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Patrick McIvor Guest Blog: 10 Tips For Better Summer Haircolor

by Patrick McIvor

Summertime more than any other time of the year can wreak havoc on haircolor that is beautiful the rest of the year. No matter where you live in the United States, or the northern hemisphere for that matter, the tilt of the earth changes in summertime and the sun's effects are much more dramatic, often creating challenges with fading color. And that's just the sun -- never mind salt, chlorine and lake water that can also change the texture and the color of hair. So, here are 10 tips that will help you and your guests fight the sun and keep the effects for the color under control.

1. Wear a hat.
Probably the simplest and easiest thing to do is wear a hat when your hair is going to be exposed to sun long term. Whether it's golf, tennis, yard work, laying poolside or on the sand, or cruising on a boat, a hat will not only protect your hair, it will also help protect your skin. And, from personal experience, make sure your guests know a visor is not the same as a hat when it comes to protecting their hair.

2. Wet hair with "good water."
Wetting your hair with "good water" before you jump into a pool, lake or ocean will keep the hair from absorbing as much "bad water." Hair is one of the best filters in the world, able to absorb many times its weight in liquids, which is why it was used to clean up the gulf oil spill. But this also means that when it's submerged in chlorinated water, salt or lake water, it's absorbing that too. Use this analogy with guests: pretend you have a dry sponge and you are wiping up cranberry juice. If you wipe it up with the dry sponge and then rinse the sponge, the sponge will still be stained. But if you wet the sponge first and then wipe up the cranberry juice, when it's rinsed out, the sponge is clean again.

3. Use products that protect hair from UV rays.
Today, so many products contain ingredients that protect from the sun's harmful effects, and from skincare to haircare, there is no excuse not to be using them. Guests often forget the cumulative effects sun has just simply walking from the car to the office or the car to the shopping center -- those minutes add up. Add in drive time, and the left side of a driver can receive significantly more sun than the right side. Products with UV protectors can not only protect but also make the hair look great too.

4. Use clarifying shampoos.
Make sure guests who are going to be in lots of water use a clarifying shampoo once a week. Wetting your hair with "good water" helps a ton, but it doesn't make your hair bulletproof from "bad water." A weekly cleanse with a clarifying shampoo or clarifying treatment can control unwanted buildup of chlorine, minerals and saltwater on the hair.

5. Glazes.
When guests are in the salon, or even if there is a visit scheduled in between their usual highlight or color appointments, a glaze can help maintain the depth, richness and tone and adjust what the effects of the sun has created.

6. Color-enhancing shampoos and conditioners.
Help your guests fight the brass and keep the tones and richness they love with color enhancing shampoos and conditioners. Make sure they understand how to use them, including how to make sure they are working the products throughout the hair so they don't get spotty results. Also make sure they understand that these products should be used once or twice a week and are not recommended for daily use unless there is an extreme situation and is recommended or directed by their stylist.  

7. Conditioners and leave-in conditioners.
Conditioners and leave-in conditioners are great products to use in the summer to protect and condition the hair at the same time. Show guests how they can help protect and condition their hair by using conditioners to help control their hair when pulling it back while out in the sun. Show them how soft hair ties can secure the hair protected with conditioner away from the face, and how this can work with or without a hat. Then, at the end of the day, a quick rinse of the hair can reveal hair that is full of moisture and softness and not dry or brittle.

8. Offer summer protection kits.
Use many of the ideas above and put together your favorite products into easy to grab kits or even sand pails with simple directions for your guests to take with them to protect from the sun and water.

9. Offer summer haircare options.
The products your guests use the other seasons might not be the best choice for their hair in the summer, so review with your guests what they use and make recommendations if there is a better choice for the summer months.

10. Play with oxidation and fading.
Just because your guest's hair can be greatly affected by the sun and environment in the summer doesn't mean you can't have fun with it. Create naturally-inspired ombrés or highlights by glazing or refreshing the color creatively and dimensionally, turning one person's lemons into lemonade.

For many of us the summer can wreak havoc on the beautiful haircolor we create, but by creating the right opportunities, having the right conversations and working creatively, we can also turn it around and make our guests look even hotter.



Image courtesy of Patrick McIvor