Dear Scott: I have my hair colored professionally regularly throughout the year without a problem of fading but in the summer the color always fades.
I go the beach, but I'm not lying in the sun on the beach.
I don't do anything different than I do the rest of the year so why does the color fade?
I even cover my hair to protect it from the sun when I'm at the beach.
Answer: Most styling products are equipped with sunscreens to help protect the hair for everyday wear, but when you are outside all day, some hair color products will fade.
Fading is the undesirable effect that will cause hair color to become brassy, reflect strange undertones, or simply look unrealistic.
The sun has a natural lighting effect that happens to the hair, colored or not.
Living skin tissue regenerates the melanin destroyed after exposure to UV damage. The melanin is replaced by darker and darker melanin.
Since the hair shaft is considered to be dead, the melanin that is damaged by exposure to UV rays of the sun will not regenerate as it does with the skin. That's why the skin gets darker and the hair gets lighter.
Covering your head to protect your hair color has more benefits than meet the eye.
Even though it would seem that your hair is protecting your scalp from the sun, it doesn't.
Repeated heat exposure to the scalp from sun or other heat sources can damage the hair follicles.
First the follicles begin to shrink, and then the cells that make up the root ball responsible for new hair growth eventually die.
You can also get melanoma on your scalp. It's hard to spot up there, too.
Melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults and can often be the most deadly of cancers.
The sun has gotten hotter over the last 60 years, and the UV rays are getting stronger.
Beware of the sun on the golf course, tennis court and any other prolonged activity out side, as well as the beach. Simply walking to and from your car, shopping or a brief dog walk can cause burning of tissues.
When choosing something to wear over your hair for protection, straw hats are probably not the best choice.
The hair gets caught in the weave of the hat even when there is a lining. Just putting it on and taking it off can chew at your hair without you knowing its happening.
A fun alternative is a brightly colored babushka paired with oversized sunglasses for the timeless look of celebrity discretion.
Just a tip here for those of you who use barrettes for pulling back long hair for summer.
Examine the barrettes before you use them. They can cut your hair like a pair of scissors.
Run your finger over the edges of the barrette to make sure they aren't sharp. The cheap ones are razor-sharp and can cut your finger.
You can imagine what it's doing to your hair. Cover the metal with Scotch tape to prevent sawing off sections of hair.
Dear Scott: I have blonde hair, and it turns green when I go swimming at the pool in the neighborhood.
Should I use a clarifying shampoo to get it out?
Answer: The shampoos designed to do this are very harsh. They open the cuticle layer in an effort to remove the mineral deposits that are embedded underneath.
The end result is permanent swelling of the hair shaft making it even more susceptible to chemical absorption.
The best thing to do is to wet your hair before going into the water with the garden hose or the bathroom sink.
You can also bring a bottle of water from home to douse your hair before getting in the pool. This way, your hair will already be wet and won't absorb as much of the chemicals in the water.
In time, the green cast may wash out on its own. If the buildup is bad, you may need to have a glaze put on your hair to counteract the odd color.
The glaze will also help to protect the hair for the next trip to the pool. This product will last about 8 weeks.
My favorite remedy for ultimate hair protection is to wear one of those bathing caps with the multicolored rubber flowers on them.
Here's a tip: Keep suntan oil designed to tan you skin out of your hair. It will amplify the damage to your hair and scalp as well as your skin.
Put some sun block on everything instead. Have fun, look younger, and live longer.
Scott Terwilliger is an Aiken salon owner and Master Colorist. He can be reached at 803-979-2126 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.