About this time of year, our hair is starting to feel the effects of summer. Harsh sun, swimming in chlorinated pools or salty seawater and the heat are all likely starting to damage your hair. How do you repair it, or better yet, prevent the damage in the first place?
Well, short of covering all your hair every time you go out of the house or wearing a bathing cap when you go swimming, it’s hard to keep your hair perfect throughout the summer. The hair care experts at Pavlova Salon in Smithtown, NY and Wading River, NY offer these tips to keep your hair in tip-top shape.
First, Do No Harm
Wash properly. You’ve been washing your hair all your life and you don’t give it a second thought, right? Well, there’s the right way and the wrong way to shampoo your hair. First of all, make sure your hair is thoroughly wet before you start to add the shampoo. And don’t overuse it. Use only enough to get through all your hair. This shouldn’t amount to more than the size of a quarter in your palm. Rub the shampoo onto both hands before applying and don’t overdo the application. You should only have to lather for about 30 seconds. More than that is overkill. After you wash, rinse your hair with cool water. If you’re washing your hair in the shower, do this right before you get out. This will help to seal in the moisture in your hair (it’s also invigorating for the rest of you).
Go Backwards and Massage. When you get out of the shower, brush your hair from back to front. This will help distribute the natural oils in your hair thoroughly throughout all your hair, whether long or short. You’ll know you’ve brushed well if your scalp starts to tingle. Then massage your scalp with your fingers to get the blood flowing and completely nourish your hair follicles.
Use a Towel before an Appliance. Be sure to thoroughly towel dry your hair before you break out the blow dryer. A wet head will take longer to dry and will keep the heat on too long. Heat from a blow dryer, curling iron, flat iron, etc. can damage hair so the shorter time you have to use your dryer the better. It will also save you time (which no one has enough of anyway).
Stay Static-Free. All that heat can create static that will create those nasty fly-aways and frizz. If you dampen your hairbrush while you’re blow drying, you can reduce the static. Just be sure to keep water away from the blow dryer. Water and electricity don’t mix and can be dangerous.
Brush Gently. Roughly brushing wet hair to get out the tangles is a sure way to cause breakage. Instead, get out as many of the knots with your fingers as you can and then gently comb it out.
Put down that bottle. Before reaching for the styling aids to combat dry or damaged hair symptoms like frizzy or lifelessness, you want to start at the beginning and treat the hair, not the symptoms. Styling aids have their place, but they treat the symptoms, not the disease. Get healthy hair first and you’ll need fewer gels, hair spray, mouse, etc.
Condition for Healthy Hair. Treat your hair to a good conditioning. This will help repair some of the damage the sun, heat, chemicals and salt have already done. Replenish your hair with a good salon-quality moisturizing shampoo and follow with the same quality conditioner. Make sure you thoroughly rinse out all the conditioner. Left in moisturizing conditioner will leave residue on your hair which will just attract dirt and react with other environmental elements to undo the good you accomplished by using it in the first place. Proper shampooing and conditioning will help get your hair ready for the next step.
Leave It In. Leave in conditioners, unlike rinse-out conditioners, are designed to coat and protect your hair after washing and moisturizing. Rather than attracting pollutants, they help seal in the moisture you added with proper washing and conditioning. These products, which are usually sprayed on before styling, protect your hair from the nasty environmental conditions that can damage it.
Call in Professional Help. Just like there are things we can do ourselves to keep ourselves healthy (like proper diet and exercise – which are also good for our hair), when you’re sick or hurt you need to call in a doctor. If, after following this regimen, your hair is still frizzy or lifeless and won’t hold a style, it’s time to call in professional help. The hair stylists at Pavlova Salon in Saint James, NY and Wading River, NY are all trained and experienced hair care professionals who will treat your hair and bring it back to healthy life. Call us in St. James at 631-780-4862 or in Wading River at 631-769-6025 and we’ll be happy to help.