It’s blazing hot outside, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. You’ve probably been protecting your skin with sunscreens but what about your hair? Your gorgeous mane deserves to be kept safe from the unforgiving sun. Don’t worry, as always, we are here for you. We asked haircare experts how to keep our hair healthy and lustrous through the summer. Apart from the general guidelines on how to keep your hair healthy in the heat, we also got them to tell us specific haircare tips for different kinds of hair. So, it doesn’t matter whether you have straight hair, curly hair, wavy hair, or tight coily curls. You’ll find all your summer haircare tips and solutions here.
Before getting into the specific hair types, here are a few general guidelines on how to keep your hair shiny and healthy in the summer.
1. Don’t over wash
The heat and the sweat will make you want to wash your hair every single day. We get it. But this practice is doing more harm than good to your hair. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Dermatologist and Hair Transplant Surgeon at MedLinks, tells us, “Over washing can lead to loss of natural oils and make the hair dry and brittle… Instead of over washing, use a soft shampoo and condition it well. Also, dry shampoo is a good option in the summer. You can use dry shampoo once a week to avoid over washing.”
2. But don’t let sweat and grime build up
While not washing your hair too much sounds like a great deal, you shouldn’t let the sweat and grime sit in your hair for too long. According to Manish Chowdhary of Wow Cosmetics, you should use hair products which wash away the sweat build-up. “Heat aggravates the sweat glands around your scalp and hair follicle leading to a greasy scalp,” Mr Chowdhary says. “Pollution and increased dust in the environment lead to grime in the hair.”
3. Wear a scarf on your head to protect your hair from the sun
One of the most common hair complaints for this time of the year is frizz. This problem isn’t limited to curly or wavy hair. Even if your hair is straight and mostly problem-free, you will face some amount of frizz in this hot weather. To avoid that, wear a scarf on your head to protect your hair from the sun. This will also help to keep heat headaches at bay if you’re out in the sun for a long time.
4. Oil, condition, and use hair serum regularly
No matter what kind of hair you have, there is a perfect hair oil for you. And in the summer, it’s even more important to use it, even though you may not feel like it. According to Mr Chowdhary, “The three basic products you should own and use on a regular basis are shampoo, conditioner, and a hair serum. And, once a week, massage your hair with hair-restoring oil. This will ensure your hair is in top shape.”
While these general guidelines are great for everyone to follow, there are certain differences in summer haircare for different kinds of hair. Something that works like a charm on straight hair may have absolutely no effect on curly hair. So, we asked the Dr Chaturvedi and Mr Chowdhary about how to care for straight, wavy, curly and coily hair in the summer.
This seems to be the easiest hair type to manage in the summer. According to Dr Chaturvedi, “Straight hair doesn’t need much conditioning since it’s typically soft and smooth. However, straight hair has a higher tendency to lack volume, look flat, and get greasier than other hair types. Use a sulfate-free shampoo to go longer between washes.”
If your hair is straight and thin, your haircare routine needs to be different. “Start off with a shampoo that gives volume, and then apply some volume-enhancing mask to your hair,” Mr Chowdhary says. “To give a lift to your roots, don’t get conditioner anywhere near them. Hold your wet hair high as if in a ponytail. Apply conditioner only to the tail. Wash off with tepid water. For very fine and thin hair, use a serum to control the flyaway strands.”
Greasy hair is another problem that is more evident in people with straight hair. To counter this problem, Manish Chowdhary gave us some excellent tips.
“If you wash your hair with a gentle, protective shampoo, even on a daily basis, it will keep your scalp clean and itch-free,” he says. “It’s okay to shampoo daily if you tend to sweat a lot. It’s like soaping your skin daily, which is a must for healthy skin. You can use a conditioner to smoothen out the cuticles and restore shine. For those with thin or lightweight hair, using a serum to protect the hair is better than using a conditioner as that can make the hair limp and greasy in appearance.”
“Wavy hair can get greasy at the scalp and dry at the ends. It’s also prone to frizz,” Dr Chaturvedi says. “Wash wavy hair two to three times per week and use a dry shampoo on the days you don’t wash it.” If you have wavy hair, do deep conditioning twice a month for healthy, shiny hair.
According to Mr Chowdhary, “Girls with naturally wavy hair should play up the waves rather than trying to tame them. Use a hair smoothening shampoo and curl enhancing conditioner. Avoid rubbing your wet hair with a towel to dry your hair. Instead, squeeze out the excess water. After that, use a wide-toothed comb and run it down gently through your strands. Apply a shine enhancing serum through your waves and let it air dry.”
One of the most difficult kinds of hair to manage is curly hair. Heat styling does no good to your hair, especially when it’s already dry and brittle. You need to be able to define your curls and keep them healthy with your products without overworking your hair. “The greatest challenges for curly hair types are frizz, lack of curl and dryness,” Dr Chaturvedi says. “Wash curly hair once or twice a week with a nourishing, sulfate-free shampoo, and use a conditioner.”
Curly hair needs to be treated gently. As with wavy hair, don’t rub your hair with a towel when it’s wet. Squeeze out the water and let it air dry. Don’t comb your hair when it’s dry. Use a wide-toothed comb while it’s damp. But remember to use a smoothening serum before you do that. Conditioner and oiling are essential for curly hair. Use a combination of castor, coconut and bhringraj oil once a week to define your curls and keep them nourished.
“Coily hair is composed of tight curls ranging from fine to coarse, and it is the most fragile of all hair types,” Dr Chaturvedi says. “Wash your hair just once a week with a co-wash, rather than a traditional shampoo and conditioner. Treat your hair with heavy oils and coating butters, like shea butter, right after a shower, and put it through a pre-wash treatment with hot oil.”
Remember to stay hydrated and to keep your hair nourished. If coily hair becomes dry, it can break easily.
Another hair problem in the summer is an itchy scalp. With all the sweat build-up, itchy scalps are common but completely avoidable.
“Oily hair with a dry scalp is a definite sign of mineral deficiency,” Mr Chowdhary says. “So, you need to certainly improve water intake but may need multi-mineral supplements initially. This problem can also occur due to overuse of harsh anti-dandruff products which strip away the protective mantle from your hair. Keep your scalp fresh with a clearing shampoo. Look for actives like tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender to refresh your scalp.”
Follow this guide, ladies, and watch your hair problems vanish!