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How Can You Repay Your Hair After the Summer?

September 19, 2022 JANA POTUŽNÍKOVÁ
The sea, refreshing dips in pools and lakes… Hikes in the mountains, cycling trips… Nothing but chill! All the activities that you enjoyed so much were everything but fun for your hair. So now it’s time to pay it back with a copious amount of your undivided attention! How can you nourish and repair your hair after the summer?

Summer can be hard on your hair

The sun, the sea, chlorine-saturated pools… those are the reasons behind your stressed and dry hair. Caps, hats, bicycle helmets? The perfect recipe for mechanical hair damage. Sweating more often leads to more frequent showers and hair washing. But careless hair washing disrupts your scalp’s natural microbiome. And finally, who actually sticks to a healthy lifestyle in the summer? Ice cream, cocktails, all-inclusive… Nothing rich in vitamins and minerals that would help replenish your hair.

Chop it all off or fight for beautiful hair?

Is your hair greyish, dull, frizzy, weakened, with split ends so prominent you can see them from miles away? It’s no wonder that you want to give up and schedule a hair appointment as soon as possible. And yes, sometimes that’s the wisest thing you can do. “Sometimes your hair can become so damaged that it loses its so-called cuticle, the top scaly layer, which should, when taken care of, be smooth and responsible for the shiny appearance of your hair. But when it’s not there? Then there’s nothing to repair or smooth down and the only option left is a chop!” says Ivana Pokorná from the Formocitas Clinic of Aesthetic Medicine.

Ditching scissors means extra nourishment and care!

Are you not too keen on a hair salon visit and do you want to salvage what you can? Let’s start by explaining the difference between treatment aimed at the hair fibre versus the scalp. Because both require totally different things. 

  • The scalp needs nourishment from within

    “The scalp is like a flowerbed that your hair grows from. And if you want it to look beautiful, it has to get the proper nourishment,” states Ivana Pokorná. That’s why you should first focus on filling up your shopping basket with fruit, vegetables, fermented dairy products, fish, nuts and cereal. A balanced diet. Because that’s the deciding factor. If you don’t supply your body with any of those things, it will take minerals away from other rich sources, your scalp being one of them.

“The body could also take them from bones or tendons, but that would be life-threatening. Whereas losing your hair because of a lack of nutrients won’t put you in danger. That’s exactly why hair loss can be a sign that you should pay more attention to your eating habits overall, not just in the summer,” the expert warns. 

Hair supplements can also help. “The key elements include magnesium, calcium, selenium, zinc, silicon, biotin and vitamins A, B, C, D and E. We also often forget that some vitamins are fat-soluble – A, D, E and K. To make sure they are absorbed, take them with omega-3 fatty acids. As well as omega-3, don’t forget about polyphenols, which can be found in olive oil, together with omega-9 fatty acids. A spoonful a day is enough. Other rich sources of polyphenols include walnuts, berries and fruit skins,” Ivana Pokorná recommends, adding that even with a flawless diet it’ll be approximately two months before you’re able to see improvements.

  • The scalp also deserves care from the outside
    Shampoo is key to taking care of your scalp from the outside! But it must be used properly to do a good job. “Shampoo doesn’t belong in the lengths of your hair, especially not long hair and hair that is damaged by the sun or hair dye. Shampoo is responsible for cleaning the scalp and the roots of your hair, removing the residual build-up of sebum, sweat, salt and other impurities. But if you also apply shampoo onto the lengths of your damaged and dehydrated hair, you’ll only make the situation worse, because shampoo is formulated to remove oil,” Ivana Pokorná explains.

• wet the entire lengths of your hair
• work a small amount of shampoo into the roots of your hair and scalp, then gently yet thoroughly massage it in with your fingertips (be careful with your nails) 
• if the shampoo doesn’t lather, you’ve either applied too little or it’s binding to the oils from your scalp
• if you want to see lather, rinse your hair and repeat the process
• do not “rub” wet hair; gently “squeeze” out any moisture with a towel instead and then create a towel wrap

  • Treat your hair fibre to a mask and conditioner

“When it comes to hair fibres, we are mainly dealing with mechanical damage – this is caused even just by lying down on our hair,  let alone when we expose it to the sun or hair dye. Mechanical damage is most typical for those with long hair. While short hair is still young, long hair can sometimes even be five or six years old. And just imagine how the fibres of your favourite jumper would look after such a long time if you were constantly wearing it, washing it and dyeing it…,” Ivana Pokorná explains.

On top of that, we have this false idea that we can nourish hair once it has grown out. “But hair is the product of cellular division, a keratinised protein; there is nothing flowing through it. That’s why hair doesn’t hurt when you cut it, just like your nails.”

Hair mask according to your hair type

How do you apply a hair mask correctly? After shampooing, it’s time for a hair mask specifically made for your hair type. If you’re lost, you should definitely ask your hairdresser to recommend one that’s suitable for you. “But leaving it on for longer doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll do more good. Two minutes are more than enough, especially during the first few applications, and then you can gradually leave it on for longer, so that your hair has time to adjust. Leaving fine and damaged hair in a mask for fifteen minutes will make it heavy and limp. As your hair gets stronger, it will be able to manage more nutrients,” says Ivana Pokorná. 


One hair serum, please!

To switch things up a bit, it’s time to do one more thing for your scalp. Give it some extra nourishment by reaching for some hair serum. Apply it according to the instructions and pick one that suits to your scalp’s condition. If you’re unsure, ask your hairdresser, or even better, your dermatologist. 

Tried-and-tested hair serums

And finally it’s time for conditioner. Leave-in conditioner!

And now for the final step. Immersing your hair lengths in conditioner. Your best bet is a leave-in conditioner, which will make sure to seal in all the benefits from all the previous steps.

Which leave-in conditioners should you try?

This is all the care you owe your hair after the summer. And if you stick to this routine, your hair will remain healthy, in good shape, and prepared for the next season!

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