Almost a century ago, T.S. Elliot had written, “April is the cruellest month.” He was right, April is quite cruel as it is the beginning of the long Indian summer, but in India we can easily add May, June, July and August to the list of cruel months as well.
The summer months are not just unbearably hot but they can also wreak havoc on your skin and hair. Prolonged exposure to sun and dust can cause dryness and frizziness in hair, and make it brittle and easily breakable. Sweat and dust can also cause hair problems like dandruff, split ends and hair fall. In India, the weather and climatic conditions are quite different as compare to other countries. If someone has gone through the surgery of hair transplant in India then that person should take care of it properly.
The sun is not good for the scalp either; it can make the scalp dry itchy, or causesunburn.
So how does one protect hair from all of these? Here are a few tips:
- Reduce direct sun exposure: Although vitamin D is very essential for healthy bones and a healthy body, and the sun is the most important source, but we don’t need to be in the sun for prolonged periods of time to absorb it. Instead, do it for shorter durations. Avoid spending too much time in the sun; your skin and hair will thank you for it.
- Don’t wash everyday: Yes it is understandable that the heat, sweat, and dust will make you want to wash your hair everyday, but over-washing can strip your hair off its natural oils, and cause dryness and breakage. This can stimulate more oil production by the scalp, which will only add to the problem. It’s best to wash hair two to three times a week or at least every alternate day. But if you are physically active and sweat and want to wash daily, you might want to use a mild shampoo, or try using only conditioner, or just rinsing with plain water.
- Avoid heat styling: Using heat styling tools in the summer is a bad idea. Using flat irons, curlers or hair dryers frequently can make your hair very dry in the summer. It’s best to style occasionally if you have to, and use heat protection products while using any hair tools. You can also use the cool-air setting on your hair dryer.
- Sunscreen and swim caps are your friends: If you are going to the pool to cool off, wear a swim cap. The chemicals in the pool can damage your hair. No matter what it is very important to wear a swimming cap and tuck your hair property in it in the pool.
Also, hair needs sunscreen just like the skin, especially if you are at a beach or outdoors on a sunny day. You can even run regular sunscreen meant for the skin through your locks.
- Oil massage and deep conditioning: You can use oils like coconut or olive oil to massage your scalp. Even if the oil does not directly help your hair grow or become strong, gentle massaging of the scalp can. It improves blood circulation in the scalp, which can stimulate hair growth.
If your hair is being damaged by the heat, deep conditioning can help. Deep conditioning can also be used as a preventive measure against dryness.
- Cover up: If you happen to be outdoors in the searing sun, wear a hat or a loose scarf to keep the rays out. Covering up might seem like a minor precaution but it can be extremely helpful in avoiding damage to hair.
- Feed your hair: Weather aside; hair needs to be well fed throughout the year. Your skin and hair reflect what you eat and drink. Lack of proper nutrition can cause hair loss or make it look limp and lackluster. Eat foods rich in protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. These nutrients can be found in lean meats, egg whites, leafy greens, nuts, beans, and fish, and they boost hair growth.
During the summer, a little precaution will go a long way when it comes to your hair. This article has been contributed by Dr Sangay Bhutia of Hair & Senses who is an experienced hair transplant surgeon in Delhi, NCR.