Summer-proof your hair

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Many people don’t realise that ethnic hair is actually very delicate. If you wear a weave, have extensions or chemically straighten it, your hair will be even more prone to breakage. This makes it especially important to take good care of it in the hot summer months when you’re exposed to even more hair aggressors; things like salt water, chlorine and simply too much sun.


Prevention’s better than cure

Chemically treated pool or salt water can break down the glue that bonds your weave or extensions to your hair. And just because you have a sew-in weave this doesn’t mean you’re safe; it’s also possible to damage the hair itself and, depending on the hair’s quality, the devastation can be mild or dire. So, if you’re desperate to take a dip, its best to use a swimming cap. You should also give your hair a good rinse when you’re done to make sure you remove any water that might have seeped in underneath your cap.

Do you relax your hair? This tends to strip it of its natural moisture and exposure to chlorine, salt water and the sun will dehydrate it even further, making it more prone to breakage. To prevent this, it’s not wholly necessary to go the cap route, but you should definitely invest in a good moisturising shampoo and conditioner to help put back in what the water takes out.

Say no to the sun

Avoiding too much sun exposure is easy; simply wear a hat when you’re spending a lot of time in the sun. You can also make your own ‘hair SPF’ by mixing a teaspoon of regular sunscreen with a cup of water and spray it on your hair every hour or so. Also, wearing your hair in a twist or bun will help limit the amount of hair that’s exposed to the elements.

Another way to cut down on heat damage? Toss out any hair products that contain alcohol. These will dry out your hair and when combined with sun exposure, they’re a sure fire recipe for flash fried locks. You should also air dry your hair as much as possible and, if you do use a hot styling tool, invest in a good heat-shield like ghd Heat Protect spray, R180.

Hair SOS

Eek! What if it’s too late and the damage is done? Unfortunately, faux hair that’s become wet or dried out in the sun and now looks worse for wear can’t be saved. Unlike your natural hair, weaves and extensions can’t restore themselves, so your only real option is to replace them.

If your relaxed hair’s taken a bit of a bashing, be it due to too much sun or swimming in the sea or pools, your best bet is to invest in a mega-moisturising protein-rich repair product, something like Dr. Miracle’s Damaged Hair Medicated treatment, R89.99.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Professional hair care tips from L’Oréal
Under cover: How to care for weaves and wigs
How to: Look after your weave
Beyoncé back in braids
Is it time to go natural?

Written by

Leigh van den Berg is a freelance beauty writer and avid blogger ( She's addicted to all things glossy and glam and currently has eight MAC lipglosses rolling around in her handbag.

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  1. Queen Shai

    With summer around the corner this article is ideal as we don’t always take these things into consideration.

    6 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    I would have never thought that the sun could in fact damage your hair. Good information.

    7 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    Dr miracles really is great however i have ethnic hair and i strongly believe that ethnic hair need natural and very little chemically treated products and its really simple.

    7 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    I always wondered about ethnic hair, now I know!

    7 years ago •

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