As much as we love enjoying the summer months for pool time and getting that Vitamin D from the sun, there are some downsides when it comes to over exposure to sun and chlorine when it comes to our hair. Sun exposure can dry out hair and cause it to become brittle but it can also do crazy things to our hair colour. I thought it would probably be a good idea to share a few tips and hair hacks for everyone to keep in mind as we live it up in the sunny month!
Well for those who love their pool time, there are a few issues to keep in mind. Sometimes those with blonde or very processed hair can actually wind up with a bit of a greenish hue from the chlorine. Now while I’m no pool cleaning expert, apparently, it’s the combination of chlorine and copper in the water that latches onto porous hair that causes that green tone! Crazy right? Often times water has traces of copper and other metals or minerals in it that actually causes this green problem. In fact, copper is known to help clean against algae and some pools will use an algaecide to clean it that contains copper, so it can be in there without even realizing. And just when you think you’re safe with salt water pools, apparently there can still be copper and chlorine in salt water pools and so your hair can still go green!
Luckily, there is a solution for this- that is to of course first try a swimmer’s shampoo that will help clarify the hair. See if that does the job. If it doesn’t, you can also use the juice of a lemon diluted with water. Let your hair soak in it for a few minutes and then shampoo. The green should come out because the acidity from the lemon juice will help remove the chlorine/copper build up. One thing to remember though is that lemon juice can make your hair feel dry so you definitely want to follow that with a great moisturizing mask afterwards to help calm the hair back down afterwards.
The other issue with pools is that the water can leave your hair feeling really dry and brittle so we want to be aware of that as well. To prevent this, before going into a pool, wet down your hair in the shower with ‘fresh’ water. The reasoning here is that hair can only absorb so much water and if you’re about to jump into a pool, your hair will actually repel a lot of the chlorinated water because the hair is already wet.
Now as an additional barrier, it’s never a bad idea to coat your hair in a hair mask and then put it up into a bun or under a swim cap to create an extra barrier from the chlorine. The more porous your hair, the more it will allow for that build up to latch on and be absorbed.
Preserving the Hair
We know that the sun is going to bleach out hair colour and make it go a little brassier, that’s because the UV rays are oxidizing the melanin pigment in our hair causing the hair to go lighter. As a hair colourist, I always suggest to clients to start the summer off a touch darker or toned down from than their regular go to hair colour. This just helps because over time the sun will for sure lift out your hair colour a little.
It’s also really important to remember to wear hats if you’re going to be out in the sun for a long time and scarves a great options as well to protect the hair from going too light.
Another option is to go with what is known as “sunscreen” for the hair. Sun can lighten hair colour and dry it out. You want to use products that have UV filters or resistance. So I always suggest some kind of extra summer protection routine for your hair to protect against the strong sun rays.
Now for those who wear their hair in braids or space buns or any hairstyle that exposes their scalp in some form, it’s important to use UV protection on their scalp to avoid your scalp from being sun burned. In the summer time, hairstyles that expose scalp (like space buns!) can be vulnerable to having the scalp be burned, so light weight products that have UV protection are important to keep in mind.
For Curly Textured Hair
For those with naturally curly textured hair, we want to always lock in moisture to protect from the harsh sun and heat to avoid breakage and dryness. Products that contain coconut oil or avocado oil will help bind the water molecules to the hair keeping moisture in, and products that contain aloe and Shea butter not only help with moisture but are said to have some UV protection.
Long story short, we want to remember not to over wash your hair in the summer months and while there may be humidity in the air, it’s still the sun that can dry out the hair so we want to always focus on locking in moisture.
Easy Summer Hairstyle
Beach waves are always a great go to hairstyle for the summer months and I just wanted to remind everyone that keeping your hair in braids over night can actually reveal a very cool textured hairstyle. The looser the braids, the bigger the waves, so here we have our model who I’ve just very gently braided her hair. She slept in it throughout the night. I sprayed a little texture wave spray, but as you can see, once we loosely unravel her braids, she has these beautiful summer waves.
The idea here really is to remember to sleep in braids to maintain your hairstyle. If your hair creates a lot of natural oils at the scalp, don’t be afraid to absorb those oils with a little dry shampoo in the morning and then freshen it back up with a little finisher and she’s good to go!
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