Summertime means getting reunited with the great outdoors. Whether you prefer lounging on the beach, camping in the woods or kayaking down a river, it is crucial to be prepared. While you know that bug spray and sunscreen are a must to protect your skin from the harsh elements, all too often people forget about protecting their scalp and hair from the sun. The same harmful UV rays that you protect your skin from can just as easily burn exposed areas of the scalp and damage your hair.
Use a Spray Sunscreen
Sunscreen is critical when you are outdoors for any length of time, especially in the summer sun. While there are countless formulas and application methods on the market, the sprayable versions tend to work best for the scalp. This is because the lotion varieties can lead to greasiness and noticeable white marks. Simply spray the sunscreen on areas where your scalp is exposed, such as areas that are thinning or along your part line. Be sure to reapply as directed to prevent your scalp from sunburn and damage.
Use Less Shampoo and More Conditioner
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun, consider cutting down on the amount of shampoo you use beforehand. This can strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture which will only be exasperated by the sun’s effects. Likewise, use a hair mask or twice as much conditioner to help your locks retain much needed moisture — before and after sun exposure — to prevent brittle hair or breakage.
Wear a Hat
A hat is the simplest way to protect your scalp and hair from the sun. There are many available that offer built in UV protection for maximum benefits, but any hat that offers full coverage is a good choice. As a bonus, you don’t have to remember to reapply sunscreen or risk your strands looking greasy afterwards.
Swim Caps and Chlorine Protection
Another popular summer activity involves swimming in chlorinated pools. This presents a double whammy for the hair. It is exposed to the sun but also to the chemicals in the pool water. To minimize the drying effect of both, consider wetting your hair with non-chlorinated water before hopping in the pool. This will decrease how much pool water your hair absorbs. Other methods for protection in the pool include wearing a swim cap or coating your hair in an oil like coconut oil beforehand. Just be sure to apply sunscreen to the scalp if you opt not to wear a cap.
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