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Summertime hair repair

Fun in the sun, be it swimming, sailing or simply sweating, can add up to hair damage during the summer months. While it's common knowledge to protect the skin and eyes from potential hazards, some forget to protect their hair.

The summer season is often one full of exposure to sun, chlorine and salt water. These factors can work together to create damage to the hair. By the end of the season, you could find yourself with dehydrated and unmanageable hair.

According to hair experts, hair follicles contain a protective coating that is called hydrolipidic film, which helps to trap moisture inside of the hair. Every time you use a chemical product or expose hair to sun and salt water, the film breaks down. The result is that the moisture located in the hair shaft evaporates, leaving the hair dry and lifeless.

Damaged hair can be harder to style and frizzy and may even split or break off. However, there are ways to prevent a lot of the damage that results from exposure to summer weather.

* Wear a cap. When swimming, don a swimming cap so you can tuck in your hair and shield it from the sun and water. When going outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and your hair.

* Rely on a leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioners serve to replicate the protection of the film that is naturally on the hair shaft. After using a deep-conditioning shampoo and conditioner, put on a leave-in or spray-on product that will coat the tresses and form a barrier.

* Avoid heated styling tools. Don't risk further damaging your hair with flat irons, curling irons and hair dryers. Give your hair a break and allow it to dry and style naturally.

* Brush hair vigorously. Use a natural bristle brush to distribute oils from the scalp all over the hair when brushing.

* Use hair sun protection. There are products that provide sun protection for your hair much in the way sunscreen protects the skin.

* Get a haircut. If your hair is damaged, one of the best ways to start fresh is to get a new haircut that removes dead ends and can add volume to the hair.

Although the summer is a season of fun, limp, damaged hair can make it less enjoyable.