Q: How can I keep my hair in good condition during hot summer months? My hair is long and blonde and going to the beach and pool seems to really take a toll.

Heather D.
Plantation, FL

A: Dear Heather…

Yes, it’s quite a problem to keep hair in top condition here in South Florida during our Endless-Summer months.

Whether swimming in a chlorinated pool or salt water, I would suggest using a good leave-in conditioner (Paraben-free, sulfate-free, and sodium chloride free) prior to going into the water. I highly recommend 7SECONDS CONDITIONER by UNITE. 7SECONDS CONDITIONER is great because it also has a UV protectant. Spray the conditioner onto your dry hair, coat well and place in a bun (if possible.) The conditioner will prevent your hair from absorbing pool chemicals or salt water.

Think of your hair as a sponge. If a sponge is dry, it will soak up the liquid it comes in contact with. However, if the sponge is coated in conditioner, very little water/chemicals will be absorbed. Salt water can be just as damaging as chlorinated water. The salt will strip moisture from your hair, causing frizz and dry lifeless hair.

This pre-conditioning technique is especially good and important for colored hair. When hair is colored, the cuticle of the hair shaft is opened. This allows more “bad” chemicals” into the hair… thus drying our the hair, depleting the color, or worse, oxidizing the color into a brassy, nasty shade of orange.

Remember, after your pool or ocean time, wash (with a Paraben-free, sulfate free and sodium chloride free shampoo) and rinse, rinse, rinse your hair.

When searching your local shops for good conditioners, be very careful. Many over-the-counter products will state on the front of the packaging that they are sulfate free. Beware! You must check the ingredients on the back label to make sure they truly are sulfate and sodium chloride free.

7SECONDS CONDITIONER is only available in Salons. If you can’t find a salon that carries the UNITE products, I would recommend Johnson & Johnson’s Baby CONDITIONER. Although it doesn’t have a UV protectant, it will coat the hair to prevent absorption of pool chemicals and salt water.

– Anastasia