Repair Summer-Damaged Hair
Undo Sun and Chlorine Damage
"When women are busy and active in the summer, they often forget to take care of their hair," says Sam Villa, design training consultant for Redken. The result, come September: dry, damaged locks that lack luster. To nurse your hair back to health, try these strategies:
1. Start with a trim. Sun and chlorine can sap your hair's natural oils, which under normal circumstances keep it protected and supple. This results in split ends and frizziness. A trim of half an inch makes hair look better instantly.
2. Rehydrate daily. In place of your regular conditioner, look for a product that's made for after-sun use, like John Frieda's Kelp Help ($6.50). These hydrating hair balms are often richer and more healing than traditional conditioners. Apply conditioner after you shampoo. "Rinse it out like conditioner if your hair is relatively healthy. Or, if hair is very damaged, don't rinse and use as a leave-in," says Villa.
3. Use the right shampoo. Shampoos made to wash out chlorine are great for days when you're actually swimming. But if you already have chlorine damage, those shampoos don't do much good. Instead, use a hydrating type like Biolage's Hydrating Shampoo ($13.49), which adds moisture while it cleans.
4. Wash only when necessary. "There's nothing better for your hair than its own natural oils," says Villa. But shampooing every day washes those oils away and doesn't give them time to work their way down the hair shaft, nourishing as they go. Try to go at least a day between shampoos -- two to three if your hair can handle it.
5. Brush away! Another way to let your hair's natural oils repair damaged strands: regular brushing. "It distributes the natural oils and encourages shine. I recommend my clients brush their hair every evening using a boar bristle brush," says Villa.