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Tag Archives : burnt scalp

6 Hair & Scalp Care Tips For Summer

Living in London, where the mid-60s is considered a ‘hot day’ during the peak of Summer, the prospect of a beach holiday thrills me to no end. And who doesn’t love basking in the sun and cooling off in the sea and pool? Summer just wouldn’t be as fun without these things.

However… even though it feels glorious at the time, if you throw all caution to the wind your hair is likely to be a mess come September – and dealing with this is no fun at all. Here are my tops tips to maintaining luscious locks from June through to August.

Skin Vs. Scalp

I cannot tell you how many people I speak to that have experienced scalp burn. While we are very conscious of protecting our skin, the poor scalp is so often neglected. However, your scalp is skin – and as such it can burn.

A sunburnt scalp can be highly unpleasant, with redness and soreness that is followed by large flakes approximately a week later. Apart from not looking very nice, a flaky scalp is known to cause and/or worsen hair shedding in certain individuals. Very seriously, leaving the scalp unprotected can also lead to cell changes and skin cancer. To help protect your scalp, apply your regular sunblock to your parting – or to any other areas that are exposed. Alternatively, you can wear a hat or sit under a cabana or umbrella. If you have already burnt your scalp, apply the same logic as if your arms or legs got sunburnt: keep it covered until the skin heals.

Scorched Hair

You are not able to feel it, but the sun can burn your strands. UV rays degrade and weaken the hair’s protein structure in a similar way to bleach; it is why hair becomes lighter. It is also why sun exposure can make the hair very dry and brittle and riddled with split ends. Salt and chlorinated water can add to this damage, making a truly tress-terrifying trio. The best way to guard your hair is with a water-resistant moisturizing cream containing UV filters. We make one called Swimcap Cream that was originally formulated for the US Olympic Swim Team. You simply dampen your hair and apply it from root to tip. As an added bonus, Swimcap Cream gives your hair a hydrating treatment at the same time as protecting it. In fact, many people comment that when they use it their hair is in better condition after summer than it was before.

Hydrate

Like all skin, the scalp can become dry if you are dehydrated. The solution to this is an easy one: stay hydrated! Water is best, but any (non-alcoholic) drink will do.

Put Down The Pinot

The good news is that dandruff tends to be less common in the summer. However, the bad news is that a common summer cooler, white wine, often triggers it in predisposed individuals. Being someone who loves a chilled glass of Gavi by the pool, I know this news may be annoying for some. There is more good news though! Spirits (i.e. vodka and gin) are scalp friendly if drunk in moderation. Cheers!

Diet

Your hair is made of protein, so it’s important to include sufficient quantities of it in your daily diet. There are so many delicious, fresh and nutritious protein rich foods available in the summer, so do take advantage! My favourite seasonal delights are lobster (rolls), barbequed scallops and shrimp, steamers and soft shell crab. All very lean, all low in mercury, and each one packs a hefty dose of all essential amino acids needed for hair growth.

Tangles

Last week when I was in Portofino my hair resembled a birds-nest after jumping in the hotel’s pool and letting my hair air-dry. I was torn between quickly detangling so I could tackle the lunch buffet ASAP – and taking my time and risking losing out on the fattest langoustine. However, knowing how damaging this can be, I was patient. But most women I saw were not. And why would they be? Many are not aware that pulling through knots can cause a lot of breakage and thin the appearance of the ends.  A great way to make things easier is to carry a travel-sized detangling spray in your beach bag, like our Daily Damage Defence. Start detangling at your ends and gently work your way up.

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Protect Your Scalp From The Sun

If you are like most, you have been spending hours in the summer sun perfecting your tan, reading, going for leisurely strolls along the beach and cat-napping. You are also probably well versed in the art of applying sunblock. I, for one, have different SPFs for different parts of my body; Factor 50 for my face, 35 for my arms & shoulders and 20 for my legs and back. But what about our scalps?

Can You Get a Sunburn on Your Scalp?

I recall a friend telling me how she went hiking in Switzerland, slathered herself from head to toe in sunblock, and got home to find her scalp was very red and sore to the touch. The next morning, it was excruciating to shampoo, and within 4 days, giant flakes had started to work their way down her hair shafts. Lovely! I tut-tutted down the phone, and explained that she was suffering from ‘scorched parting syndrome’. Not a real diagnostic term, but it sums it up pretty well. I asked her to imagine what would happen to her nose if she went into midday sun sans block? Redness, peeling and perhaps blisters. ‘Ah!’ she said, and wondered why she hadn’t connected the dots before. This sensitive part of our body is so often neglected and prone to the same sun associated risks as the rest of us.

Sun Care for Your Scalp

Apart from the unsightly aspect of scalp burns, very seriously, accumulative damage and degradation over the years can eventually lead to skin cancer on your scalp. This is especially true if you have fine or thinning hair, or are bald, as more of your scalp is exposed. It’s a good idea to get yearly checks, and if you notice any lesions, or marks that were not there before or have changed in appearance, bring it to the attention of your dermatologist. Your trusted, long-term hairdresser can also be quite a useful tool with regards to this, as they will see parts of your scalp that you cannot. Ask them to let you know if they see anything suspect, or notice a difference.

Tips on How to Protect Your Scalp From the Sun

There are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Wear a hat, although this can be a bit of a bore when it’s hot and humid.
  2. Alternatively, you can apply your regular sunblock to your parting.
  3. I prefer using Philip Kingsley Swimcap Cream. It’s moisturizing, and also guards your hair from sun, salt and chlorinated water discolouration and damage if applied throughout your lengths.
  4. If you have already burnt your scalp, a hat is an absolute must.
  5. To soothe mild burns, apply chamomile or an after-sun product recommended by your pharmacist; and for associated flakes and irritation.
  6. Use our Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo, Flaky Itchy Scalp Toner and No Scent No Colour Conditioner.
  7. For severe burns, please see your doctor promptly, as there is an increased risk of getting a secondary bacterial infection, which may require topical and/or oral antibiotics.

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