Preventing ‘Wicked Witch of the Summer’ Head and Hair
Anyone living through hot summers with high sun is at risk. You know what I mean; parched, limp, flyaway, straw-like hair from too much exposure to sun, sand, salt water, sweat and swimming pool chlorine. Or nasty sunburn on scalps with little or no hair. Either case is wicked scary and even painful in more ways than one!  And don’t let mild temperatures fool you. Direct summer sun, no matter where you live, will work its evil damage anyway.
Unless, that is, you take preventative measures. Here are a few, both obvious and a few that are simple but surprising.

Common Sense Measures-

·        Cover your head and hair when outside with a hat or scarf to limit direct exposure to the sun. We are usually pretty conscious of this during outdoor events or on long outings for reasons of pure comfort. But we forget how often our short exposures when running errands, exercising or walking the dog expose us to the very same sun.

·        Rinse hair thoroughly after swimming in salt or chlorinated water to remove as much of those wicked hair damagers as possible before they can do their dastardly deeds. Not only will your hair love you, so will your scalp and the rest of your skin. Remember to use conditioner after washing for reconditioning, and lovely lotion for restoring suppleness to the rest of your body.

·        Reduce use of hair dryers, curling irons and straightening irons by air drying your hair (out of direct sunlight, of course). For those of you who have hair that needs some help to show off its character, you could go to bed with one or several loose braids in your ever-so-mildly damp or dry hair. A whisk of texturizing spray all over before your head hits the pillow should assure mild waves when you wake up and unravel your braids.

·        Pamper yourself with hair conditioning treatments or masks every month or so during the summer to maintain good moisture content in your strands and follicles.
·        If possible, time your need for hair coloring or highlights for pre-and post-summer as this will cut down on contact with coloring agents or chemicals that add to your risk of damaging dryness.

Did you Know?

·        How about applying a conditioner you leave in BEFORE going out in the sun? That way, the heat actually acts as a stimulant to the conditioner to work its magic and moisten your hair instead of drying it out!

·        Similarly, before dipping into a pool or the sea, wet your hair. That way, your locks are already saturated and have less space per strand to absorb the damaging salt or chlorine.

·        Did you know that by switching your pillowcase from cotton to satin or sateen, you’ll wake up with less flyaway hair?  Why? Because cotton is more highly absorbent and sucks out what moisture there is in your hair.

All in all, taking these measures will make you look fresh and feel full of flair. And we all know looking better will make you feel better. When you feel better you are less stressed, and thus more able to relax and exude healthy radiance. That, too, is part of the recipe for reducing the chances you’ll end up looking like the ‘wicked witch of summer hair damage’.
Now please excuse me while I head for the shaded hammock and sip my Pina Colada!

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