Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer Hair Color Tips

By Les Haverty
Artistic Director, FHI Heat

Summer hair care can be a daunting subject for women with long and color-treated hair. But a little know-how can help you preserve your tresses while still having fun in the sun.

According to Les Haverty, Artistic Director of FHI Heat, "The beach, swimming pools, and many outdoor activities can adversely affect your hair's moisture and color.  These days the nice thing is that we have many helpful options to protect our investment in our hair."

Les shares his recommendations for maintaining your hair's brilliance and shine through out the summer season.

Shampoo with hydrating, color safe, sulfate-free shampoos. "These are usually the safest for daily use. I recommend sulfate free shampoos because they use natural cleansers to clean the hair without using the harsh sulfate detergents that are responsible for degrading the color or lowlights you spent your hard earned money on.  I would also recommend an acidifying conditioner.  These are usually citrus-based conditioners which have a pH value between 3.0 and 3.7, and remember that hair's natural pH is 4.5 to 5.5.  Acidifying conditioners help seal the cuticle around the color molecules on the hair shaft and allow for the color to last longer!"

Wash hair with tepid or lukewarm water. "I recommend that one use tepid or lukewarm water when shampooing to get it clean.  Washing with too hot water can actually open the cuticle removing the hair's natural moisture and further dry out the hair making it feel like card board or a corn stalk. It also contributes to color loss.  

"Also nobody likes the extremely cold water in the shower--burrr.  This can be done daily (for oily scalps), but if you are one with a dry scalp, every other day is okay as well.  On in between days, try using a natural bristle brush and brush the hair from scalp to ends allowing the natural oils or sebum to cover the hair, after all this is your body's custom conditioner for your hair." 

Wash hair right after pool time and ocean time. "The oceans contain massive amounts of salt, which can cause your hair color to fade as well.  Add the sun's solar energy into the mix and you will start to see the bleaching effect on hair, the sun is like a bleach factory.  At the very least, one should rinse the hair off with tepid fresh water after pool and ocean swims."

Conditioning hair in the summer months is very important. "I stick with the acidifying type for daily use if you have color and highlights.  The pH is usually between 3.0 to 3.5 for these conditioners.  The acid helps keep the cuticle closed while holding onto the hair color.  For this type of hair I would also try a hydrating conditioner once every two weeks to maintain the softness and condition of the hair.  If unsure as to your conditioner's pH, I recommend giving the manufacturer a call. 

"For extremely dry and brittle hair try keeping a comb in the shower as well.  After applying the conditioner to the hairs ends and mid strand, comb the conditioner through the hair.  This makes sure that the hair, which needs the most help, absorbs it."

Style hair with alcohol free and silicone-free products. "Some manufacturers claim that the alcohol dries the product and not the hair...but if your hair is already on the dry side naturally, I would stay away from mousses, gels, and sprays containing alcohol. The non-alcoholic products work just as good, if not better because they are non-damaging.

"Once the alcohol in the hairspray dries and attaches to the hair, it forms a bond and that bond is strong. When shampooing, the alcohol is also going to strip some color and moisture from the hair.  Nowadays we have such a great selection of natural hair sprays, shampoos and conditioners that work fantastic.  I think it's worth the shopping time.

"For styling products, I recommend serums that contain no drying silicone, but instead natural moisturizers. Silicone leads to brittle hair, and when heat is applied, the silicone melts and embeds itself into the hair shaft, causing color not to stick to hair! "

Finish hair with UV enriched sprays.  "Use a spray or pomade that has a UV protectant and use just enough to get the desired look.  With pomades in the summer months, be careful not to apply too much as it will weigh down the hair and the sun's heat may actually make the hair look greasy."

Les's at-home tip for summer beach hair and skin spray:

Boil 2 cups of bottled water. Add 4 tablespoons of SPF 40 or higher sunscreen (lotion or cream works best) and stir until well emulsified. Let cool, then put into a clean bottle with sprayer nozzle.

"I use this on my hair at the beach and also my skin for a recharge in battling the suns harmful UV rays...it also gives my hair that nice shiny look!"

Use gentle heat styling tools featuring far-infrared heat (gentle, healthy heat).  "Blowers, flat irons, curling irons, all hair tools that utilize ceramic, tourmaline, and far-infrared heat can help prevent heat damage. Stay away from metal irons and blowers that produce infrared heat (non-healthy heat).

"As you know, tools have come so far in the last few years.  Once upon a time, the harmful infrared rays of curling irons and blow dryers did actually damage, fade, and even burn and scorch hair.  Those days are long gone due to ceramic heater technology and thanks to the introduction of tourmaline gemstones in the construction of these tools. 

"Ceramic heaters produce a soft, smooth heat wave pattern known as far-infrared heat which is very gentle to the surface it penetrates--in this case hair.  Add the semi-precious gemstone tourmaline to the mix and you now have an ionic effect on hair that helps it retain moisture and look and feel much shinier after even one use.  We at FHI Heat have gone even further down the technology line to add our proprietary Nano-Fuzeion technology. 

"This is FHI's advanced combination of three distinct nano technologies (Nano Ti + Nano TiO2 + Nano Ag), which result in unmatched styling and health benefits for one's hair.  Nano Titanium enhances the ionic effect, allowing the hair to absorb more moisture for superior conditioning and shine.  Nano Titanium Oxide helps remove chemical pollutants and toxins, which build up in your hair from normal exposure to the elements.  Finally, Nano Silver removes harmful or damaging bacteria from the hair.  The moisturizing elements of Titanium work together with the cleansing and purifying characteristics of Titanium Oxide and Silver to leave your hair healthier, shinier, and more vibrant.  So you can see we have come a long way from using a clothes iron on our hair.

"The last thing piece of advice: stay out of the sun whenever possible or at least wear a hat when prolonged outdoor exposure is in the forecast."

For more information on Les and FHI Heat products visit  fhiheat.com.