Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of summer and with that comes warmer weather along with new beauty woes. Protecting one’s hair is essential during the summer months and can have lasting effects on its health and integrity.
While salt water tends to lighten and dehydrate the hair, chlorine can actually affect its color. For example, blondes often see a greenish tint to their hair after spending too much time in the pool, while brunettes tend to oxidize and fade out to a brassy tone. Although swim caps may not be 100% water resistant, making use of one is the best way to protect the hair against chlorine and salt water. It helps if your hair is wet before putting on the cap. Similar to a sponge, there’s a limit to how much your hair can absorb, and when already wet it will not soak up the chlorinated water.
In addition to a swim cap, I also like to put a layer of coconut oil in wet hair. It creates a barrier against chlorine and salt water, and can easily be washed out in the shower. An added benefit of coconut oil is that it acts as a mini conditioning treatment while you swim, but be careful not to use too much as your swim cap may slip off.
While you can buy coconut oil at the health food store, it feels a bit heavy and can stain your pillow case if used as an overnight treatment. Instead, I love using L’Huile de Leonor Greyl. A few drops of this all-natural product will completely absorb into thirsty hair. It contains refined copra oil, which comes from cold-pressed coconut kernels, as well as mongongo oil, which is extracted from the nut of an African tree that grows in the Kalahari Desert. Together, these oils offer UVA/B sun protection and act as a barrier against seawater and chlorine. While most such products are silicone-based, we prefer the more natural choices.