Today I’m going to share a few summer hair care tips for protecting your hair from the sun, salt water and chlorine. If you live in a hot sunny climate, love to swim, or simply want to learn a few tips for keeping your hair healthy and beautiful, you’ve come to the right place! These tips will let you enjoy the sun and water without worrying about damaging your hair. I also have a full video on the topic, which you can watch below.
There is nothing like being in the sun! However, too many rays can damage our hair. One of the best ways to protect your hair from the sun is to wear a hat. Wearing a hat protects your hair from drying out and protects your scalp from burning. Plus hats can be incredibly stylish! I personally love big hats. The wider the brim the better! That way you protect your face and shoulders from sun damage, as well as your hair.
Have you ever spent a day at the beach and later discover your scalp is bright red and painful? It’s important to protect our scalp from getting a sunburn! If you aren’t able to wear a hat, try applying a zinc oxide sunscreen to the parts of your scalp that are exposed to the sun, such as where you part your hair, or any bald/thin areas. Look for a natural, physical sunscreen that contains non-nanoized zinc oxide and is reef safe if going into the ocean. A few of my favourites are Suntegrity or Badger for a less expensive alternative. The zinc oxide may leave your scalp a bit white, but it’s better than having a flaky, red scalp for a week. (I’ve learned this the hard way.. ouch!!)
I also recommend wearing a protective hairstyle when swimming. My go to protective style while in the water is a braid. I just get the knots out of my hair and then apply a bit of nourishing oil to my hair before braiding. Your hair still can get tangled when swimming with a braid, however it’s not nearly as bad.
Chlorine can be very damaging to your hair. Swimming in a chlorinated pool often, will strip your hair of it’s natural oils, leading to dryness, breakage and split ends. A cool trick is to saturate your hair with non-chlorinated water before entering the pool. Your hair is similar to a sponge. So the idea is, if you saturate your hair with non-chlorinated water, your hair will be less likely to absorb as much of the chlorinated water in the pool. Simply wet your hair in the shower before swimming or bring a large water bottle with you and drench your hair before entering the pool.
I love the way salt water makes my hair look. There’s even salt sprays to give you that beachy, tousled look! (Apoterra’s Salt Spray is an awesome natural version). However, too much salt water can really dry your hair out. Therefore I recommend applying a natural oil to your hair before swimming. Using oil on your hair will act as a protective layer. Some of my favourite hair oils are: Argan oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Avocado oil, Olive oil and Macadamia Nut oil.
After swimming, don’t let your hair sit too long with salt or chlorine. I always wash my hair right when I get home. I recommend using a gentle, natural shampoo and conditioner. If your hair is really tangled with salt water. I recommend applying a lot of conditioner and working it in to gently get the tangles out. I wouldn’t recommend brushing your hair while it’s salty because your hair is in such a fragile state that it can easily cause breakage. I also suggest using a detangler brush that’s meant for wet hair. Be very patient and gentle while brushing your hair!
It’s also beneficial to do apple cider vinegar rinses after being in chlorinated water. Apple cider vinegar rinses are wonderful for clarifying the hair and removing chemical build up. They’re natural, cheap and extremely effective. All you do is rinse your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar after shampooing and conditioning. Check out my article on DIY hair rinses to learn more.
If you’re swimming a lot and exposing your hair to the elements, It’s important to give your hair some extra love and care! I love to brush my hair with a wooden bristle brush to distribute my hair’s natural oils and massage the scalp and then I apply a nourishing hair treatment. My favourite hair treatment is Blue Beautifly’s Organic Amalaki Scalp Oil Serum. It’s packed with organic oils, herbal extracts and high quality essential oils. I just massage it into my scalp and leave it in for 30+ minutes (or overnight). It’s my holy grail product for a healthy scalp! I also love doing DIY hair masks such as my DIY Avocado and Coconut Milk Hair Mask.
I would also recommend laying off the heat tools. If your hair is being exposed to a lot of sun, it’s already getting enough heat damage. Instead try to embrace your natural hair or at least keep heat styling to a minimum.
Join thousands every weekend who cozy up with a mug of tea and dive into my weekend email.