8 ways to protect your hair this summer
By now we know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun with SPF. But what about our hair!? Even though it can’t get a sunburn, UV rays do break down your hair’s cuticle, leaving strands dry, damaged, and frizzy. Below, we’re sharing tips on how to keep your hair hydrated and healthy this summer.
#1: protect your scalp
A healthy scalp means healthy hair and getting a sunburn on your part is the worst! The easiest way to protect both your hair and scalp is to wear a hairstyle that shields it. A simple top knot is the best hairstyle for the job, as it exposes little of your scalp to the sun. If you're looking for a way to dress up your top knot, consider something gentle like Slip's Silk Scrunchies ($27 online), which put less strain and tug less on your hair than your average hair tye, which is important when you're spending time in the sun and weakening your hair!
#2: sunblock for your hair
That’s right, there are actually hair sunscreens! Most heat protectant hair products have UVA and UVB filters already incorporated, but in the summer months, we recommend something with more SPF. There are a few different routes you can go with this. The first is to add a leave-in treatment, like Davines SU Hair Milk for Sun-Exposed Hair ($32 online), to your post-shower routine. Simply spritz this product all over your scalp and strands so your hair is protected during the day. If you’re poolside, opt for Klorane Sun Radiance Protective Oil ($18 online). To use, comb the product through wet hair to create a barrier from the sun. If you’re more adventurous in the summer, opt for a water-resistant option like Coola’s Scalp and Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen with SPF 30 ($26 online).
#3: prevent damage with a hair mask
Even if you’re not outside often, just a few minutes in the strong summer sun can leave your hair feeling parched. Since UV rays tend to break down hair cuticles, this also means cuticles are more porous, so your hair will absorb a hydrating treatment and feel refreshed much faster. We recommend doing a hair mask once a week to maintain moisture. Any hydrating mask will do, but be sure to choose one that compliments your hair colour/type. One of our favourites is Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask ($36, Sephora).
#4: avoid heat styling
Try to blow-dry and use hot tools as little as possible. Your hair is already exposed to a significant amount of heat daily in the summer and your hair will likely air-dry quickly. The fewer hot tools, the better. If you do still want to style your hair safely, check out our blog post on How to Style Your Hair from Wet to Dry with No Heat.
#5: cut back on shampoo
The oil your hair naturally produces protects it from the sun, so you don’t want to over wash and strip your hair of that oil. Overly clean hair stimulates additional oil production, which may make you feel like you need to wash it even more. If you’re one of those people that washes their hair every other day like clockwork, try prolonging your washes to every second day, then every third day, and so on. Your hair will start to adapt and feel less greasy as the days go on. After a day at the beach, try just rinsing your hair in the shower and using only a conditioner for extra hydration. If you’re dying to wash your hair, try using dry shampoo first like Batiste, a cult favourite, which you can find at most grocery stores and pharmacies!
#6: wear a hat
This should be a no brainer. A wide-brimmed hat that covers your face and neck offers extra protection from the sun as opposed to a baseball cap. Fabric matters too! A straw hat won’t protect you as well as a woven, fabric hat. Not only does this provide extra UV protection, but it helps your scalp retain moisture as well!
This step is probably the most important. Remember to drink lots of water in the summer months and always! Believe it or not, water makes up 25% of the weight of a single strand of hair. Aim to drink at least two liters of water a day to strengthen your hair and increase growth. We love a motivational water bottle like the one pictured here because it indicates what line you should be at throughout various parts of the day to ensure you're drinking enough water. The one here ($75 online) is a bit pricey but there are many other more affordable options out there as well!
#8: avoid hot times
When it comes to protecting your hair from harsh UV rays, try to avoid being outside or at least out of direct sun when the UV index is the highest. This is typically from 11am to 2pm. During these times, your skin is more prone to burning, which means your hair is also susceptible to more damage.