Yes, we are talking about UV rays from the sun, loss of moisture from the wind, chemicals from swimming in pools, salt from the ocean, sweat and grime from sports activities and the list goes on.
So how do you look after your crowning glory, that unruly mane that just seems to need constant attention?
Here are 5 Quick Hair Tips, to keep your scalp healthy and your hair protected from the elements.
1. Wear a hat
Nothing beats wearing a hat to protect your scalp and hair from the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun's ultra-violet A and B (UVA and UVB) rays can burn your scalp and damage your hair from its cuticle to its inner structure. The sun's rays can also damage colour pigment and protein in the hair. Natural brunette hair can develop a reddish hue if left unprotected in the sunlight and chemically treated hair can yellow, dull and fade. So choose a hat that covers all of your hair and tuck longer locks underneath it.
2. Use a natural plant based conditioner to protect your hair
But, a hat won't protect your hair from the chemicals in a pool, the salt from the ocean, or the unforgiving wind, so a great way to shield your hair from these elements is to apply a natural, plant-based hair conditioner, just before you go out. Use it like a lotion for the hair and re-apply if needed. The great thing about using a conditioner with natural plant oils is they coat and nourish the hair, helping to reduce absorption of the salt-water, chemicals, grime and locking in that much needed moisture.
3. If you have long hair braid it
Long hair requires some extra attention all year round. It can be prone to splitting, through loss of moisture, and tangling, due to the wind. A good way to combat both, is to add the conditioner and then loosely braid the hair before you go out. Don't tie it up tightly, or high on the head, as there is evidence that over time this can cause stress on the hair follicles, which could lead to hair loss.
4. Wash your hair as soon as you can following a day in the great outdoors
Yes, it's tempting to leave washing your hair to the following day, but it's never a good thing. Research shows that sweat from the apocrine glands (which are concentrated where there are hair follicles) contain lactate, urea, and other substances which make this sweat a perfect environment for the wrong bacteria. It's a fatty secretion and has the potential to be quite odiferous too. Added to this the bacteria in combination with dirt, grime and other chemicals can cause itching, dandruff and other unpleasant conditions. Wash your hair with a natural, plant-based shampoo and don't forget to use conditioner to close the cuticles and add some shine. A hair mask is a deep conditioning treatment and used once a week will really help to keep your hair in top condition.
5. Use a finishing rinse
A finishing rinse is generally speaking designed to normalise the scalp pH, soothe and protect from unwanted infection and close the cuticles on the hair to improve shine. Used as a leave-in product and following the shampoo and condition treatment, a finishing rinse goes a long way to addressing issues caused by constant environmental stressors.