The Wear and Tear of Summer on Hair by Kate Wright


Picture a sponge. To clean up a spill, I can't get the sponge completely wet; there won't be leftover room for wiping up the mess.

Now think back to the summers of your youth.  Remember when "they" told you to rinse off BEFORE you jumped in the pool?  As it turns out, there was a very good reason.  If you think of your hair as a sponge, and you fully saturate that sponge before dunking it into -oh, say a tank full of chlorinated water- there isn't much room in that sponge to take in all those chemicals.  By soaking your hair down ahead of time, you're protecting your hair from chlorine.  After swimming, don't let the chlorine bake into the hair: rinse immediately and apply a deep conditioner and/or Aveda Sun Veil.  If you want to save your skin with sunblock, why not treat your hair the same and protect it? 

It's not a cure-all, but it sure does help save the integrity of your hair during the long hot summers.  Luckily, there are at-home remedies as well as salon care systems to help beat the heat.  Malibu treatments are design to remove chlorine.  Clarifying shampoos mixed with baking soda, or a vinegar and water rinse after swimming will restore lost acidity due to chlorine. 

An Aveda solution that works just as well is detoxifying shampoo (still available through backbar) mixed with a few drops of active oil. Why active oil?  Because that stuff will eat through buildup, minerals from well water, you can dilute it in water for a safe anti-bacterial spray, and when combined with detoxifying shampoo, can sometimes act as a tonal cleanse for home hair colors.  I think it would make me coffee and drive my kid to daycare if I asked it to.

Regardless of whatever option I use with guests in the salon, (and in my area I detox a LOT of swimmers hair) the shampoo service will always be followed up with the dry remedy moisturizing treatment masque OR the sun care after sun masque.  Why are these so critical?  Because if I've done my job and removed chlorine from a guest's hair, I have also removed everything else.  Natural oils, product buildup, minerals, and the occasional wizard.   MOISTURE MUST BE REPLACED!

By talking to your guests at the beginning of the summer, you can plan ahead for a successful mid-summer color service by scheduling a detoxifying treatment and deep conditioner beforehand.  (lest the evils of chlorine cause unpredictable results) Or, they can take the sun care cleanser home to prepare the hair themselves.  As we move into autumn, schedule the time a deep cleanse before a color service and the new Dry and Damage Remedy Hair Spas for after the service.  Your guests will thank you.

Kate Wright

Senior Stylist | Color Coach

Nurtur the Salon | Columbus, OH |