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Healthy Scalp Tips for Beautiful Hair, All Summer Long

A healthy head of hair is a year-round goal, but it can be harder to achieve during summer months. Between long hours under the sun and all those trips to the beach or pool, repeated and prolonged exposure to unfiltered UV rays, salt water, and chlorine can wreak havoc on your locks and leave your scalp dry, red and flaky.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live like a hermit to ensure strong, healthy strands. A beautiful mane begins with a well-balanced scalp, so it’s a matter of educating yourself on the factors that can affect the health of your scalp — including diet, styling habits, and the environment. Follow the tips below to promote clean, shiny hair all summer long, and enjoy your summer in style.

Cover up: Shield yourself against scorching summer rays by applying sunscreen to your scalp (concentrate on wherever you part your hair) and donning a wide-brimmed hat when you venture out into the sun. You can also choose hair care products that contain sunscreen. Look for octyl salicylate/PABA on the label, and be sure to coat strands evenly to receive full protection. If you do get a scalp burn, try dabbing on some aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil to help soothe and reduce peeling.

Pay attention to your diet: What you eat can profoundly affect the health of your hair. If you suffer from dry scalp, try incorporating more omega-3 and fish oils into your diet. You can also eat spinach, eggs and bananas to boost your intake of hair-nourishing vitamins A, B12 and biotin. Try sprinkling some chopped Brazil nuts into your salads for added selenium, and snack on oysters for more zinc. Be sure to include plenty of protein and iron in your daily diet as well.

Choose styling products wisely: Before swimming, be sure to coat your hair with conditioner and wear a swim cap. Rinse thoroughly afterward. Frequent pool-goers can also replace their usual shampoo with one of the many swimmers’ formulas available commercially to help maintain color and keep blonde hair from turning green in chlorinated water. When shampooing, massage your scalp and always follow with conditioner applied to the ends of hair. If you’re prone to dryness, try rinsing your scalp in the shower with tea tree oil.

Minimize heat and defer salon visits: Put away your blow dryer and let your mane air dry as often as possible. After washing, use a towel to gently pat dry (don’t rub!), then spray on a light leave-in conditioner and gently detangle using a wide-toothed comb. To prevent further damage, give your flatiron or curling iron a break too. Remember that the chemicals in frequent coloring or relaxing treatments can dry out your tresses, so save the salon visits for the end of the season and let your hair soak up the summer fun naturally.
American Academy of Dermatology. (2015). Tips for Healthy Hair. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/health-and-beauty/hair-care/tips-for-healthy-hair
Grimes, Gerlinda. (2015). Top 5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Scalp. Retrieved from http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/scalp-care/tips/5-tips-for-maintaining-a-healthy-scalp.htm
Martinko, Katherine. (July 24, 2014). 11 Essential Tips for Summer Hair Care. Retrieved from http://www.treehugger.com/organic-beauty/11-essential-tips-summer-hair-care.html
Percia, Jill. (November 14, 2011). Root of the Problem: How to Get Healthy Hair. Retrieved from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/healthy-scalp
Popsugar. (June 25, 2013). 7 Ways to Get a Healthy Scalp and Longer Hair. Retrieved from http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2013/06/7-ways-to-get-a-healthy-scalp-and-longer-hair.html
Samuels, Lawrence, MD. (June 2013). Maintaining a Healthy Scalp and Hair for Improved Hair Growth. Retrieved from http://www.the-dermatologist.com/content/maintaining-healthy-scalp-and-hair-improved-hair-growth

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