We are smack in the middle of the sweltering UAE summer, and many of us are already scrambling to address the various skincare and haircare issues that come with the intense heat and humidity. To help you tackle and minimize your summer hair damage, Savoir Flair spoke to Veronica Alanis, Lead Design Engineer at Dyson, who shared her top tips for keeping hair healthy during the scorching season. Veronica, who works closely with scientists and global hairstylists in Dyson hair laboratories, explains, “Hair can not heal once damaged. While hair treatments and serums can improve the look and feel of your hair, they cannot reverse the underlying damage to hair itself, making it crucial to protect it, especially during the summer.”
Alanis shares her top summer haircare tips on protecting your hair from the adverse effects of humidity, air conditioning, and days spent soaking at the beach or the poolside.
Preserving Your Hair Color
Heat damage is not limited to styling tools. Exposure to extreme temperatures – like those encountered during the Middle Eastern summer – can also prove to be harmful to your tresses.
“Like extreme heat, exposing your mane to UV rays can break down the melanin in your hair strands, leading to the fading of hair color. Apart from using sunscreen formulated for hair, consider using a hat or light scarf to protect and keep the intensity of your color,” Alanis explains.
We can all agree that humidity is literally the worst part of the summer season, especially when it comes to hairstyling. The extra moisture in the air can not only ruin all your hairstyling efforts, but also make your hair frizzy and cause real damage.
“With heat, humidity tends to increase and can make hair frizzier while reducing style retention as the high water levels in the air reset the bonds created during styling. To minimize frizz, try using a light hair oil to make hair more supple; to improve retention, consider setting your style with a higher-hold hairspray and gently brushing down flyaways using a hairdryer with a cool setting and an attachment for precision styling,” says Alanis.
She further adds, “Also, ensure that the styling tool you choose does not damage your hair with heat because healthy hair retains less water than damaged hair. The Intelligent Heat Control Technology in the Dyson ‘Supersonic’ hair dryer measures airflow temperature over 40 times a second for precise heat setting, so you can style without extreme heat.”
Protecting Your Hair from Chroline
The scorching heat might make you want to float in a swimming pool all day long, but this can be exceptionally harmful to your hair. Chlorine and other chemical agents present in the pool water can seriously damage your hair if not properly cared for.
Alanis explains, “Chlorine can react with the hair cuticles, making the surface of your hair become rougher. Some swimming pools also use copper algaecides to protect against algae, which can turn blonde and bleached hair slightly green. After swimming, wash your hair as soon as possible with a mild shampoo to minimize the risk of damage. Another summer haircare trick is to wet your hair before going into the pool. Hair strands are porous, which means they absorb moisture. By soaking your hair first, you are minimizing the amount of chlorine that can enter your hair strand.”
Sun, Sea, and Hair Damage
It is vital to tend to your hair even as you enjoy a carefree summer day at the beach. Alanis discusses why protecting your hair from the salty ocean water and coarse sand is an essential part of summer haircare.
“Salt from the sea will not cause significant chemical damage, but can dry it out slightly and increase friction during combing and brushing. Sand is an abrasive material that can wear down the cuticle layers. To avoid this, gently wash salt and sand out of your hair as soon as possible.”
Drying Due to Air Conditioning
Come to think of it, most of us in the UAE are (almost) always in an air-conditioned environment, which can dry your scalp and your hair.
“Always make sure to keep yourself hydrated with a regular intake of water at intervals. Also, while it sounds counterintuitive in hot and humid regions, an indoor humidifier allows you to maintain the moisture levels of your home despite having the air conditioner on at all times. Coupled with air purifying and cooling capabilities, the Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool’s unique triple functionality effectively tackles exposure to dry air indoors by ensuring whole room air treatment,” says Alanis.