For many of us reaching golden beaches and crystal clear waters remains one of the most beautiful and awaited moments of the year. Well in the beach relaxation we must not forget some precautions to better manage our hair and prevent possible damage.
Exposure to the sun and salt water does not necessarily pose a threat to the health of the scalp and if managed properly can bring some benefits to our hair.
Sea water: benefits and contraindications
The seawater in fact contains sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium and other elements that can promote the remission of certain conditions such as hyperseborrhea, seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis, explaining un bacteriostatic activity, antifungal and exfoliant.
Sea water, however, due to its high salt content, is able to dehydrate our hair by drawing water through salt crystals that are deposited on the stems.
Sodium and magnesium sulphate are also capable of modifying the covalent bonds between the amido acids of the keratins, changing the waviness of the hair (“beachy waves”).
If the structure of the hair has been chemically altered with perms or bleaching, it is evident that these modifications can damage and impoverish our hair.
In particular, this happens by drying out the locks and dulling the color.
Lastly, we must not forget that unfortunately some of our seas have a high level of pollution from heavy metals.
The latter, coming into contact with our skin, can also cause cellular toxicity at low concentrations.
So how should we behave at the beach?
- First of all, let’s use an adequate sunscreen, also with the advice of our hairdresser who knows our hair and offers us ad hoc cosmetics
- We avoid sunbathing directly on the scalp without an umbrella, or use a breathable or technical headgear (some caps dedicated to water sports or children also have an indication of the SPF factor guaranteed by the garment)
- Before taking a bath, reapply sunscreen and once out of the water rinse hair with plenty of fresh water; proceed with the application of a conditioner or a nourishing mask which can then be dried directly in the air
- In the evening, use an affinity cleanser or a shampoo with non-aggressive surfactants (not excessively foaming)
- If possible, do not blow-dry hair and do not use straighteners or curling irons
- We avoid bleaching our hair or dyeing it during our holidays at the seaside so as not to stress our locks too much
“Keratin” treatments: do they strengthen the hair?
Finally it is not recommended to perform so-called “keratin” treatments in an attempt to strengthen and protect the hair: Brazilian straightening is a falsely restructuring procedure.
This treatment actually involves a numerous thermal and chemical stress for the hair, alters its structure and is based on the use of formaldehyde derivatives, compounds that are also highly toxic.
Instead, it is better to choose conditioners or masks rich in emollients and valuable oils (argan, almond, jojoba, olive) that contain proteins from wool and silk or from wheat and oats and oxidants such as tocopherol (vitamin E), retinol (vitamin A) and phenolic compounds (phenolic acids, polyphenolic acids and flavonoids) of plant origin.