Summer is the season of equal parts joy and frustration of our natural hair. It’s joyful to enjoy the warm weather by wearing curly hairstyles that are more casual than your winter norm. But it can also be a time of frizz, unintentional damage and curl unruliness. Just like our skin, our hair is directly exposed to weather conditions, especially the sun, temperature, and humidity. Hair, being a protein fiber, may undergo physical and chemical changes with the changing environmental conditions. As we move into summer, consumers are frequently engaged with outdoor activities, such as traveling, swimming in pools, or the ocean. Exposure to these weather conditions can affect the health of our hair. So! Here are some helpful tips for nourishing, hydrating and controlling your curly hair. Learn how to take care of curly hair…all summer long!
Interaction of solar radiations with the hair fiber
What does this even mean? Well, solar radiations possess enough energy to initiate the degradation of hair protein and color fading. Hair proteins undergo chemical reactions by absorbing light energy from solar radiations and as a result, various chemical bonds in the hair structure are broken. This weakens the structure of hair fiber, hair becomes fragile, loses its strength, and surface properties are completely changed. In other words, the more you stay outside directly in the sun, the more possibility of hair damage.
Just like we need sun protection for skin, our hair needs the same protection. Before stepping out, please ensure you have applied a leave-in conditioner that contains organic natural solar protectors. A leave-in conditioner protects your hair against photodamage, preserves its structural integrity besides improving hair lubricity. A well-balanced leave-in conditioner should not contain any synthetic UV blockers or silicones.
Hair Color Fading
Besides protein loss, intense heat and solar radiation can also fade hair color. Natural virgin (non-chemical treated) black hair becomes brown and even gray with continuous repeated exposure to the sun. Hair contains melanin colorants responsible for our hair color. However, under summer conditions, melanin undergoes degeneration by breaking its various chemical bonds and converting melanin into smaller molecules that come out of hair fiber during the washing/rinse off cycle.
Hair fibers colored with temporary or permanent hair color undergo photo-degradation even quicker and the color only lasts a few days during summer. Your hair needs protection to minimize color fading and this requires customized and special formulations designed for summer times. Hair experts suggest staying away from shampoos with sulfates, because they can easily dissolve hair colorants and accelerate color fading. Instead, rely on moisture based shampoos and leave-in conditioners as they inhibit water uptake, minimize frizz, and forms a courting at the hair surface minimizing color bleeding.
Chlorinated Pool Water & Ocean Water
Swimming pools are regularly treated with chlorine to control mold and bacterial growth. Chlorine treatment maintains the quality of pool water and keeps it suitable for swimming. However, chlorine molecules can get absorbed by the hair during swimming and can turn blonde hair into a greenish color. This may initiate chemical reactions on the hair’s surface which accelerate under the sun.
The same situation happens with ocean water, as it contains a significant level of inorganic metals, calcium and magnesium. These metal components can alter the physical and chemical properties of hair.
Now how do we avoid this problem? It’s highly recommended to use a moisture balancing conditioner or leave-in conditioner before heading to the pool or beach. This minimizes the chance of having chlorine penetration of metal binding with hair. Also to protect your hair, mist your hair with water and applying a few drops of Donna’s Recipe Strength Hair Oil. Filling the hair with moisture instead of water will prevent it from swelling. After swimming, cleanse your hair with a clarifying shampoo, followed by a moisturizing conditioner.
The scorching heat during summer causes you to produce an unfortunate amount of sweat. Human sweat debris can form deposits on the scalp’s surface and hair shaft leaving an undesired aesthetic feel and odor. To help remove these materials from your hair, use a clarifying shampoo, then follow with a deep conditioner to hydrate your hair restoring its natural gloss and texture.