Q. BreBeauty, I was wondering if you might have a good recommendation for some type of leave-in conditioner or something similar to keep my hair healthy this summer while I bask in the sun? I do it justice by wearing a hat most days…but am afraid that when I’m hat-less my poor hair is soaking up all that sun damage. Please advise. Thanks, Heather
A. Thanks for the great question! You are smart to want to protect your hair (and scalp) from the sun. You have seen me write, repeatedly, about the necessity of sunscreen. I won’t deny it, I love the stuff! Sunscreen is not only a must for preserving the health of our skin; it’s also a must for our hair. Wearing a hat is always a good idea when heading outside for extended periods of time. On the days you leave the hat at home, you still want to protect yourself. This takes some preparation, and products, on our part (I love hair puns). Keeping our hair healthy in the summer can be a bit of a challenge. Chlorinated pools, saltwater, heat styling, and sun exposure can all wreak havoc on our mane. This is especially true if you have color-treated hair.
Ultraviolet rays can penetrate the cuticle of the hair and oxidize or bleach the color. This explains why blondes go brassy and brunettes turn red in the summer months. Simply put, UV exposure can ruin your color. It can also cause your hair to turn gray faster. Dermatologists (and hair stylists) can see this when the side you part your hair on turns gray sooner than the rest of your hair. What is a girl to do? As per the FDA, hair products cannot advertise an SPF (the FDA reserves that for skin products only). However, you want to look for hair products and formulas that have UV filters. These key ingredients, such as benzophenone and ethlyhexylmethoxycinnamate, help protect your hair from UV damage and help preserve the life of your color.
What you use to protect your hair depends on your activity. If you’re going to spend a day at the beach, I would advise you use a styling cream or leave in conditioner or even a hair masque. These tend to stay on the hair longer especially with swimming and perspiring. Leave in conditioners or styling creams provide more coverage than sprays. If you are going to spend the day outside running errands or attending barbeques, a UV spray would be your best bet. Remember, sunscreen everyday of at least an SPF 30 is a non negotiable. Using either a spray or a stick sunscreen, apply sun protection to your hairline and part.
Here are my picks for UV products that protect your lovely locks:
Barex Italiana Sun Essential Oil- This organic gardenia scented product uses ethlyhexylmethoxycinnamate and conditioners to soften and protect your strands from chlorine, UV rays, and salt water. Spritz it on when you’re at the pool or the beach and pull your hair back into a slick ponytail, a sexy runway inspired look for summer.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum- This Allure Best of Beauty winner is a cult favorite. Delivers high shine and leaves hair looking healthy. Apply it to wet or damp hair and allow it to air dry for an effortless, yet polished look.
Goldwell DualSenses Sun Reflects Leave-In Protect Spray- This product does double duty. Spray it on before heading to the pool or beach to protect your hair color from fading, and use it after a shower to remove snarls and tangles. This tropical scented (passion fruit and mangoes) spray leaves hair hydrated and soft.
L’Oreal Paris Vive Pro Color Vive Conditioner- This thick conditioner preserves hair color while detangling and softening dry or damaged hair. You can use this in the shower during the summer months, or apply it to your damp hair as a leave in conditioner before heading to the beach. Not recommended for fine or oily hair.
Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Beachcomber Leave-In Conditioner- This summer scented spray uses UV filters and sea algae to condition and protect your strands. It is clear and nongreasy, perfect for an outdoor barbeque. Spray your hair with this and leave it au natural or weave into a braid.
What are your go to hair products in the summer? Do you have a favorite UV filter hair product?
Do you have any reader questions? Summer skin or hair issues? Leave it in a comment or shoot me an email, I am happy to help!