Summer's hair - Best practices to help tresses beat the heat
It is essential that women keep their hair happy and healthy during the hot summer days which are filled with much festivities and adventurous outings. Of course, there should be nothing preventing you from 'letting down your hair' and wilding out a little - for those women, of course, who live on the more daring side of life!
I could not help doing an article on best hair practices after I happened to run into a colleague of mine overseas recently, who was actively performing hair consultancy and treatment at a renowned hair salon. She engaged me and said, "Bobby, summer has just started. You should do an article about taking care of women's hair." I didn't think twice at the proposal because women have always asked me for tips, as a beauty professional.
It's always good to have the endorsement of an experienced, certified and, in this case, a renowned hair stylist. The person I speak of is none other than Winsome Donegal, trichologist, technician for Avlon International and product knowledge consultant. When she is in Jamaica, you can reach her at 'Total Hair Solutions' for which she is the owner. The conversation ensued and I'll share in a quick read what she had to say.
WHAT DOES SUMMER MEAN FOR YOU AS A HAIRSTYLIST?
She shared, "When I think of summer, I immediately go down memory lane, reminiscing how my grandma used to paste my hair and scalp with petroleum jelly. Nonetheless, the dryness and brittleness continued until I processed my hair - which didn't solve the problems!"
Just as your body needs water to survive, your hair needs to replenish its moisture to stay healthy.
1. REDUCE THE HEAT!
Reduce use of flat iron as much as possible and try to blow-dry your hair as little as possible. It is already exposed to a significant amount of heat on a daily basis during these hot summer days. It will probably air dry quickly anyways!
2. KEEP CONDITIONING
Try deep penetrating conditioning once a week to get the moisture into your hair. Rinse with apple cider vinegar diluted in water for a quick natural conditioner. It's on the acidic side of the ph scale, which means that it adds sheen to the hair and closes the cuticle.
When you do, use a sulphate-free shampoo as it is less drying to the hair, and remember to blow dry less. Shampoo the hair with a product containing ethyl tetra acetic acid - it eliminates the effects of chlorine, particularly for those frequenting the pool. Chlorine is used to keep harmful bacteria out of the pool but chlorine can strip your hair of its natural oils.
4. COVER IT UP
Exposing your hair less to ultraviolet rays helps your scalp to retain moisture.
5. DRY DUSTING
Sometimes only the scissors will help. Split-ends naturally appear most in the summer - try using a 'Split Ender Pro' and continue to moisturise hair daily.
6. ADD SOME
If you must go to the beach or pool, before you do, apply leave-in conditioner with SPF for maximum protection from the scorching sun.
7. SPRITZ AND SEAL
In the same way your body needs nourishment, so does your hair. Whether you're having a tall cup of 'Sex on the beach' in South Beach Miami or having a 'Long Island' on the north coast in Ocho Rios, women like to get their tan on in the summer sun. While your skin gets tanned, your hair loses its nourishment. This is what you should do.
"Make a concoction of argon and lemon oil; keep on hand to spritz whenever a bit of moisture is needed," said Winsome. Be mindful that there are other options available, such as extra virgin cold-pressed olive or coconut oil, to name a few, that may be used to make just as good a concoction.
8. MORE HAIR TREATMENT
According to Winsome, "As much as I'm a big fan of hair colouring and wear it well, I tend to do less colouring and more hair treatment during the summer. However, if you are a lover of hair colour, you can wear your colour but do a follow-up of re-conditioning treatment which eliminates dryness and adds shine to the colour."
9. BRUSH AND COMB
A boar's brittle brush is recommended for brushing the scalp, as it is friendlier to the hair and it enhances blood circulation and stimulates hair growth. Mrs Donegal says, "Fine-bone tooth combs are good for general purpose, whereas wide-bone tooth combs are generally used to detangle and smooth wet hair."
It's important to be mindful that plastic combs will snag and pull the hair out!
10. TAKE IT EASY
Of course, taking it easy isn't suggesting that you let your hair down for the last time and have your favourite signature mojito at the pool bar. Instead, there are many styles that can be worn with ease of effort, like wearing your hair free-flowing with a side bang - which is quite comfortable to wear and flattering for all face shapes!
Summer has the potential to wreak havoc on your hair, so keep your hair healthy and happy. Having a scalp massage done is known to afford many benefits, including enriched blood circulation to the scalp, which results in strengthened hair root.
Your hair is your glory. Pay attention to your hair, especially during the summer days when hair is most susceptible to damage. These tips can be used for most hair types.
However, in closing, the first step in taking proper care of your hair is consulting with a certified and experienced hairstylist, trichologist and, in some cases, a dermatologist.
- Robert-Karim Besnier is a spa consultant and TVET educator in spa and beauty services.