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FINALLY!  The warmer weather is upon us!  If you are anything like me, you are simply ecstatic this time of year.  I’m thrilled at the renewal of the spring season and the anticipation of everything that summer brings.  I love not being cold, not wearing a coat, eating garden fresh tomatoes, and the smell of new cut grass.  Summer brings back memories of vacations, swimming, riding my bike, and feeling free.

Summer HairAs we go through this season and all the great things it brings, it’s easy to forget some of the negatives about summer.  Things like sunburns, sweating, hot cars, and the worst thing of all… BAD HAIR DAYS!  I see so many people at the end of summer saying “I just don’t know why my hair looks so bad”!  Often the only fix is to cut it shorter.  We all understand that if we get too much sun on our skin, we will get burned and eventually look a little like shoe leather or worse.  We don’t usually think about the fact that our hair is being exposed to all of the same harmful stresses as our skin and that we should protect it as well.  Unlike our skin, our hair is not constantly renewing itself.  If our skin is sun-burned, it improves over a few days as our cells are replaced with new ones.  Our hair however, once damaged, cannot be completely repaired.  Therefore, the ideal fix for summer damage is to protect it from ever happening in the first place.

Among the bad guys of summer hair stresses, these are what I consider to be the worst offenders:  Sun, Chlorine and Wind.

The sun can cause your hair color to change by lightening it.  This is a great benefit when you are 13 and your mom says “No” to highlights, but devastating when you are 30 and just paid $100 or more for the stunning “natural” auburn you chose.  Prevent this type of “fadeage” by using one of the many choices of leave-in conditioners that contain UVA/UVB filters. Leave-in conditioners come in many forms including creams, oils and sprays.  Our favorite for ease of use and results are Aquage Moisture Mist which also boasts great detangling benefits and a fresh fragrance.  Also, Goldwell’s Serum Sprays come in three formulas for customizing to your own color and hair needs.  Use these sprays prior to and during sun exposure to protect your hair from the sun’s damaging rays.

Chlorine Hard on HairChlorine – Ahh, necessary but oh so bad for hair! Just the smell of chlorine makes us think of summer. But if you can still smell that recognizable scent long after you’ve been at the pool or you notice the unmistakable hue of “green” in your hair, you know you have a problem!  Other signs of chlorine damage include overly tangled hair, a slippery, slimy feel when wet, very “crunchy” brittle when dry and a strange, unnatural sheen to the hair.  The best defense is to not allow chlorine to build up in the first place by using a chelating or clarifying shampoo every time you swim.  Malibu C Swimmers Wellness shampoo and Surface Purify Shampoo are among our top choices.  They target the chlorine present in the hair without stripping out the natural moisture and oils.  Also, before diving in, always wet down your hair with water or a leave-in conditioner first.  Hair is like a sponge and once something is fully absorbed into the strands, it is harder for anything else to find its way in.  If you have gotten to the point that maintenance alone cannot remove the buildup, often the best move is to visit the salon for a professional treatment.  Usually, if the chlorine is removed and a deep moisture treatment is done, you can reverse many of the damaging results it can cause.

Wind Hair DamageWind, yes here in the Midwest we see a lot of this!  During summer, it can be more like you are standing in front of a blast furnace!  Many summer activities put us right in the middle of gale force winds but even if you are sitting still while a 20mph “breeze” blows by, it can deplete your hair’s moisture and cause tangles worthy of any young girls’ temper tantrum! (All parents of a girl under 13 know exactly what I mean!)  Again, a leave-in conditioner can help to detangle and repair after the wind has had its way.  There is also a genius tool called the “Wet Brush” that is saving long hair from the snap, crackle, and pop of combing out tangles.  The bristles of the brush are more flexible than others and magically make it through mattes and knots better than any other brush I’ve used.  Sometimes though, there is nothing better than a good, old-fashioned deep conditioner.  There are too many choices to list them all but here is where I always start.  Aquage Healing Conditioner for 10 minutes once a week; Goldwell 60 Second Treatments, and our most recommended is an in-salon service, Maximum Repair Treatment with Surface products.  This intensive treatment is great for summer hair revitalization because it will remove buildup such as chlorine while at the same time; deeply infuse strength and moisture with Amaranth proteins, Aloe, Omega -3, and Flax Seed.  Stop in, we’ll help you select the right products for your hair type.

I hope your summer is full of fun in the sun and that this helps you to keep your hair protected.  If all else fails, put your hair in a super cool braid, spritz the surface with your favorite leave-in conditioner and wear a hat!  There is one last thing however that is just awful and that I have no solutions for, summer is over way too soon!  Have a safe and beautiful summer filled with great hair days!

Chris Rosman, Owner of Reflections a Salon
Omaha, NE

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