As we move further into the heat of the summer, we find ourselves enduring the outdoor elements of heat and sun, all the more, while hanging out on the beach or by the pool! But as we transform ourselves through diet, exercise, tanning and hair color, it is important to remember our hair’s health! The very things we do to improve our appearance can negatively affect the health of our hair. During this season, protecting your hair is of utmost importance, because your hair’s appearance is directly affected by sun, heat and humidity.

Most people are unaware that both natural sunlight and artificial light from tanning beds and fluorescent fixtures will make hair color fade to unattractive shades. And some hair color lines are less stable than others. First, protect your color by using shampoos and hair products which contain U/V protectants and color-bonding ingredients. Cover your hair while in tanning beds and bright mid-day sun, but be aware that even those institutional light fixtures above us fade our hair! Most importantly, ask yourself whether your color is staying attractive for an acceptable period of time (6-8 weeks), and if not, ask your stylist what they can do to help.  The best hair color lines contain a combination of lower ammonia content, higher pigment content and nourishing additives, and while many stylists use semi-permanent color for speed, ease of application and blending properties, they fade much faster!

With warmer weather comes increased humidity, which for many means the battle against frizz! Wavy, curly and greying hair is naturally more porous, and therefore more susceptible to the effects of heat and humidity. Using hair products with lower PH levels will smooth and seal the hair’s surface, and actually increase shine! For those who want to manage but not lose their curl pattern, products and treatments that moisturize the hair, such as avocado oil, shea butter and argan oil are beneficial, and should be used regularly for healthy hair maintenance.

Keratin smoothing treatments, when applied properly, successfully manage thick, unruly hair, as well as fine, wavy hair. Because they seal the hair’s surface, keratin treatments cut drying time in half and can improve the appearance and feel of damaged hair. But remember that the chlorine and salt water we expose ourselves to during this season can fade color and reduce the effective life of keratin smoothing products. Remember to keep a bottle of regular water close by to pre-wet your hair, and when possible protect your hair with a swimming cap or other covering, as well as u/v protectants. And if you are going to make the keratin smoothing commitment, make sure your shampoos are salt-free and specifically developed to extend the life of your treatment.

Finally, remember that while a tan looks great, the long-term effects of U/V rays on our skin are well-known. There are numerous spray and lotion tanning options available, Make sure to choose one that leaves you with a healthy glow, not a color resembling a basketball!