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Summer Hair Health

Lately, it seems like there’s no good season for hair. Winter is full of static and dries it out, and the dampness of spring can cause frizz. Summer sun gives color a beating, while autumn can bring about hair loss and shedding. As we head into another hair-damaging season, here’s a rundown of some ways to prevent damage and protect the health of your hair as spring turns to summer and beyond.

First, apply sunscreen. I’ve been loving Sun Bum’s Scalp & Hair mist with SPF 30. I spray it above my head and on my daughters’ hair just about every time we leave the house. In fact, our sunscreens sit on top of the shoe shelves by the front door, keeping it handy for skin and hair. Second, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated during the summer months has multiple benefits. Keeps you from overheating, keeps you cool, and replenishes the fluids lost from sweating. Eight glasses of water a day, or more if it’s a real scorcher, also helps your hair from becoming dull and dry.

Speaking of heat, try to avoid it, not only by staying in the shade whenever you’re outside but also lay off the heating tools when you’re inside. With highs in the 80s here before summer even officially starts, your hair is already experiencing a lot of drying heat. Think about ways to style your hair that don’t involve blow dryers, curling irons, or straighteners.

Or better yet, get a haircut. Regular trims prevent split ends and can revive hair in general. You could also splurge on some hydrating treatments at your salon or apply an at-home hair mask like SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus or Eva NYC’s Therapy Session Hair Mask, made with argan oil and plant proteins. You can also make a mask with household products like cinnamon and coconut oil or avocado and olive oil. If you’re not already deep conditioning your hair with a mask at least every other week, summer is a great time to add this to your care routine.

On the flip side of hydration is exfoliation. Scalp exfoliation keeps the scalp’s skin healthy and clears the buildup from styling products that can make hair dull and dry. A good scrubbing in the shower with your favorite shampoo is the most straightforward means of exfoliating your scalp. You can also utilize a scalp brush, like Kitsch’s Scalp Exfoliator or Pacifica’s Clarifying Scalp Massager, to massage and scrub your scalp. Exfoliating not only prevents buildup but can also encourage hair growth. You can also apply scalp scrubs if shampoo alone doesn’t seem to be doing the job. I like Bumble and Bumble’s Seaweed Whipped Scalp scrub, which draws out excess oil, leaving the scalp and hair feeling refreshed.

Swim days can be rough on hair. Whether chlorine from the pool, salt from the sea, or just regular river water, you should prep your hair with a water rinse or leave-in spray conditioner before dunking your head underwater. For pools and boats, a hat is a simple means of hair protection. It also protects your face and, if you have a huge, fabulous sunhat — your neck and shoulders. Rinse and clean your hair after swimming, which I know isn’t always convenient. Just dumping some water from a water bottle over your hair helps prevent drying and damage if you can’t get to a shower right away. Or use a hose if one is handy, especially if you’ll be in and out of the pool. Spray off each time you’re out and then reapply sunscreen to your head and body.

Regular hair brushing can improve hair health, no matter the season, and enables it to grow longer since the strands won’t break as easily. The best way to utilize brushing for healthy hair is by having specific brushes for specific purposes. Every brush has a purpose, whether it is for wet detangling, dry detangling, or styling. And for certain textures, some work better than others. For kids, I like UNbrush’s Detangler Hairbrush, plus it comes in sparkly colors that my girls love. It helps to have a fun hairbrush when working through knots in the morning. For curly and textured hair, check out Kent’s line of brushes for men, women, and children. I use Domax’s Bamboo Haid Comb for my nightly brush out. Manta’s Hairbrush has patented flexguard technology that easily grips and works through strands to detangle wet hair. Of course, you’ll use round brushes when styling. However, if you’re giving the hair dryer a break this summer, you may not need those for a while. If in doubt, ask your hairstylist which brushes they like to use and what would work best for your hair type.

Hopefully, some of these tips will keep your hair healthy and happy for the summer and into the rest of the year. It’s been moving by so fast.