So it’s that time of the year when you learn how to protect your hair from sun, heat, and humidity in the sultry summer months. Just as it can damage your skin by causing pimples, rashes and breakouts, excessive exposure to sun and the humidity can also damage hair and scalp.
You may have healthy hair almost all year round, but in the summer and monsoons, your hair may turn limp and lifeless. This is because the sun dries out your hair strands and the increased humidity makes your hair fall flat. Additionally, the main cause of hair damage during these hot and humid months are sweat and dust that increase hair problems like dandruff and split ends. The worst case scenario is hair loss and thinning hair. Summer and humidity can be harsh on your scalp too – causing oiliness, sweat-related stickiness and even sunburns Some people believe that hair protects the scalp, but that’s actually not the case. In the end, dry scalp can damage your hair roots.
The heat in the hot and humid months can cause scalp damage mainly due to sweating. Here are some tips on how to prevent and reduce the damage to hair from the heat and humidity…
Shampoo with Care
Shampooing your hair every day is not recommended, but due to humidity, it is not avoidable. A good rinse in cold or lukewarm water will do the trick on days where you don’t use shampoo. While daily washing can be a problem for some, not doing so can also harm hair. By not washing daily the dirt will settle and cause dandruff, small boils and itching. All this makes the hair very rough and also causes split ends.
Higher temperatures and humidity equal more sweat, and you’ll probably be washing your hair more often to remove grease and grime from a day spent in the sun. that’s why it’s important to choose a gentle shampoo and conditioner designed for daily use. Even though sweating can be good for the body, it may make the scalp and hair sticky, uncomfortable and sweaty. Also, the obsessive washing of the hair actually causes additional dryness. So it becomes very important to avoid harmful ingredients like Sulphates that can make your hair even more dry and lifeless. Other ingredients to stay away from is Parabens & Mineral Oils (commonly found in many hair oils), and Salt (NaCl) which is used as a thickener in many hair care products.
Focus on cleansing the scalp and not your hair. Use fingertips to apply diluted shampoo to your scalp and massage gently for two minutes before rinsing off.
Use a Lightweight conditioner daily
If you have thin, fine hair, it’s tempting to skip conditioners that feel greasy and heavy. Unfortunately, that can leave you at the mercy of frizz! try using a weightless conditioner instead. Conditioner is like moisturizer for the hair and seals the hair strands so the moisture cannot escape. You must remember that dry hair makes it more prone to environmental damage. So a conditioner suited to your hair texture is a must. The other important thing is how you use the conditioner. If your hair tends to get oily, just take a coin-sized amount of conditioner and apply it on the ends – never on the roots – from ear to ear. This way at least the ends will remain protected.
Use the right products
If you have curly hair, you already know that summer humidity can cause frizz, frizz … and more frizz. The solution? Switching up your summer hair care regimen with a collection of products designed specifically for your specific hair type.
Look out for products with the tags ‘replenishing’, ‘hydrating’ and ‘moisturizing’. Avoid any styling product that has formaldehyde(alcohol) and the products that come with the tags ‘volumizing’ or ‘bouncy’. These dry the hair more and are, therefore, strictly avoidable. In order to deal with summer issues, one needs to start using shampoos and conditioners that are infused with rich antioxidant oils for eg – Argan Oil & Macadamia Oil. Plus, check for Proteins (Wheat Protein, Pea Protein, Keratin), Vitamins (Vitamin E, B5) and Natural Extracts (Avocado Extract) in your product.
In the same vein, instead of brushing your hair with a regular hairbrush, use a wide-tooth comb instead. This will help detangle your hair and avoid breakage when doing so.
Lay off the Heat
Curling irons, straighteners and blow dryers bring on the heat – and can make damage sustained from the elements even worse. Whenever you can, skip these heat styling tools in favour of a heat-free style. If you do use heat styling tools, make sure to blow-dry your hair completely before using a straightener or curling iron – if your hair is still wet, applying high heat can cause the water molecules on your strands to expand and cause more damage. Let your hair air-dry as much as possible.
Use a Serum
Even if you’re careful to reduce damage and avoid heat styling tools, just exposing it to sunlight can cause damage. Throughout the summer months, use a serum to noticeably repair overworked, stressed or damaged hair. In India, most of the areas during summers are affected by High UV radiation so you should use Leave-on conditioners & serums that are able to protect your hair from high heat and UV exposure. This will safeguard the natural colour of the hair and also keep your hair hydrated. No need to wait or even rinse – go right to bed and fight hair damage while you sleep!
The role of the nutrition is to keep the hair healthy which is a must if you want a lustrous and thick hair. Vitamin D and E supplements, along with biotin are especially beneficial for maintaining hair and skin health in summer months. Vitamin B12 and Folic acid are good for hair growth. Proteins and sulphur are great for hair health and one must include eggs, onions etc in the diet. Animal proteins are excellent for nourishing hair strands from within. Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet.
Pamper Your Tresses
Therapies and spas to keep your crowning glory looking its best is a must in the summer months. The primary concern of hair therapies must be hydration. It is good to massage your hair with a light oil such as olive or almond oil at least twice a week. I recommend that hair massage must be done in the morning time and that too for not more than 30 minutes. Leaving the oil overnight can aggravate dandruff and oily scalp problems. Cosmetic treatments such as Keratin treatment and colouring must be avoided as they strip the hair of its natural moisture, leaving the strands coarse and dry.
How to Protect Coloured Hair
A mixture of chlorine (in case you love to swim) and UV rays can fade it over time or even turn it brassy. This means that hair will get burnt in the hot sun and can turn brownish. Coloured hair too tends to fade if you stay outdoors too long. Protect your colour with the right shampoo and conditioner. It is a good idea to wear a swimming cap while in the pool. This not only protects the hair from the chlorine but also prevents the bleaching of wet hair in the sun.
About Dr B L Jangid
Dr B L Jangid, MD Skin is one the top dermatologists of Delhi, with more than 10 years of experience in new treatments, technology and research into skin and hair problems, skin surgeries, hair transplant surgeries, Lasers and anti-ageing. He practices at SkinQure in Saket.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The opinions expressed are expert’s views. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aesha’s Musings. Any omissions, errors are the author’s and Aesha’s Musings does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.