Lathering on the SPF while swimming with my kids this entire weekend got me to thinking about how most of us are neglecting the damaging and drying effects the summer and pools have on our hair.

We all know how chlorine and salt water can wreak havoc with your hair. When your hair is dry it is porous and acts like a sponge, so the quickest thing you can do before swimming to protect it, is to get your hair completely wet with plain, clean water. This way your hair is too saturated to absorb anything else like chlorine.
But, the MOST effective way to create a barrier between your hair and harsh pool water is to coat your hair by using a small amount of oil, which is hydrophilic such as coconut oil, baby oil or even olive oil to protect the hair shaft. When you’re done throw it in a braid for a super shiny cool look. Try this cool comb by Rickycare infused with a sunscreen oil to protect and help with the frizzy ends at the beach.
Hair conditioner works too but only if you are in the water for a short time since it eventually gets rinsed away. Try out Bumble and Bumble’s Leave in conditioner. Also, use your kids spray on detangler like the one in the green bottle at the grocery store by L’oreal, not only will it coat the hair cuticle, but it will prevent those nasty snarls. Plus it’s “tear” free and smells good too!
When high PH levels react with the copper found in pool water, the metal bonds to the hair shaft and can turn it green. All of these tips can help prevent that but If it happens, squirt some ketchup or V8 tomato juice on your locks, comb thru and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing. The smell is not great, but it works!
Just like getting a sunburn, the sun also contributes to hair damage by drying it out. Sun-scorched hair, fades your color and highlights. Left unprotected it can also cause  breakage and damage your hair as much as the pool water. If you don’t want to wear a hat or scarf be sure to spritz on a leave in conditioner with SPF protectant to shield the harmful rays. A good one to try is Rene Furterer Okara 2-Phase Leave-In Protective Conditioner for color treated hair.  

You can make your own UV protection to use in a spray bottle on damp hair by mixing a Tablespoon of any sunscreen with a cup of water. 

An added note: If you are using lemon to lighten your hair be aware that this is extremely drying and is really just helping the sun damage your hair more quickly.

To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from Amazon.com


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