During the summer months, we are more active. We usually spend more time outside and also in the pools. We get sunburned, we sweat more, and all the stuff that comes with the summer months. This time of the year also presents some new challenges when it comes to caring for our hair and scalp. Follow my tips on summer hair and scalp care for men to keep your hair looking healthy and also protected from damages of the summer season.
Get a Short Haircut
Just like taking off clothes and taking off your hair will surely help you stay cooler by letting heat escape from your scalp and the back of your neck. For summer, I always think a short buzzcut is a good option — it is a no-maintenance style, and it allows you to apply sunscreen to your head (very important to do).
That said, I wouldn’t recommend shaving your head entirely as a little hair will help keep the sun off your scalp and also prevent sweat from running into your eyes. If you don’t want to go ultra short, opt for a classic tapered style that keeps the hair off your neck. Isn’t it about time to change up that haircut anyway?
Protect Your Hair from Pool Water
If you followed the bits of advice above, protecting your hair from the pool won’t be a problem, but if you have long hair, you will want to keep it from being damaged by swimming pool water. The issues with pool water are that it holds harsh chlorine that may damage your hair.
To prevent your hair from soaking up pool water, a swimming cap is a good option, but I also recommend taking a spray bottle filled with water and a few teaspoons of leave-in conditioner (such as Paul Mitchell’s Leave-In Conditioner). Saturate your hair with this mixture before you get in the pool to prevent it from absorbing the pool water.
Protect Your Scalp from Sunburn
During applying sunscreen, the scalp is usually the commonly overlooked area (but, sadly, one that is extremely prone to skin cancers). Only because you have hair, does not mean the sun isn’t reaching your scalp (especially at the crown and especially if your hair is thin or fine). Before going out, make sure to apply sunscreen to the scalp — often I use a little of the spray-on sunscreen and rub it around and let it double as my styling product. Axe also makes a great product called Axe Buzzed Look Cream that has an SPF. If you can’t use sunscreen, always wear a hat outdoors. The Outdoor Research Summer Odd Job Fedora is my pick. It’s cheap, stylish, and has a built-in bottle opener (score!).
Recover from Scalp Sunburn
So, you didn’t follow my advice above. Ouch! To treat a scalp sunburn, it’s important to be gentle on the scalp. Style your hair with your fingers either a soft bristle brush. This will help prevent scratching the scalp and slowing the healing process. Also, avoid styling products which contain alcohol (which will dry the scalp). You might also want to use a product such as Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Spray (which will help moisturize the scalp and can serve light duty as your styling product). To treat the pain, a few ibuprofen should do the trick (check with your doctor before taking any medications). If your scalp starts to peel, don’t pick at it (this can cause infection) — it may look unsightly for a few days, so you may want to throw on a nice hat to cover it up.
During the summer, you sweat more, and you’re likely outside more often. This means your scalp is going to get dirtier than it does during the months when you’re less active. I recommend shampooing daily using a shampoo and conditioner appropriate for your hair type.
Enjoy your time in the sun — getting out and being active and hitting the pool feels great. Taking the few precautions above will help ensure your hair and scalp stay healthy and looking great all summer.
When the weather gets cold, check out my article on winter hair care to tame your mane in the cooler months.