Rejoice, summer is finally here! Sure, we are undoubtedly turning to our sun dresses, sunglasses and sunblock to equip us against the rising temperatures, but where do our hair and scalp fit into our updated regime? Many of us tend to overlook the necessity of caring for our scalp and hair during the heat of summer. However, these sweltering temperatures are bound to wreak some havoc on our hair and scalp.
Whether it be sunburn, exposure to the elements, increased sweat production or dry and brittle strands, it is clear that our scalp and hair need a little extra care and attention during the summer months. What is gospel at MONPURE is the notion that a healthy scalp equates to healthy hair (and thicker, fuller hair at that), and consistent scalpcare cultivates the healthiest possible environment for our hair to grow and prosper. What’s more, studies have shown that the scalp ages just as fast as our facial skin, which can be exacerbated by increased sun exposure.
With that in mind, here are MONPURE’s tips to summer-proofing your hair and scalp.
Why do you need to take care of your hair and scalp in summer?
The sweatiness of summer only worsens the usual measure of dirt, debris and oil build-up found on your scalp. Unwanted sweat and build-up can clog the hair follicles, leading to irritation or even the inhibition of hair growth entirely. Studies have illustrated that when sweat mixes with bacteria and dirt present on the scalp, it can lead to fungal infections, clogged pores and inflammation - all of which can harm the hair follicle, impede hair growth and minimise hair retention.
Additionally, the lactic acid found in sweat mixes with the keratin protein found in the hair, which functions to strip away the hair’s protective barriers, leading to brittle, dry and damaged hair. So, what’s the solution?
MONPURE EXPERT TIP: Add sweat-control to your formula
While facial exfoliation is a mainstay in our skincare routines, exfoliating the scalp is often overlooked. Imbued with the summery scent of sweet orange and rosemary, MONPURE’s Clarifying Scalp Scrub should form the heart of this summer’s regime. Biodegradable jojoba beads gently lift away any lingering debris, dry skin or oil, while nourishing properties of shea butter and argan oil boost shine and moisture from root to tip. As a physical exfoliator, scalp scrubs cultivate a healthy scalp microbiome. Along with ridding the scalp of nasty build-up and sweat, exfoliation also primes the scalp for the absorption of other active ingredients that support scalp and hair health.
Some experts believe that environmental aggressors like UV radiation and pollution produce a process called oxidative stress. This refers to an imbalance between unstable free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can damage the body’s cells and structures.
As you may be aware, there are different kinds of UV rays. Both UVA and UVB sunlight radiation can be harmful to the hair and scalp. Research has shown that UVB can result in structural damage, while UVA can result in chemical damage.
Due to its longer wavelength, UVA radiation is capable of penetrating deep into the cuticle and cortex layers of the hair’s structure, which can destroy colour pigment leading to colour fade. Because melanin provides photoprotection, blonde and grey hair, which are low in melanin, are susceptible to more damage.
Alongside burning the scalp itself, UVB radiation can result in the breakdown of what are known as disulfide bonds, which are fundamental to the hair’s structural integrity. Disulfide bonds are the chemical bonds that hold together the hair’s protein structures. This damage can result in the loss of tensile strength, increase the hair’s porosity and create irregularities on the hair’s surface.
Overall, prolonged exposure to UV rays can deteriorate a fatty acid found on the surface of hair cuticles called 18-methyleicosanoic acid, which acts as a hydrophobic barrier (repels water) that provides hair with softness and shine. It also diminishes the essential amino acids cysteine, tryptophan and tyrosine, which strengthen hair and contribute to healthy hair growth. These chemical changes manifest in brittle hair, loss of shine, surface friction, poor manageability, as well as loss of colour and tensile strength.
MONPURE EXPERT TIP: Protect from the elements
MONPURE’s innovative vegan silk proteins are a vegan alternative to silk peptides that deliver a physical and breathable protection against environmental aggressors. In fact, vegan silk peptides improve carbon particle removal up to 26%. In the face of harmful UV rays, the significant protective properties of this ingredient also improves hair colour protection by 35%.
