10 May 2016
It’s hard not to get excited about the increasingly warm weather, bright foliage, and beauteous sunshine that rolls in with summer. Though the season is still a few weeks away, we’re already itching for a beach and a hammock and a good book right now. But as with any season, there are some hair care precautions unique to summer that we need to keep in mind. So before your clients can get carried away with their summer festivities, make sure they know how to prep their hair and hair extensions for maximum health. Here’s what you should cover:
UV/Heat protection. The number one thing summer has that other seasons don’t is excess heat. And when there’s blazing heat pouring down from the sun, that also means there are UV rays coming along with it. UV rays are killer for your skin, and your clients probably already know that sunscreen is a must during these warm-weather months (and during the rest of the year, too, for that matter). But UV rays are also super-damaging to hair and hair extensions, drying them out and destroying the melanin to produce sun-lightened tresses. Let your clients know that, in addition to their heat-styling sessions, they should be applying a UV/heat protectant to their hair all year ‘round before they go outside--but especially during the summer.
Hats. A good UV/heat protectant is just part one of hair extension protection during the summer, because while the stuff will do a good job of protecting the hair itself, it won’t do much in the way of protecting the hair extension bonds. Bonds and heat are a bad combination because the heat can damage the integrity of the bonds, break down the material, or even re-activate keratin bonds, and the sweat produced from the heat can contribute to the compromised bond slipping from the hair. The best way to defend extension bonds from these threats is to cover them up with a hat. So make sure you let your client know that they should always pack their sunhat, and take it with them when they plan to be outside for more than just a couple of minutes.
Salt/Chlorine protection. More often than not, summer equals pools, beaches, and lots of swimming. It’s one of the best parts! But with pools and beaches come chlorine and salt, which can quickly dry out hair, sap it of nutrients, and distort color. To minimize these negative effects, tell your clients to apply a leave-in conditioner to the midshaft and ends of their hair before going swimming. This will ensure that the hair is already saturated and coated with a protective cream, preventing the absorption of unnecessary chemicals. It’ll also leave the hair feeling less brittle afterwards! For the extra-cautious, though, we recommend tying the hair up and wearing a swim cap to protect the bonds as well as the hair extensions themselves.
Knowing when to wash. Summer produces a lot of opportunities for us to wash and re-wash our hair and bodies. Pre- and post-swimming showers, cold cool-down showers, and even just additional showers to dispel the sticky sweat that clings to us season-round. But if there’s one thing we know about hair extensions, it’s that it doesn’t do well with lots of showers. Remind your clients that the same rule of minimal hair-washing applies during the summer as much as the rest of the year. They should only make an exception to wash their hair (basically immediately) post-swimming. The rest of the time, if they absolutely must take an extra shower, they should be wearing a shower cap. End of story.
Dry Shampoo. Here’s the silver-lining, though: if your clients feel like their scalp is grimy from all the sweat their summer exertions are producing, they can take advantage of dry spray shampoo. Just as with the rest of the year, dry spray shampoo can take the place of a shower--cleaning the hair without risking bond slippage or excess drying. We personally recommend the Babe Dry Spray Shampoo, formulated specifically for hair extension-wearers.
Moisture. With all the sun, surf, and dry shampoo in addition to regular washing, hair can be especially dry during the summer months. That means that it’s more important than ever to add moisture back into the hair during the blazing summer months. Leave-in conditioner before swimming is one good way of going about it, but leave-in conditioner at other moments is likely even better, since it won’t be interacting with salt and chlorine. Advise your client to implement some extra, precautionary moisturizing treatments--like hot oil treatments, hair masks, and other goodies--to counteract the drying effects of the summer. Make sure they know only to apply these treatments below their bonds--from the midshaft down to the ends--to prevent slippage.
The right kind of anti-frizz. In some places, moisture might actually pose some problems rather than solutions. For wavy/curly-haired clients and clients living in humid environments, the existing moisture in the air might be making their hair poof up, fall limp, or frizz out, as the case may be. These clients shouldn’t forego the moisturizing treatments listed above, but rather add an additional sealing element to prevent environmental moisture from seeping in. Leaving out the moisturizing treatments will just give the frizz a more ideal, dehydrated base to work with, so as long as the hair strand is hydrated and the cuticle is laying flat, frizz should be at a minimum. Anti-frizz products are designed to seal the cuticle and prevent environmental moisture from getting into the hair, and they often utilize silicones to do so. Silicones are very effective at creating a barrier around the hair, but they can cause build-up. So, if your client is already using several products with silicones on the ingredients label (Babe Dry Spray Shampoo included), they might want to opt for a natural sealant, like shea butter, or be open to using a clarifying shampoo when they wash their hair.
What hair care advice do you give your clients for summer extension upkeep? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!