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The summer months can take their toll on our hair and scalp.
Spending an extended period of time in the sun can make hair feel drier and the exposed scalp becomes sore, so it’s essential to keep up with your hair care routine regardless of the weather.
Like our skin, our hair and scalp are vulnerable to sunburn and damage; the sun’s UV rays can make our locks dry and coarse and even fade salon color. As for the scalp, it’s worth remembering that if you go out in the sun without protection, it can burn very quickly.
We all know that a healthy scalp not only improves the speed of hair growth but also increases the strength of the hair shafts, but the protection of the scalp and hair is often overlooked when you go out in the sun.
Trichologist Stephanie Sey explains how to prevent your scalp from burning in the sun and take better care of your hair this summer
“If you’ve been out in the sun a lot and haven’t applied sunscreen to your scalp, you may be wondering if you have a sunburn or a dandruff flare-up,” explains Afro-hair specialist and trichologist stephanie sey.
“If it’s a sunburn, you have a very red, sore scalp and flaking instead of flaking as such. If you suffer from dandruff, you may notice that your dandruff has improved somewhat in warmer weather.
‘Don’t slack! It’s important to make sure you’re still taking care of your scalp and hair during this time.”
Moving on, Stephanie shares her nine top tips for taking better care of your scalp and hair this summer.
1. Don’t give up on your hair care regime
Whether you suffer from dandruff or not, one of the golden rules of good hair care is to maintain a routine. ‘Let’s not be carefree in the summer,’ emphasizes Stephanie. “It’s important to stick to our usual hair care regimen. If you suffer from dandruff, use a medicated shampoo, such as Nizoral, to treat the cause.”
Nizoral is formulated with Ketoconazole, an NHS recommended anti-dandruff shampoo ingredient, which effectively relieves and prevents the symptoms of dandruff
2. Cover up!
Any exposed skin can burn, including your scalp, so just cover your skin to avoid a sore and red hair part. “Wear a hat when out in the sun for sunscreen protection and to protect your locks from damage,” Stephanie advises.
‘UV rays from the sun can break down the cuticles on your hair strands – and wearing a hat protects the hair from damage and your scalp from sunburn.’
This chic beach hat has a UV protection factor (UPF) of 50; the cauldron rim also helps protect your skin and keep the sun out of your eyes
3. Wear SPF
Despite our efforts to protect our skin from sun damage, the scalp and part of the hair at the top of your head are particularly susceptible to sunburn and damage from UV rays.
Stephanie says, ‘The sun’s UVA and UVB rays can damage your scalp and hair. Make sure to apply sunscreen to your scalp and pay particular attention to the areas that are exposed.”
This scalp SPF is just the ticket to preventing red, sensitive scalps with its water-resistant formula and high UVA/UVB protection
4. Wear your hair loose
Did you know that your ponytail or bun can damage your hair? Wearing your hair in the same style every day can add stress and weaken the hair follicles, causing it to break down. “Tight haircuts can damage the hair even more if you already have dried out hair from the summer heat,” explains Stephanie.
So ditch the elastic bands for something gentler on your hair like silk scrunchies that help prevent hair damage.
You can’t beat a 90s silk scrunchie, and this is one of the best on the market for under £10 for creating less friction and protecting your hair from breakage
5. Condition the hair
A good hair treatment is just what you need to salvage dry, damaged, stressed strands. “Try a rich, deep conditioning treatment once a week to give your hair a moisture boost,” recommends Stephanie.
“If you’re going to be swimming a lot, it’s a good idea to apply some conditioner to your hair before swimming or rinse it really well afterwards.”
This best-selling hair mask contains Core Repair technology designed to repair and replenish proteins (hair is 95 percent protein) and protects against future damage
6. Use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush
Stephanie explains how a thicker-toothed comb with wide openings allows greater amounts of hair to pass through, making it “more gentle on detangling hair, especially when wet, as some bristles can tear and lock strands can snag.”
Ideal for all hair types, a wide-tooth comb is great to have on hand when you get out of the shower.
A wide-toothed comb is not only great for detangling, but they can also help distribute the product evenly throughout the hair
7. Give your scalp extra TLC during the summer months
“Wash your hair regularly to remove dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, bacteria and fungus,” recommends Stephanie. “And massage gently with a vibrating massage tool – this will help you relax and increase blood flow to the area and improve circulation.”
If you can’t grab a vibrating massage tool, a silicone scalp brush will also massage the scalp evenly and gently, removing dead skin cells and oil (which can cause dandruff and even hair loss).
When it comes to exfoliating and removing dirt, dead skin cells and product build-up, brushing is more beneficial as fingernails tend to scratch and make the scalp sensitive
8. Use oils
A good hair oil can add shine, tackle frizz, nourish your hair and even help repair damaged strands and promote hair growth.
Stephanie says, ‘Using an oil like coconut oil can lock in moisture and act as a natural antioxidant that protects strands from free radical damage.’
Formulated with argan oil and vitamin E, this luxuriously scented hair oil provides long-lasting frizz control, helping to improve overall condition and elasticity.
9. Spend less time in the sun
Spending too long in the sun can be especially bad for the skin. Be careful not to burn your scalp in the sun, as this will exacerbate flakiness and dryness,” Stephanie says.
While it is wise to seek shade, especially at the height of the day when the sun’s UV rays are strongest, it is still vital to wear SPF. And always stay out of the sun until your scalp heals if you’re sunburnt.
Add some extra shade to your garden with this bestselling parasol. All you need now is SPF and a captivating novel