Sun, Sea & Self: Summer Prep
For most of us, the summer is about claiming new experiences and enjoying some much needed rejuvenation. Whether that means a relaxing beach holiday or exploring a new city, the summer ignites the feeling of endless opportunities. With the promise of new adventures around the corner we must take the time to remember our hair and skin still needs care and attention.
Each year we are warned about the dangers of UV radiation and it’s carcinogenic effect on our skins. However, we often forget to factor in the sun’s impact on our tresses and scalps. With prolonged exposure, UV light can break down the proteins in our hair leading to brittle, weaker strands and the terribly dreaded split-ends. This sun burn is what allows natural blondes to have their highlights without using bleach or lightening products, though the damage is still the same. Whilst darker hair colours have the ability to filter out more UV than lighter strands your scalp can still experience severe burns if left unchecked. A great way to start prepping for damage is to swap conditioners and styling products into your routine with those that contain SPF. L’Anza provides maximum defences by offering protection against all three UV rays in every single product. Alternatively, Aveda’s Sun Veil is a water-resistant mist which provides up to sixteen hours of protection from UVA and UVB light.
When it comes to the effects of the sea we are far more clued in. Everyone knows chlorine is stripping, salt is drying, and split ends flourish in beach and pool water. To prevent these a careful pre- and post- water plan must be made. The most effective prep before going for a swim, is to heavily saturate wet hair and scalp with a moisturising conditioning mask such as Philip Kingsley’s Swimcap. This serves by packing the hair full of amino acids and proteins so that chlorine and salt find it difficult to reach the hair’s shaft. Aside from stripping your hair of it’s natural oils, chlorine also reacts with copper and metals in water which is what turns blonde hair green. Covering your hair and extensions in a conditioning mask can also prevent this, and a swimmer’s shampoo afterwards will remove the discolouration immediately.
If you are leaving for a holiday it can be tempting to ditch the brushes, the combs and the satin pillows for the young, wild and free lifestyle. The result however is that your hair will rebel, tangle and have an impossible attitude when trying to be tamed. For the most low-maintenance styling make sure to pack at least one Tangle Teezer and a lightweight serum to keep your ends moisturised when you are out. If you plan to maintain a light styling, wavier textures can use a sugar spray for the tousled beach wave without leaving your strands thirsty. Whilst curlier textures can fill a water spray with a touch of oil and one third of your favourite styling product to revitalise your hair on the go.
Along with the warm temperatures and much needed vitamin D, summer can bring an overwhelmingly fast pace. It is important not to let the pace hinder nutrition and cause excessive stress as both of these are vital in hair and scalp health. Whether you have long locks or a short cut, maintaining healthy hair and scalp is an essential self-care practice. Our diet has one of the most significant impacts on healthy hair follicle growth. That means making sure your summer meal plans have fruits with high water content, vitamin C; and vegetables high in potassium and iron. For coilier textures, spending time on your hair during the warmer months can be quite draining, braided styling is often the option which requires the least amount of energy and maintenance.
The summer is also a great time to cut back on heat styling and letting your hair air-dry, focusing more on going with the flow and simply being. ‘Scalp facials’ have become increasingly popular so scheduling your first scalp exfoliation appointment is a soothing way to carve out some relaxation time if you are staying in the city.