All of us would love to spend a hot summer day frolicking around at the beach- getting that beautiful summer tan and relaxing in the refreshing waves. But the reality is very unlike the models we see in magazines, showing off their beautiful, perfect hair at the beachy waves. In fact, many of us are unaware of the toll that this can take on our gorgeous tresses. The radiations from the hot sun, the salts in the water and the sand can prove to be a deadly combination against your hair and damage it, making it dirty, dry and unruly.
Why Do You Need Protection?
The outermost layer of your hair called the cuticle can wear off because of constant styling that you indulge in every day, and this leaves the delicate inner layers exposed and consequently, more prone to suffering damage. Exposure of your vulnerable hair to the UV rays in the sun can hence dehydrate your hair, leaving it dry and dull. It might even fade the colour of your hair and make it brittle and prone to damage. If you do not take adequate measures to protect your hair, it can suffer irreversible damage in the form of loss of texture and shine. Additionally, exposure to salty water for a prolonged period of time worsens the situation as your hair will absorb it, and its moisture content will dip even lower. Damaged hair can be more prone to breakage while you brush through it and can give rise to a lot of other hair problems too.
So if you want to enjoy your day lazing around at the beach or swimming in the ocean without proper care, then these tips will help you do so without damaging your precious locks.
Beach Hair Care Guide Tips
1. Wear A Hat
The best way to protect your hair from damage would be to minimize its exposure to the sun, and a hat is just perfect for this job. You can choose a stylish, full-coverage hat or even a scarf or a cap that fits in with your outfit and rock your beach look while also protecting your hair from the sun. To protect your scalp as well as the ends of your hair, you might even choose to tuck your hair into the ends of your hat or scarf.
2. Untangle Your Hair
Tangled hair is more prone to being damaged, especially if you try to untangle it while it is still wet. This is because wet hair is weak and breaks off pretty easily if yanked at during the process of detangling. If the hair is wet because of salty water, the situation worsens. It will look very messy and will suffer a lot of damage if you try to remove the knots in it at a later stage. To avoid this, you should properly brush out your hair and remove all the knots in it before you expose it to the sea.
3. Choose The Correct Hairdo
Before you go and immerse yourself in the ocean’s waves, it is a good idea to wear your hair up. You may choose any hairstyle, preferably a stylish braid or a bun, as suits your outfit. You can even experiment with the type of braid you choose to wear your hair in (like a french braid, a dutch braid or a fishtail braid) and it can completely revamp your beach look. If your hair is braided, it will be easier for you to brush it later and you will not suffer from breakage, as braided hair does not get tangled or knotted easily.
4. Soak It In Freshwater
This might sound a little unconventional to you, but you should soak your hair in freshwater right before you jump into the sea. This can reduce the damage caused to it by the salts present in ocean water. The reason is that if your hair is already soaked in fresh water, it will not absorb as many salts that can damage it as it would have had it been directly exposed to it in a dry state. This happens because the hair absorbs the freshwater, and it forms a protective coating over it. This prevents the salt from causing damage to your hair by completely drying it out and leaving it frizzy, brittle and very vulnerable to breakage.
5. Stay Hydrated
One of the best ways to prevent your scalp and hair from drying out and avoiding the consequential breakage and frizz is staying hydrated. While you are at the beach, make sure you drink water at regular intervals since your level of hydration will surely minimize the damage suffered by your hair. As much as it is crucial to protect your hair from outer damage, it is also of essence to ensure your scalp is less susceptible to breakage by keeping your roots and your hair shaft hydrated from the inside.
6. Use Leave-In Conditioner
To prevent your hair from drying out, you can use a leave-in conditioner in it to lock in the moisture and keep the salts away from it. Your hair will end up absorbing the conditioner instead of the salts in the water, and this will prevent it from draining all the moisture from it. It is always better to go for a conditioner which can also give you the benefits of sunscreen. A leave-in conditioner with sun protection will not just increase the moisture content in your hair, but will also create a protective layer between your hair and the harmful rays of the sun as well the strong salts in the water. This step becomes even more significant if you have had any form of colour treatment done to your hair since UV rays from the sun can cause premature fading of the colour.
7. Rinse Immediately
As soon as you are done with your day at the beach, you should rinse out your hair with plain, fresh and preferably cold water. This is important to ensure that the salts that may have accumulated in it throughout the day do not get a chance to stay in it for longer than it can take, in which case they will seep in and cause damage. If it is possible, you should not wait until you get home and should use the showers at the beachsides itself to rinse out your hair after you swim in the sea. This helps to get rid of the salt build-up, unclog your scalp and restore the moisture in the hair follicles.
8. Do Not Blow-Dry
After you have washed your hair with shampoo at the end of your day at the beach, it is advisable to not use a blow-dryer to dry it. Even before you are planning to go to the beach, you should cut out using a blow-dryer since this can strip your hair of moisture and make room for breakage and damage, which will be worsened by exposure to the sun and salty water at the beach. You should give your hair a break of at least 48 hours from any form of heat styling, both after and before you hit the beach. If you must use it, make sure that it is set to lower temperatures. The best option to deal with wet hair would be to first wrap it in a towel to absorb all the moisture and then comb in using your fingers or a comb with wide teeth. Then just apply styling cream and scrunch up the strand in your hand to maintain your natural texture.
9. Apply A Hydrating Hair Mask
After a hard day out in the sun and salty water, your hair deserves some love and pampering and a hair mask that will moisturize and condition it is the perfect option for you to give it that. If you are not a fan of artificial cosmetic products, you can even create your own hydrating hair masks with natural ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil, aloe vera or yoghurt. Restoring your hair’s moisture content will help rejuvenate it after your day at the beach, and will prevent breakage and frizz.
You should definitely have your share of fun at the beach during summer, but always remember to remember that your hair is a part of it. Just as the rest of your body needs to be protected from the harsh rays and the salty water when you are at the beach, so do your locks. So follow these tips to ensure that you do not put your beautiful, silky and shiny tresses at risk, especially after you have always worked so hard to maintain it and nourish it. Locking in the moisture in your hair is truly the best way to fight the harsh summer, while also enjoying it to the fullest.
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(Reviewed by Dr. Samiksha Rane)
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