Summertime Hair & Skincare, Part I: Beat the Heat

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Ahh, the summertime woes of haircare. The heat, the sun, the endless days of pool time all make for a hard time keeping your hair perfect. But it doesn’t have to throw off your schedule!

Let's dive into exactly what all of those summertime elements are doing to your hair and skin, and how to minimize the effects.

Sunshine Days

It’s a common misconception that the sun is closer to Earth during the summer months, but it’s actually the opposite. The sun is farther away from us leading up to July, and closest to the Earth leading up to January. So what does this mean?

Have you ever taken a magnifying glass and focused light on something to create a small spark or fire? This essentially is what happens during the summer. The sun’s rays hit at such a steep angle that the sunbeams are more focused. Not only that, but we have longer daylight hours during the summer months, and the Earth has longer to heat up. MMMMM, toasty.

But, don’t worry, there are ways of protecting your skin and hair.

The best way to minimize damage and to prolong the longevity of our skin and hair is by avoidance, at least during the peak hours of noon to 4 pm. But since we can’t always avoid the sun’s rays, it’s best to wear a hair and skin SPF. Check out this cool list from Elle magazine online of some great products.

And don’t forget to put sunscreen on the top of your ears, lips, nose, shoulders and the tops of your hands!

Heat Protectant vs. SPF

Your next layer of sun protection is a heat protectant. They are not the same as an SPF, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The sun can break down the melanin in our hair, causing the color to fade and the protein between the cell layers to thin. Heat protectants help to create an oil barrier in between the hair follicle and the heating tool to minimize mechanical damage to the keratin.

Just hydrate first with ONLY Conditioner, then use a product with an SPF. Then apply a heat protectant to ensure you’re fully protected.

It is very important to know that if you’ve been using ONLY Conditioner or ONLY Everything as your cowash, and you use a silicone based product, you will also need a clarifying shampoo to release the silicones from your hair and prevent frizziness. Silicones, which can cling to hair and cause a film, need to be broken down.

Not every oil is a heat protectant, either. An oil will only be viable up to its smoke point, the point at which it starts to break down and oxidize — i.e., the point at which it starts to cook your hair instead of protecting it.

Next up: Protecting your hair and skin from prolonged exposure to water.