Summer Weather Hair Damage
POSTED: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 4:02pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 2:01pm
Weather can impact our lives in many major ways, so it seems a bit trivial, but weather can really be damaging to our hair!
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 — Weather impacts and affects every aspect of our lives. The summer late day storms can make driving more difficult with slick roads and blowing dust. Lightning storms can create power outages which disrupt our lives causing our lights, TVs and computers to go dark. Water and flooding can cause major damage and can be deadly. We plan cookouts and trips around the rain or extreme heat. Weather can even toy with our emotions, making us happy, sad or frustrated.
With all the major ways weather can impact our lives, it seems a bit trivial, but weather can really be damaging to our hair! In today’s "Weather Talk” I will tell you what type of summer weather causes hair damage, share some expert advice and give you some tips on how to protect it.
The average person spends more time outdoors during the summer months. We head to the park, swimming pools, the lake or vacation on some beach get away! Some of us still pursue that summer glow of a tan. Two of the more common factors of summertime weather are heat and humidity. Ask any woman who’s ever spent up to an hour styling her hair only to walk outdoors on a hot, humid day and have all her hard work fall apart!
I interviewed a Hair stylist from Barragan’s Salon & Spa in west El Paso Jacob Papke. Jacob has cut, styled and studied hair for many years. He calls himself a “Hair Geek” and I am a “Weather Geek” so we got along just fine!
Jacob said, “The main issue with hair during the summer months is that hair is always looking for moisture” He goes on to say, “The best first defense against the sun and humidity damage is to use a good moisturizing shampoo and moisturizing conditioner. Preferably a professional PH balanced shampoo and conditioner to match your hair type.”
Papke reminds us that the outside surface of each hair has shingle layers to it” Some good styling products can help to seal the hair shaft and make the hair more resistant to the effects of weather. Papke recommends silicon based products to seal the hair shaft. I also learned that the physical side bonds in our hair are broken by the exposure or application of heat and water. This is why you are able to style the hair using wet sets on rollers, and by using blow-dryers, curling irons and a flat iron. When you expose styled hair to a hot, humid environment this causes these side bonds to break again allowing the hair to return to its natural state. If you have naturally straight hair your curls will begin to collapse. If you are blessed with naturally curly hair that has been ironed flat, it will begin to frizz and slide back into its curly state.
The most common challenge to your hair in the summer is sun damage. The UV rays penetrate the hair shaft and disperse the melanin that gives the hair its color. In the same way that UV rays from the sun affect the melanin in the skin, it also causes changes in the melanin in the hair. Prolonged sun exposure can lighten the hair, and sometimes, when dealing with artificial hair color, can alter the color to an undesired shade. Jacob Papke says that Barragan’s, like many salons, use a peroxide with some ammonia base in their professional hair coloring. “Over exposure to the suns rays can cause your color to leak out!” exclaimed Papke. He says you best defense is to wear a hat or some type of head covering like a scarf.
We are in our humid time of year here in the desert southwest, but some areas of the country and other parts of the world have high humidity all year long! Excessive humidity is not only uncomfortable and takes a toll on your hair. Humid weather causes strands to absorb more moisture and this can actually change the length and look of your hair. I learned one of the ways to limit the frizzies that humidity creates is to rinse your hair with cold water instead of warm in order to seal the cuticle. Your hair will then lay flat instead of flying upward and out of control. Another beneficial effect of cold water on hair is that it will also make it look shinier and sleeker!
Rain causes some hair to be frizzy, and it can also cause hair to become limp and flatten out. To keep hair looking smooth after it is soaked by rain, Papke says the best defense against humidity and rain is hydrating your hair prior to exposure, so the moisture from the rain doesn't move up your strands. Remember to use the moisturizing shampoo and conditioner as well as the silicon based spray products, to help seal the shaft of the hair protecting it from the moisture.
We all know wind messes up your hair, but it can also really dry it out. If you are exposed to strong persistent winds for an extended period of time this can produce tangles and snags, especially in wavy and curly long hair. The wind slams the hairs against one another which roughs up the cuticle layer causing the hairs to catch on one another. Hair that is repeatedly buffeted in strong or gusting winds can develop split ends as the hairs brush against one another. Most of these problems can be controlled with modern styling products, but there are limits to what the products can achieve. Hair Stylist Papke says the best defense against the wind is hair spray. Hair spray is a TV News person's best friend! The best way to limit the wind hair problems is to get out of the wind as quickly as possible.
So remember to take the time for a little hair preparation before you head outdoors. This will give you confidence knowing our hairstyle and hair is protected from whatever weather is headed your way!