Every year, I find myself unwittingly doing damage to my hair simply by enjoying the summer weather. Between the sun damage, urge to toss your hair back with any handy tool and chemicals found in swimming pools or other treated water, hair is at serious risk once the weather turns hot. Here are some simple suggestions and tricks that can help you keep your hair healthy and beautiful despite the sun, swimming and pitfalls of vacation.
It is very important to protect your hair from treated water while swimming or at a water park. One of the best ways to protect your hair is to drench it with fresh water prior to jumping in the pool or going down a water slide. This will ensure that less of the treated water is absorbed into your hair. If you are using your own pool, you can also consider oiling or conditioning your hair prior to swimming. However, this can contaminate the water and cause pollution issues. So only do this on your own property, not in a public water park or pool. Do not be afraid to put on a swim cap. They keep out the unwanted chemicals, and protect your hair and are available in much more attractive or sleek styles than you might picture when you think about a bathing cap.
To protect your hair from the sun there are some equally simple things that you can do. The most basic thing is to keep your hair covered. A hat, scarf, bandanna or other accessory can do wonders. For those with long hair, it might be best to combine a scarf with a bun in order to keep your hair under wraps. If you are like me and think that they look more than a little foolish in most headwear, a bun secured with hair friendly accessories with offer some protection. If you are not planning to stray from your own back yard, then add the hat or other headwear to protect your hair. It will thank you by looking fabulous, and that will make it all worth it. There are some products on the market that claim to protect your hair from the sun, however I have yet to see any proof that they work. If you want to try them, then go for it, but I cannot yet endorse any of the conditioners, gels or hairsprays that claim to offer UV protection. If you are a fan of all natural hair products, I do suggest avoiding blends with cinnamon or citric acids in them, because when combined with heat or sun they can lighten your hair.
When packing for vacation, it is extremely hard to pack everything you might need, especially with the ever-changing FAA regulations about what you can bring on board with you. Make sure you bring along a sample size container, I believe it is one ounce that you can bring in carry on bags, of your most necessary hair product as well as a few hair accessories for emergencies. You never know what might happen. Hair sticks should be plastic or bamboo to get through security, but that might change. Be sure to bring along something that is safe for use on wet hair, and at least one versatile accessory that you can use for several situations. I suggest wearing your hair in a braid, or two, for travel days. It will allow you to rest your head back on any kind of seat and can look great for a long period of time. Remember to be careful while packing your hair care products in your checked baggage. Put anything liquid or gel in Ziploc bags and always consider the possibility of breakage, baggage loss or theft. Try to stick to your normal hair care regime as much as possible when you are on vacation that will help your hair be more predictable and easier for you to manage.
Most importantly, take care of yourself and your hair. Enjoy yourself, nurture yourself and recharge during your summer. To look and feel your best, you need to be healthy in mind, spirit, and body. So take time to offer some nutrition to all three. Eat right, stay hydrated, and enjoy some quiet moments watching the sunrise or set. If you are truly healthy and happy, it will shine through showing your beauty, even if you forget everything in your enjoyment and completely fry your hair. If you do, do not worry, it can be treated and returned to beauty with some tender loving care.