under control. But it’s important to keep your hands out your hair. This especially holds true if you have curly to wavy hair Types 2-4. The more you touch your tresses, the more likely hair will frizz even worse than before.
Summer hair presents some unique challenges, but we hope you are feeling up to the task of tackling the summer heat wave head on. Simply follow these tips and you’ll have beautiful hair well into the dog days of summer.
Stay cool out there!