How to change your hair care routine in summer
July, 1 2021 | By Dr. Sangay Bhutia (Hair Transplant Specialist in Delhi)
Summer can be a fairly stressful time. The sweltering heat and humidity is not just uncomfortable, it is also rough on our skin and hair. Our hair tends to become dry, frizzy, and brassy as the temperature rises, and it may even start to fall.
We may not hear about it often but harmful ultraviolet rays not just affect our skin but they also dry out the hair shaft, leading to a fair amount of summer hair troubles. To top it all is the frizz, particularly troublesome for those with wavy or curly hair. Our hair soaks up moisture from the air in summer, which makes the shaft swell up causing the hair to look frizzy.
All of this can be pretty troublesome. So what should we do to protect our hair in this season and keep it looking shiny, bouncy, and healthy.
First of all, protect your hair from the sun, just like you protect your skin. Do not expose your hair to the sun for too long. It is advisable to wear a hat or a scarf, or carry an umbrella if you are going to spend a lot of time in the sun. You can also use serums or other hair products that contain a UV filter. Overexposure to UV rays can damage the cuticle and make hair dry, brittle, frizzy, and even cause split ends. For those with coloured hair, it can cause discolouration as well.
A smart thing to do is to go out early in the day or in the evening if you can, so that you skip the sun at its harshest. This will protect both your skin and hair.
The second important thing to remember during summer is to protect your hair from chlorinated water when you swim. Water in the pool is not good for the hair. You should soak your hair in freshwater or use a leave-in conditioner before jumping into the pool, this way your hair won't absorb as much chlorinated water. Chlorine strips the hair's natural oils making it rough and brittle.
It is highly recommended that you wear a swim cap, it's the best protection for your hair in the pool. Once you are out of the pool, rinse your hair in the shower, and you can use a mild shampoo if needed. It will help wash away any chemicals and help keep your hair clean.
The third important thing is to minimise your usage of hot tools. Hot tools should not be overused in any season, but particularly in summer. If you can ditch them completely in summer, you will do your hair a huge favour. But considering the frizz, most people tend to use more styling products and hot tools in summer.
If you do, it is important to always use a heat protectant serum and not keep the hot tools for too long on one spot. If you use a straightener or curling iron on your hair, it may also make them more vulnerable to UV damage. So use these tools sparingly during this season. One way to use a little bit less of hot tools is by simply trying loose hairstyles instead of straightening or curling your hair.
Fourth, keep your hair clean and use moisturising products. Since we perspire more in summer, you may be washing your hair more frequently. It's ideal to wash your hair about 2-3 times a week, but if you live in a tropical place or workout regularly, you may need to do it more frequently. In that case use a mild and moisturising shampoo and conditioner; sulphate and paraben-free products are gentle on the hair. If you are using styling products, make sure that there is no product build up in your hair. It can cause dandruff and weaken hair leading to hair fall. It is important to keep your scalp clean in summer for it to stay healthy.
Fifth, some people find warm oil massages useful for keeping their hair moisturised in this season. Now, there is a lot of debate on whether oiling is actually good for your hair or not. Here's the thing, it is the act of massaging your scalp that helps in improving the circulation in your scalp, which helps essential nutrients reach your hair follicles. This helps in keeping your hair healthy and may prevent hair fall as well.
Lastly, but most importantly, healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle are most essential for healthy hair, no matter what season it is. In summer, you must also keep yourself hydrated, it is good for your body and for your hair. Avoid sugary drinks, have regular water, lime water, or coconut water instead.
In terms of diet, hair loves protein, iron, and Vitamins A, C, D, E, and biotin. Minerals like zinc and selenium are essential for hair follicles to grow and stay nourished as well. Protein makes up almost 90% of our hair; include protein-rich sources like eggs, lean meats, poultry, fish, seafood, milk, yogurt, cheese, to your diet.
Additionally, foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, strawberries, peppers, guavas, almonds, grains, are great sources of various vitamins. Whereas meat, dairy, shellfish, whole grains, flax, and pumpkin seeds, cashews and almonds are good sources of zinc; whereas fish and eggs contain selenium. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables like watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe, cucumber and squash, all of them with a high water content is great for your hair and general health during summer as well.