Most of us are quick to acknowledge the need to protect our skin from the rigors of summer heat and sun. But come Labor Day a quick glance in the mirror frequently lets us know what we forgot to protect — our hair. Indeed, a season of exposure to sun, salt water, and chlorine chemical residues — not to mention a few extra chemical “sun” streaks for style — can come together to wreak havoc on our tresses. As your tan fades and fall approaches, chances are your sun-streaked summer hair could use a little TLC.
You conquered summer in a big way. You played in the surf any time you could, and never missed an opportunity to frolic in the pool. But has all that sun and fun left your tresses looking stressed, dry and damaged? Ultrabeauty offers simple, practical solutions. With these 5 expert tips, you’ll be on your way back to those rich, luscious locks in no time!
1. DRIED & FRIED
The Challenge: Saltwater and chlorine have you all dried out.
The Fix: The moisture literally gets sucked out of your hair when you go for a dip in the ocean or the pool. Dry hair in general, and long hair in particular, can turn into straw-¬like strands. Restoring natural proteins is essential to returning your locks to optimum health, which is why we recommend a sulfate¬-free shampoo and conditioner. ALTERNA CAVIAR ANTI-AGING MOISTURE INTENSE OIL CRÈME SHAMPOO AND DEEP CONDITIONER set is great for cleansing, hydrating, and softening hair.
Expert Tip: If you swim in the ocean or in a chlorinated pool, make sure to rinse your hair with clear water as soon as possible.
The Challenge: Those split ends are spreading fast.
The Fix: Sun, salt water, wind and chlorine are enough to deal with, but to help keep split ends from spreading, you should also avoid over¬-brushing your hair. Seems counterintuitive, right? Here’s how it works. When you brush your hair, it stretches, causing strain. This strain can eventually lead to split ends. It’s good to remember that the ends of your hair are the oldest section, and they can break at the slightest bit of strain. Your ends require a lot of love, so remember to pay special attention to them when you moisturize and condition.
Expert Tip: Avoid brushing hair when it’s wet. Always try to use your fingers or a wide-¬toothed comb, which will gently glide through the hair, and loosely manage your locks without as much breakage.
3. YIKES, STRIPES!
The Challenge: Your sun-kissed highlights have turned unnaturally stripey.
The Fix: Frequent contact with chlorine and saltwater can lift color and excessive amounts of UV exposure can strip the glossy coating and change the shade and composition of your hair. But there’s a secret for touching up sun-saturated highlights: hair gloss. It will return silkiness and shine to your lackluster locks. It works because a gloss closes the hair and cuticle very tightly, which results in a very smooth texture that reflects more light and has a much softer feel to it.
Expert Tip: On porous hair, tinted gloss can actually last longer than permanent color because the color absorbs into the hair and works as a stain—all without opening your hair cuticle further, which makes color fade faster.
4. FADING FAST
The Challenge: You did an all¬-over color treatment, and it’s fading fast.
The Fix: Hair color that doesn’t dry or damage your hair is key to color longevity, because if your hair is damaged, the color fades more quickly.
Expert Tip: If you’re going on a beach vacation, wait a week after you’ve color¬-treated and apply a deep conditioner. Leave it on for at least 10 minutes, then rinse. This makes hair less porous, and helps prevent damage from the effects of ocean water and chlorine.
5. NOT SO FAIR WEATHER
The Challenge: You stayed away from the ocean and the pool, but your hair got sun damaged anyway.
The Fix: Just like your skin can age prematurely from hours in the sun, your hair can take on that unsightly weathered and worn look from taking on too many UVA/UVB rays, which damages the cuticle (the outside layer of the hair strand). Light¬-colored and fine hair is the most susceptible to sun damage—dark and coarse hair has more built¬-in pigment to protect it. Signs of sun damage include discoloration, dry and brittle strands, frizziness, unmanageable texture and unusually quick drying. To combat the sun, it’s best to use a shampoo and conditioner that offers UVA/UVB protection. ALTERNA BAMBOO COLOR HOLD VIBRANT COLOR SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER set helps to cleanse, hydrate, soften, and strengthen hair, and it includes UVA and UVB protection.
Expert Tip: Wearing a hat is the best way to protect your hair from sun damage. Plus, it can help protect against heat stroke and sun-¬induced headaches. If you’re a fashion rebel, wear a scarf or bandana that coordinates with your swimwear.