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Protecting Your Hair This Summer

Even if you love the summer, you may not necessarily love what it does to your hair. The heat and sun can cause damage to your locks, but David Evangelista can help you prevent that from happening.

He visits The Early Show to offer tips that will help keep your hair in tip-top shape.

Straw hats have always been a popular choice for beach-goers, but the styles today are much more fashionable than ever. Right now, the hottest hat is a straw cowboy-style hat, like the ones worn by Jessica Simpson and Heather Locklear.

The issue with any kind of straw hat is that the sun can get through, so if you're worried about chemically-treated hair becoming dry or color-treated hair changing color, you may want to apply a protective product underneath or even wear a scarf underneath the hat to ensure no sun exposure.

Start by avoiding trouble. Minimize your hair's exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the rays are the most potent. If you must be out during those times, wear a cover-up to shield your strands from sun exposure.

Preventive Maintenance:
Start the summer season with a salon trip to eliminate split ends and handle hair repairs. If your hair normally dries out during summer months, consider having a preventive professional deep-conditioning treatment to ward off potential frizzies.

Use Products with SPF:
Don't assume that all hair care products contain SPF agents. Although many brands have some level of sun protection, not all products contain agents like octyl methoxycinnamate. The potency may vary greatly. Since SPF formulas can make products heavy or oily, products may only contain a maximum SPF level of 10.

If you live near or will be visiting an area near the equator or in high altitudes, where the sunlight is stronger, a higher SPF is the only way to go for maximum hair protection. Know what you're buying for your hair's ultimate protection. Shop for products like that that are specifically designed to provide maximum sun care.

Apply hair protection products on either dry or wet hair before soaking in the sun. When you are unexpectedly thrust into the sun without your favorite hair protection, comb a dollop of regular sunscreen with a minimum of 15 SPF through your hair. Apply to exposed scalp to prevent damage and/or sunburn. The sun breaks down the protective ingredients in sunscreens, so don't forget to reapply them every hour when swimming, sweating or playing sports.

Most hair color manufacturers add special SPF formulas to their products to safeguard delicate color that can easily fade without protection. Color treated or damaged hair will benefit from gentle extending shampoos that contain one or more of the antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E) that protect against color striping heat and sun.

Extenders will also guard against hard water, chemical and chlorine damage.

Slick Hair Back:
Slick your hair back into a bun or ponytail, slather on some deep conditioner and enjoy a short spurt of sun time. Remember that too much of anything is a bad thing. After an hour of baking your conditioned hair, slap on a cool hat to eliminate hair sizzle.

Use the Best Summer Hair Care Products:
Some hair care products work better than others at filtering the sun because of the way they interact with the hair cuticle. Most gels, mousses and hair sprays only float on top of the hair shaft. This makes them less durable and less protective from sun, salt and dry hot air. Rinse out, leave-in, and deep conditioners are designed to soak deeply into the hair cuticle offering hidden sun blocking protection. Coated cuticles are more resistant to summer toxins.

Use leave-in conditioners on days you know you'll be soaking in the sun or surf. Remember that normally dry, long, color-treated and/or curly hair needs extra conditioning during the hot summer days. Treat your hair to weekly or as needed deep-conditioning treatments.

Summer Shampooing Strategies:
Combat potential hair damage with gentle, moisturizing shampoos that will protect your hair by building a protective moisture barrier against the sun. When possible, use moisturizing sudsing products with built-in UVA and UVB protectors to help filter the sun's rays.

Postpone Color/Highlighting Until Fall:
Ditch the itch to go blonder or lighter. Summer months are the worst time of the year to add chemically drying color to hair that is already parched. If you must lighten your locks, use a temporary color that does not contain peroxide or damaging ammonia. Consider wild-hued clip on ponytails and braids as a whole alternative.

Cap It Off:
Allowing hair to be exposed to more than just tiny amounts of sun or pool chemicals is like sticking your precious locks in the microwave. If you absolutely can't wear a bathing or other cap, rinse hair before and after swimming. Treat your hair with products designed to counter the impact of sun and surf.

Deal With Damage:
Don't despair if you find yourself with damaged hair from salt, sun or chemicals. Select a product that can help with hair damage recovery by restoring, hydrating and lubricating hair exposed to damaging summer conditions. Consider using a detox or after-sun shampoo that is designed to remove salt, pool chemicals and damaging environmental toxins.