It’s that time again! Time for the annual energetic burst of clean up and clear out that rears its head about this time every year. Whether it’s the sunshine & warm breezes, open windows and doors after a winter of being cooped up or something internal in our body, we are ready for summer!
What if you were to add doing a Hair Summer Maintenance this year? What would that look like?
1. Hair products:
Nowadays, there is much more consciousness about ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ products, for better or worse. It’s not always clear whether the words used are just marketing towards a popular trend or the truth about the ingredients in your hair products. So check carefully, reading the labels, and stay away from products including:
- Propylene glycol - may cause dry skin or skin irritation
- Laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl sulfate - may destroy hair follicles
- Oleyl betaine - may dry out hair and scalp
- Mineral oils - clog pores
Also, check the label for PH level, looking for between 4-6. You want shampoos that clean dirt and oils, not strip the life out of your hair and scalp.
When you find truly natural products with a good PH, undergo treatment to clear out chemicals and restore your hair to its natural state. Then add in proteins, organic oils, and conditioners for softness, shine, and volume.
2. Exposure to sun or heat
We all know that extended exposure to direct rays or heat of the sun can cause damage to both your hair and your scalp, especially burning, drying out, or fading of color. And the worst-case scenario is melanoma on your head (or any patch of skin.) Conversely, whether from your hat or hairpiece holding in moisture to regular use of saunas, prolonged sweat can also cause conditions for the growth of fungal or bacterial infections on your scalp. So take stock, use appropriate products, or obtain medical help to clear up such conditions as a basis of spring cleaning for your head and hair.
3. Type or quality of shower or water
Whether you shower at home, the gym, or in a hotel, the degree of water ‘softness’ or ‘hardness’ will affect your hair. This is in part due to the mineral content of the water- iron oxides mostly, and can cause dull, lifeless hair even after washing, or will affect the need to use conditioners to prevent tangles, fly-away hair or frizz. The amount of chlorine, fluoride, or contaminants in the water can also cause dryness or damage…or worse.
A big issue for regular swimmers is chlorine in a pool or sun and salt from the ocean. They can wreak havoc on hair, turning it green in some cases or sucking the softness out of hair strands, so it looks and feels stiff like straw. You may need to apply chlorine extraction shampoos or conditioners to gain back a more natural look and feel to your hair. Or you might end up having to cut off the offending wisps. Other dynamic activities have you with hair pulled back off your face in a tight ponytail, which, if too tight for too long, can not only cause headaches but can pull on your hair from the follicles, causing hair loss for some. And either from high rev activities or using a hat to cover your head, the issue of extended exposure to sweating can cause problems, as mentioned above. As part of your summer hair maintenance, why not let your hair fly free and dry out for a while when not necessary to be held back or covered up?
And let’s not forget about the use of hair driers that, no surprise, not only dry our hair but dry OUT our hair if used too frequently at too high a temperature.
5. Headcovers, Hats, or Hair System
As has been discussed, wearing a headcover, hat or hair system has pluses and minuses. They are great to protect your hair and scalp from scorching sun rays or even acid rain, but they can also cause profuse sweating, which has its problems. So use headgear when needed, or to make a fashion statement, and not when not necessary to let your head and hair breathe.