SUMMER HAIR DOS & DON’TS
 
During hot summer months, you probably wash, style and tinker with your tresses more than any other time of year. Whether you are active in sports, spend time at a sandy beach, or simply attempt to tame it during a humid swelter, using haircare products too often can damage your hair, especially when exacerbated by the scorching effects of the sun. You need quick, gentle styling methods that don’t put stress on it.
 
Here are 8 Dos & Don’ts to Reduce Hair Damage
 
DO: Combine conditioner with shampoo & styling products. Using shampoo with heavier cleaning detergents straight out of the bottle can dry out strands, especially if used every day. Adding half and half conditioner with shampoo will help to reduce the soap’s irritating effects. Combining conditioner with your gel/styling wax keeps waves and curls nicely defined and held in place without getting crunchy if applied to wet hair and allowed to dry naturally.
 
DO: Use natural shampoos without chemicals. Look for products that don’t include sulfates, silicone, alcohols, parabens, dyes, chemical preservatives, and foaming agents like sodium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate. Canadian brands like Carina Organics, Green Beaver, and My Mane Care are all natural. Try styling with a tiny bit of pure argan oil (available at health stores) or coconut oil instead of silicon/petroleum based styling products.
 
DON’T: Colour your hair just before leaving on vacation. It’s tempting to schedule your trip to the salon as close as possible to your trip away so that you look your best while there and don’t have to search out a foreign salon if planning a lengthy stay. But the rays change or fade your colour quicker that way, and the dryness caused by colouring – especially highlights – will be intensified by the sun. So put it up, cover it in a hat, and relax with it, or just get a trim right before you go since splitting ends occur more in summer, and if left alone, will travel up the hair shaft and cause further damage.
 
DO: Rethink your styling. Wearing a super smooth ponytail (not the gym variety, but a chic chignon) wrapped with a decorative hair tie/scrunchie; styling a loosely held, “meticulously messy” bun within a clasp that allows ends to trail; or donning a Jackie O’Nassis/Grace Kelly-styled headscarf can see you through the worst hair days during summer. For all of these, control flyaway strands or frizz with a little gel or pomade/natural oil smoothed over the area with your palms. If you don’t like these looks, opt for a small sun-basking hat to protect hair and help it retain moisture.
 
DO: Wash hair the proper way.  Before adding shampoo, wet hair thoroughly to spread shampoo more evenly. (This makes you use less of it.) Wash your hair with cooler water in summer — warm water opens the cuticle to absorb extra moisture that can make hair frizzier. After rinsing, don’t apply conditioner on your scalp or root area; begin a couple of inches down the shaft. Only hair midway and to the ends needs this extra conditioning boost, and the weight of these heavy products near the root can break hair or make scalp feel dirty/oily. Be sure you thoroughly rinse your hair with clean water. Rinse a second time so these products don’t build up.
 
DO: Wash your hair at night. Especially during humid months, washing, drying and styling hair a few hours before going to bed (and not leaving your home afterward), creates longer lasting smoothness. You will notice the frizz-free silky difference upon waking in the morning. Don’t wash hair every day because it strips away its natural essential oils. Try to let it go a day or two; your scalp will adapt to the change quite quickly (see “Rethink your styling” to hide it during off days.)
 
DON’T: Use heat styling products during summer. Use summer heat to your benefit during summer and dry hair not with a blow dryer, but naturally outside in a warm breeze under late afternoon sunshine. You will be surprised how silky smooth and beautiful your hair becomes simply by running your hands through hair (due to your hands’ natural oils) as it dries naturally. Be sure it is dried thoroughly before stopping, using a wide tooth comb to gently untangle locks. And very gently pull and hold long hair if you want to straighten it as it dries instead of using your straightening iron.

DO: Embrace a more natural look. If humidity and perspiration make your hair curly, enhance your naturally wavy locks by spraying with a texturizing spray or other styling product, or adding tiny rollers. The natural texture is going to emerge so you might as well just work with it!

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