Welcome to Sussex Trichology blog to help your hair survive the Summer (when it arrives). I am Shuna Hammocks and I am a consultant Trichologist who specialises in all conditions of the hair and scalp.
1. Prevention is always better than cure
From hat hair to static electricity, split ends to dry frizz, when warm weather begins, a bad hair day can last an entire season. To prevent your tresses looking dull and broken in the Autumn let’s try to limit the damage our hair receives:
If like me, you have just had your colour (moreover highlights) done in preparation for the summer period- these need protection. The sun acts like bleach and permanently lifts colour out of your hair, this causes the shaft to become more porous and often the leads to breakage and frizzy looking hair. I suggest an intensive conditioning mask is used such as Elasticizer by Philip Kingsley which is available at the clinic.
Used weekly on damp hair really reduces the porosity of the hair, gives added strength and elasticity (hence its name) and prevents further breakage. This is a treatment we offer “in house” at Sussex Trichology and worth mentioning that apart from hair loss and scalp conditions, we also treat out of condition hair too. Please see here for a video describing more (further reading).
2. External/environmental damage
“The environment can have some of the most damaging effects on hair in both summer and winter, however in winter it’s often worse because people generally don’t take as many precautions to protect their hair,” says celebrity stylist Nick Chavez, owner of the Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Salon and a QVC hair care expert.
Assuming we are all having regular trims and are washing the hair daily- as we wash our skin each day, the scalp skin behaves in the same way, this is the very best habit.
If however one insists on blow drying and possibly even using the dreaded straighteners (you know who you are)! Then a cool setting with the hairdryer used a head distance away from the hair and ideally only used to finish off the styling process, is preferred.
It may be obvious to most, but if the hair is split the only destiny for “Fragitalis Crinium” is the hairdressers floor :(. These split ends will not heal themselves and have to be cut. Please read here how we describe the condition as seen in a clinic environment.
3. Nutrition plays a part too
Diet plays a large part in the strength and repair of the hair shaft from within. The following is guidance in accordance with The Institute of Trichologist’s, who I both qualified with and am a member of:
- Non vegetarians: 2 portions daily of an animal protein- such as 200g of chicken or 250g of salmon will each benefit the hair formation for up to 6 hours per portion. This has the added benefit of delivering just the right amount (if absorbed) of essential amino acid, to aid things such as iron absorption.
- Vegetarians: We can obviously find proteins in other food groups such as nuts, seeds, tofu, humous, soya etc. However due to the fact these do not store as effectively as first class animal proteins, need to be consumed more frequently. A handful of nuts, even those with high selenium content such as Brazil nuts, would still only benefit the structure of the hair shaft for up to 2 hours per portion- planning ahead would be the key.
4. Protection for the hair, just like the skin
Much like our skin, our hair needs to be protected against the elements. There is a large array of creams and sprays available, but my opinion is to apply after styling- let me expand:
Assuming we are using shampoos and conditioners that are the very best quality and viscosity for our hair type. We are trimming the hair regularly, minimising the amount we brush or comb the hair in aggressive manor. Turning down the heat of our hair dryers and irons (if not cutting out the use altogether)- the hair will thank you in return. Depending on the length of your hair, a typical damaged head of hair (for example from a hair band worn too tight, repetitively in the same location) could take between 9-12 months to grow out.
While I appreciate a large majority of readers will have a “heat protection spray / serum” already, consider; when you apply something containing a high concentration of oil, how can it actually protect against heat of up to 270 degrees? (typical straightener temperature).
Read here to access information on children hair loss and scalp conditions.
5. How shall we protect our hair with an SPF (to prevent green hair)?
Green tinged hair is caused by the hairs reaction to the copper ions in chlorine, and is most prevalent in those that have naturally blond or bleached hair. Most people associate this colour change with swimming in a chlorinated pool, and quite rightly too. Chlorinated pools often contain copper algaecides – a compound that helps prevent the growth of algae.
There are a few things that can be done to avoid getting green hair. One is to wear a swimming cap in the pool, or use a waterproof protective hair product such as swim cap If you already have green tinged hair, a lemon juice rinse can be quite effective. When we hear “SPF” we think sun lotion for the face and body, poor old hair often is forgotten! This Philip Kingsley cream works just like wearing an actual swim cap and can be used a little like a serum on the ends of the hair or more throughout the length before swimming in the sea or pool. It is suitable for children too.