Well, that's (sort of) what you're doing to your $200 highlights. Most women don't really know — or believe — that these things can wreak havoc. While training to be a colorist, a chemist once told me that 50 hours of sun exposure was the equivalent of 30 minutes of bleach! Whether it's lemon juice, sun exposure, or peroxide, it's all the same chemical process on the hair. But, destroying your hair every summer doesn't have to be inevitable. Your hair color and texture can look as stunning as the day you walked out of the salon, but you're going to have to put some work into it. And, just shampooing, conditioning, and running out the door won't cut it.
2. While it sounds a bit crazy, you should use a sunblock for your hair every time you wash it — especially if you're going to be in direct sunlight and can't cover your head with a scarf or a hat. Try this pick that's specially formulated for the hair.
3. Heat styling fades your hair color in exactly the same way that your black or bright-colored clothes fade in the dryer. If you use heat styling tools on the regular, use a thermal protector like this one from It's A 10: It's also a leave-in treatment with crucial protein and vitamins. And, as a general rule, stay away from metal brushes. The bristles conduct the heat from your blow dryer and practically become an iron. Sure, your hair dries in a flash, but you're sacrificing the brightness of your hair color while risking tons of breakage. Always use a natural bristle brush that polishes the hair, not snaps it. The barrel of the brush can be wooden, ceramic, or even plastic — but never metal.
5. Along with rusty pipes in old Manhattan buildings, impurities in the water we shower with can change our hair color — sometimes drastically, especially for those who are very blonde. If you head to a summer home that uses well water (or, if you have hard water), I strongly suggest you install a filtering system. The folks at T-3 came out with a shower filter that you simply screw on; it removes 95% of chlorine and other chemicals, improving hair health, hair color retention, and a host of other benefits.
6. Just like everything else, healthy hair starts from the inside out. Make sure you're eating a balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients, and if you're still not seeing results, try a hair vitamin like Biotin. Phyto also makes a vitamin complex pill that contains biotin and fish oil. Just make sure you check with a doctor before adding any supplements into your regimen!
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