Now that summer is has officially begun, it’s time to start dealing with the aftermath! When I was growing up, summer meant swimming. Almost every day we swam at a pool or in Lake Michigan. If you haven’t seen it, you should check out the Grand Haven beach, it’s my hometown and the big white sand beach there is amazing! But that meant that my hair could take quite the beating in the summer between sun exposure, chlorine and lake water. At least it was fresh water, not salt water, right? By the end of the summer my hair was dry and my dark blonde/light brown (my natural color when I was growing up) had a tinge of green. This was despite my mom’s best efforts with chlorine shampoo and intensive moisturizers!
Luckily things have changed a bit, and today’s products are more effective. I recently hit Sally Beauty to pick up a few products to use on myself and my 4 year old daughter, who has inherited that dark blonde hair and seems to love the pool as much as I did.
At the Pool
Chlorine can really do a number on your hair. It helps dry it out and the chlorine deposits can give hair a green cast, especially if you have light hair. I’ve found that using a clarifying shampoo to remove the chlorine (and it will also remove other metals such as iron or copper if you have hard water) can really help your hair retain moisture and makes styling more manageable.
I like to use Swimmer’s Shampoo and Conditioner after swimming, removing the chlorine before it really builds up in the hair. This duo from Ion is gentle on your hair and leaves hair soft and easy to manage. If your hair is getting dried out from the pool, I’d add in an intensive moisturizing treatment that doesn’t weigh down hair like the Awapuhi Intensive Treatment.
I also really love the Swimmer’s Leave-In Conditioner if hair is taking an extra beating from the pool water. You can apply it after the conditioner, but it’s also great to spray on damp hair right before swimming, helping to protect your hair from the pool. I rinse off in the shower and then spray a lot of this leave-in on hair to really saturate the hair. It seems to really help hair that’s been damaged by the pool water!
If you’ll be spending time at the beach rather than the pool, then your hair faces different challenges. Instead of chlorine, it will often be salt water that is drying out your hair, unless you’re lucky like I was as a kid and are swimming in fresh water. The sun also can have a dramatic effect on your hair color, especially if you’ve paid a lot of money for professional color!
While at the beach, my first priority is protecting my hair from the sun. While you can mix a bit of water into regular sunscreen to create your own hair sun protection spray, I’ve always found that to be messy and a bit sticky. The Ion Sun Protection Spray is much lighter weight, you really can’t tell that it is in your hair! I like to spray it throughout my hair before going out and then I protect my hair further by wearing a hat.
The beach is actually an amazing place to get an intensive conditioning treatment! Your hair is heating up, making it ideal to soak in conditioner. Using the Awapuhi Intensive Treatment, applying a light layer throughout the hair and then securing it up in a bun will keep your hair out of your face and when you pull down your hair you’ll have amazingly soft waves!
Finally, after a day at the beach, everyone wants the perfect beachy waves! Even if you haven’t been in the water, it’s easy to get the look. I love spraying Surf Shake Sea Salt Texturizing Spray throughout hair and scrunching up to create waves. Follow it up with the Coastal Cooler Cooling Shine Mist, which adds natural shine and helps you cool down after an afternoon in the sun.
What are your favorite tips to help hair survive summer without turning into straw? While I love these products at the pool and beach, I pull them out for days that I’m out in the sun! I love using the Sun Protection Spray for a day at the zoo with my girls so my hair color lasts longer, and the Coastal Cooler Cooling Shine Mist is a nice finishing touch each day to add shine.