When You Change Your Hair For Summer

Some of my clients favorite beauty traditions is getting their hair brightened in preparation for summer months. The physical shift never fails to get them excited for cookouts, picnics, and longer days, but they have experienced a mental shift when it comes to maintaining it. While it’s easy for me to see the hours spent at the hair salon as the start-to-finish of their hair coloring process, it’s really just the first step in maintaining healthy, beautiful hair for summer. Here are some idea’s to keep your hair color in top condition.

Bleach breaks down your hair, making it brittle and dry so stay away from protein hair care lines. Although purple and blue shampoos have recently become a popular method of keeping blonde highlights from turning brassy, they can still strip color from your hair. And it can also make you blonde hair color look ashy. Use a color treated shampoo and conditioner.

And just because one brand works for someone else, does not necessarily mean it’ll work as well for yours. So shop around and have a few different hair care lines in your shower.

In general, I recommend switching up your shampoo every 6 to 12 months. Each shampoo has different minerals and proteins so your hair will get a more well-rounded treatment of both when you rotate the brand you’re using.

When it comes to heat-styling your hair, go easy on the strands near your hairline by using a lower heat setting. When you lighten your hair, your strands actually become finer and more fragile. To avoid breakage, don’t run that flatiron over your lightened hair multiple times  (in fact, I highly recommend not using a flatiron if possible and just using a curling iron or wand). If you really need one, try doing a single pass for those hairs that frame your face.

A fresh cut or color is the perfect opportunity to switch up your makeup—I’ve HAVE clients gravitating towards a bold red lip color, as it makes their face look even brighter with their blonde hair! And switch up your outfits as a white top will always make your hair look brighter, and vice versa.  The biggest change I notice in MY  clients after they get their hair colored is how their mood and demeanor immediately lifts—embrace your new hair color and the confidence it gives you!

What About Deep Conditioning?

There is one exception, and it turns out that the best product for your hair costs $10 and is something you add to your food, and ethinic women love to use on their scalp and hair. Coconut Oil.  Your basic coconut oil, as it turns out, has just the right size and structure that it can penetrate into the cortex.  And therefore it can protect hair from the inside out. Good stuff everyone!

One of the most damaging things for hair is a simple wash and dry it because the water swells the hair and messes up the cuticle. Coconut oil prevents water from absorbing into the hair and so reduces the swelling damage. You may often get.

Common sense says that blow-drying is worse, for obvious reasons. It’s a lot of heat right next to your hair. I agree that air-drying is preferable to blow-drying, but I also say that air-drying itself can also cause harm. So either way it gets you.

There’s not a lot of data on this, but some think that air-drying damages hair because the hair remains wet for a longer period of time. That means more time for the water to swell inside the hair and mess up the cuticle. The longer the hair is wet, the more damage happens. But since hair needs to dry somehow, it’s still better to go for the one that doesn’t involve thousands of watts of energy right next to the cuticle.

Protein treatments are a mixed bag. They’re partly a marketing story, because you can’t actually repair damaged hair just by pouring on more protein. The protein doesn’t also get integrated into the hair structure itself to make it thicker, I find out when I use them in the salon it will dry out the hair. And if used to often it will break the hair. Damaged hair needs to be cut off!

To be clear, “purple shampoo” and “color-protecting shampoo” are different things. “Purple shampoo” is for bleached-blonde hair and it works because the purple tones even out the blonde color and keep it from turning orange.  But can also give the hair a grey cast to it and really dull it out. I like to use just shampoo and baking soda to keep out the discoloration you get in very light blond hair. It cleans it well.

But “color-protecting” doesn’t do much. The reason the color continues to shift is because the chemical reaction isn’t perfect for every molecule.  There will be some bigger color molecules, some little pieces, some will wash out, some will not — and that’s why your color will change and fade over time. Most color-protecting products don’t actually keep the color chemicals in the hair any longer. They don’t do much other than provide good conditioning. Which is very important with color treated hair.