MONPURE products are formulated with a potent percentage of vegan silk peptides. Regularly using products with this ample dosage of vegan silk peptides will provide robust protection against environmental aggressors, while rebuilding existing damage.
Learn more about vegan silk peptides here.
Introducing a topical scalp care product that is teeming with antioxidants is also an effective way to arm your scalp against environmental aggressors and their hazardous effects. According to some experts, antioxidants are substances that neutralise free radicals, and are the first line of defence against oxidative stress caused by environmental aggressors like UV rays.
MONPURE’s Nourish and Stimulate Scalp Mask’s hero ingredient, camellia tea oil, delivers an instant infusion of antioxidants and vitamins that work to neutralise the oxidative stress produced by the elements and UV radiation.
Chlorine and Saltwater
Chlorine and salt water can be harsh on our delicate strands, causing them to be brittle, dry and lacklustre. This is only aggravated by the damage inflicted by the summer sun. Chlorine is chemical-ridden, and works to eat away at the hair’s protective cuticle layer, making the hair tangled and exposing the delicate cortex layer.
Excessive chlorine exposure can also degenerate the amino acids in our hair’s structure, which diminishes its natural tensile strength and significantly depletes its hydration. Chlorine also works to dissolve the lipids that coat the hair shaft, providing shine, moisture and manageability. Hair that is depleted of these essential lipids is more prone to breakage in the form of split ends and frizz. Chlorine also strips the natural melanin from the hair, which is why summer pool days often end with green ‘pool hair’ strands. The result? Dry, brittle looking hair that is more prone to damage and future breakage. What’s more, chlorine exposure can also exacerbate scalp redness, itchiness and tightness on the scalp.
Salt water can also be damaging to your locks. The hair’s water content is what allows it to be elastic, stretchy and moisturised. Elasticity refers to the hair’s ability to stretch and return to its original shape. Healthy hair has a high level of elasticity, allowing it to hold bounce, body and curl formation. Sea water has a high salt content (i.e., osmotic), allowing it to draw water out of the hair, leaving it parched, dry and brittle. Too much exposure to salt water can lead to hair becoming dehydrated and dry if too much moisture is lost through evaporation and osmosis, even more so if that moisture is never replenished.
MONPURE EXPERT TIP: Quell dryness through ‘essence’ conditioning
Amplify hydration and battle breakage with our Strengthening Essence-Conditioner, which departs from traditional wisdom surrounding conditioning, and encourages scalp, root and hair-length nourishment with its lightweight texture. Performing a dual role of protecting against environmental pollutants as well as bestowing a restorative, protective layer to the hair shaft and scalp, its vegan silk peptides are unparalleled defenders against the sun and chlorine’s damaging effects. The accompanying moisturising double-act of argan oil and Pro Vitamin B5 leave the hair and scalp supremely nourished throughout the summer months.
Enjoying the sun is certainly part and parcel of the summer experience, however, with sun exposure comes the potential of sun damage and sunburn. What’s more, some of the most commonly forgotten areas to protect are the scalp and hairline.
Sun damage refers to a form of radiation burn caused by overexposure to UV rays, which leads to direct DNA and cell damage. The damage to these cells leads to the production of certain kinds of proteins and enzymes, which in turn cause blood vessel dilation and inflammation — that’s why your skin gets sore and red when you burn. The heat of sunburnt skin can be attributed to increased blood flow to the affected area. Your scalp may also peel as your sunburn heals as this is your body’s way of ridding itself of damaged cells that could potentially cause further harm.
MONPURE EXPERT TIP: Deliver a soothing sunburn solution
If your scalp is feeling the heat or is slightly sunburnt, gently applying a few drops of our Hydrate and Soothe Scalp Serum through your roots can remedy the pain, inflammation and redness from a day out in the sun. The formulation of redness-reducing witch hazel water, cell regenerating allantoin, soothing aloe vera and moisture-locking Pro Vitamin B5 will do well to subdue any harm precipitated by the sun.