Less stress for your tresses

Alisha Shinde
Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Summers can be harsh on your hair. Experts tell you how to protect your mane from the harmful UV rays and humidity during the hot, sweltering months

With summer fast approaching most of you must have started stocking up on hydrating gels for the face and the best possible SPF creams or sprays for the  skin to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. But while you are at it, do not forget that harsh summers can be bad for the hair as well. The heat from the sun and the harmful UV rays can damage the hair follicles, leaving them dry and unhealthy. 

Talking to hair experts, we bring to you summer haircare tips that you will find beneficial.  

EFFECTS OF HARSH HEAT
Ramakrishna Bangalore, co-founder of Aroma Essentials, says that the scalp largely gets affected during summer. A lot of people complain about hair breakage as well during this season. Additional sweat causes clogging of the pores of the scalp which can lead to hairfall. 

To maintain hair during the hot months, use a mild shampoo and a good conditioner, followed by hydrating products which are easily available in the market. “But if you like using natural ingredients you can also put curd on your hair in summer. Keeping the hair and scalp cool, the curd helps protect the hair from the sun’s rays,” he says. 

Dr Omkar Kulkarni from R&D team of Netsurf Network points out that the hair tends to become dry and rough on extreme exposure to the sun because of which it loses its natural moisture and nutrients. “For this very reason, make sure to cover your head when you step out,” Kulkarni advises.  

HAIRCARE
It is often believed that haircare is similar for all types of hair. But that’s not true. 

Namita Gadkari from R&D team of Netsurf Network says, “Haircare depends on the type, length and thickness of hair. If your hair type is dry, then use conditioner after shampooing and keep it for a longer period of time (5-10 minutes approximately) before washing.” One must massage oil on the scalp before shampooing, she adds. “If your hair type is oily, then using hair mask is better than using a conditioner after shampooing and for a combination hair type, use equal amount of shampoo and conditioner,” she advises. 

Mohit Bhatia, founder, Fuschia by Vkare, says that finer, lighter hair is particularly vulnerable to sun damage as it lacks the thickness or pigment that can protect it from the sun’s rays while darker, coarser hair usually is oilier and its thickness too helps protect it from UV rays. 

“So when it comes to choosing a conditioner, pick one that is appropriate for your hair colour and type, as well as the climate of the place you live in. If you have fine hair, look for a volumising formula,” he says. 
        
SUNSCREENS FOR THE HAIR
Bhatia says that hair sunscreens are UV-filtering products that put a protective barrier between your hair and the sun’s rays and protects your scalp against damage. “These products are available in the market and are quite useful,” he says. 

Gadkari adds that hair protective sunscreens can be made at home as well. “To make a natural sunscreen for the hair, make a blend of coconut and almond oil, and apply on the hair before stepping out and you are good to go,” she says.  

OIL MASSAGE
Oil massages are not only relaxing but are also good for improving the overall structure of your hair. However, Bangalore points out that in summer a lot of people complain that their scalp becomes oily due to sweating, so hair oil can further create a problem. So he recommends applying  hair oil one hour before washing the hair or applying products like onion paste and amla oil that will nourish the hair and the scalp. 

Kulkarni rightly points out that choosing the right blend of hair oil, the frequency of its use and the massage method are all important. “Considering the excessive heat during summer, using a cooling coconut oil will be good. You can further enhance its properties by processing it with aloe vera juice, hibiscus flowers or Brahmi oil for soothing and nourishing effects,” he says adding that the oil needs to be washed off to ensure proper cleansing of the scalp. 

Bhatia shares some summer haircare tips when styling the hair:
- Go slow on dryer, and avoid heat styling as much as possible.
- If you wish to use a dryer, wash hair at least 30-40 minutes before and give adequate time for the hair to dry by itself.
- Sun lightens the tone of hair colour and makes coloured hair more prone to damage, so choose wisely.

Essential summer haircare products
- Light textured shampoo and hair conditioner (with some UVA-UVB protection)
- Hair oil
- Hair cream / moisturiser (additionally for dry hair types)

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