Summer hair: how to protect them from salt, chlorine, UV rays

Sun, heat, sweat and sea water can attack hair and make it more fragile. In fact, in the summer, there are many ruthless enemies of our hair, which can lose their shine and vitality. We talked about it with the doctor Pamela D’Amicohead of the Milan office of the Helvetico Sanders Institute, who explained how to protect my hair in the summer, without sending their beauty on vacation.

Doctor D’Amico, is it true that summer hair is more fragile?

«Yes, the accused are above all the sun’s rays, which have a dehydrating effect on the hair, because they drain the water reserves and consequently make them drier, dull and brittle. If we then expose ourselves to the sun for a long time, in the hottest hours of the day and without any protection, the bonds between the keratin molecules that are present in the hair can break, damaging the structure of the shaft and facilitating the appearance of split ends. Bathing in the sea or swimming pool can amplify the damage, both because wet hair becomes more porous and allows ultraviolet rays to reach even deeper, and because salt and chlorine are deposited on the outside of the hair with a fading effect ».

Does the problem concern everyone or are there people more predisposed to weakening than others?

«The hair of those who unsafely expose themselves to the sun for prolonged times are at risk, but obviously stronger and thicker stems are less affected. More attention, however, must pay people who have i very thin hair or treated “.

Do you mean colored hair?

«In reality, the most aggressive treatments, such as the discoloration or the perm, which put a strain on the health of the stem, causing it to lose body and structure. Particular attention must be paid to those with bleached hair, because UV rays easily fade the color artificial, making the hair duller and lacking in tone. A separate discussion deserve the dyeslike those used to cover gray hair: today there are professional colors based on natural pigments or without ammonia, less invasive ».

To protect ourselves from sun damage, is it better to wear bandanas, scarves and hats or is a good UV protection enough?

«As usual, teamwork makes the difference, even when it comes to good habits. In the sun it is good to use a bonnet lightweight and in cotton, which favors the transpiration of the skin but which at the same time protects against burns of the scalp. On the lengths, however, it is necessary use specific sun products, in oil, cream or spray, specifically formulated with a protective filter to keep hair hydrated during exposure, preventing dryness and drying out. In the long days at sea, these products must be renewed several times a dayespecially after baths and showers, in order to maintain constant effectiveness ».

In view of the holidays, can cutting your hair help?

«The idea that cutting hair strengthens it is a false myth, because the lengths are made up of keratinized cells, now devoid of any vital function. In other words, the visible part of the hair is a dead structure, while vitality is in the bulb within the hair follicle, a sac-like structure found in the dermis. Having said that, giving a scissor kick can be useful for eliminating split ends, a rather common problem for which there are no other remedies ».

Sweating more tends to increase personal hygiene. Is there a number of times we can or should we wash our hair?

“When we meet at the seais important to wash them every night to remove all residues of salt, sand and sunscreens, using a mild shampoo, low foaming and low in surfactants. To restore hydration and elasticity to the lengths, there is plenty of choice on the market, because we can choose products with a nourishing, restructuring or revitalizing action, in order to restore the physiological conditions of the stem. But in general, beyond the holidays, it is essential to keep the skin and hair clean. We can also do it every day if we sweat a lot or if we practice physical activity, because daily hygiene does not weaken them, rather it preserves them from the harmful effects of sweat, smog and other external agents: the important thing is to choose quality products suitable for our scalp”.

Is it true that if you wash them more, your hair gets dirty sooner?

“In general, washing your hair often does not make it greasy, but we must be careful not to” stress “the scalp too much with aggressive detergents that they can alter the normal hydrolipidic film and cause states of skin alteration. For those with a tendency to produce a lot of sebum, washing the hair is a panacea and you can alternate the use of a shampoo with a sebum-regulating action with another more delicate. With a specialist, it is good to evaluate your situation to understand the type of scalp and choose the best products for cleansing ».

Is it a good habit to finish shampooing with a mask?

“Absolutely yes. We can choose those that in the INCI contain active ingredients such as olive oil, wheat germ, almond oil and plant extracts with a moisturizing, restructuring and nourishing effect. Pampering your hair after having subjected it to sun, sea salt or chlorine, is the right key to keeping it healthy, but the rule applies all year round: a good mask helps to detangle the hair, making it more manageable and less at risk of breakage. during brushing ».

Can drying your hair in the open air, putting the hairdryer aside, be a good habit?

“Of course. The shaft of our hair is characterized by a first external layer, called the cuticle, which is formed by 5-6 layers of keratinized cells arranged like the tiles of a roof: if these tiles are arranged correctly, the hair reflects the light and consequently it’s bright. The direct heat of a hairdryer or straightener, on the other hand, lifts the tiles, making the hair less shiny but also more susceptible to structural damage. This means that taking advantage of the beautiful days to dry the hair in the air can have great benefits ».

How important is nutrition in the summer?

«The diet we follow is always essential for our hair. In summer, in particular, with the greatest sweating we lose precious minerals, so it becomes even more important to follow a varied, balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, sources of minerals and antioxidants. Also meat is essential for its iron and biotin content, the latter also present in eggs. Not even the blue fishrich in Omega 3, good fatty acids that can restore brightness and strength to the hair ».

Can specific supplements for hair and nails be useful?

«Following the right diet, varied, balanced and complete, supplements are almost never necessary. It is also true, however, that in periods of greater psychophysical stress or in the hottest season of the year, when sweating is more intense, it can be useful to make supplements. Minerals and trace elements such as zinc, selenium, copper or silicon favor the well-being of the hair, but biotin-based supplements, vitamin of group B which favors the strengthening of nails and hair. The important thing is to take these products for at least three months, because the results are not immediately visible ».

And what to do after returning from holidays?

«After the summer, it is useful to rely on your trusted hairdresser to first eliminate split ends or portions of the shaft that have been damaged and faded due to sun, sea or chlorine. A specialist consultation can instead help us to resolve any anomalies in the fall or in the capillary mass, such as loss of volume, thinning of the hair or even thinning. In this way, you can evaluate if you really need to worry and run for cover or if maybe everything is back to normal ».