We have kids. So we know. Summer is awesome… and it also brings its own set of challenges and questions.
Like: how to keep the kids busy, but not too busy? What to do on a rainy day? How often is too often to take them to the zoo? (And is it a problem that your toddler has started speaking “chimpanzee”?) Does ice cream count as a healthy protein snack?
And then there are the hair issues. We can’t help with everything, but we do know hair. So, here are some of the best tips we’ve gathered in our years of experience for swim hair care and for all the summer hair challenges we face. These could be just what you need to keep summer more fun for everyone (yourself included).
1. Keep it Swim-Damage Free
Kids are going to get in the water in the summer. All kinds of water – chlorine-heavy pools, salty oceans, great lakes, possibly muddy rivers, maybe even creeks. So, what’s the best way to protect hair when splashing and swimming and wading are on the agenda? How can you avoid “swimming pool hair” Green from chlorine hair? Dried out and easily breakable hair? Two things: Pre-Swim Hair Protection. And After Pool/Lake/Ocean/Pond Hair Care.
Pre-Swim, make sure the hair is wet before diving in. And also, before putting a toe in the water, we recommend putting on some Original Sprout Leave in Conditioner or Miracle Detangler. After-Swim we strongly suggest Malibu C Swimmers Shampoo & Conditioner – and you’ll get the best results if you wash and condition it right away, before the hair dries after the swim.
2. Keep It Short
There’s a reason Buzz Cuts have become a summer thing. Short hair is simply simpler to deal with during summer months. Kids don’t have to go all the way to a Buzz though, if they don’t want to. A short but sweet Bob will do just fine. Want something a little edgier? It’s time for a Pixie. A Puffy Flow with sides and back really short are also very popular with the guys these days (sometimes known as the “bro flo” but don’t let that stop you).
Here’s another advantage of shorter summer hair – it’s easier to spot (and remove) ticks. Checking for ticks (not to be confused with checking for TikToks) is an important family summer ritual– especially when your kids have been out in wooded areas, tall grass, and brush. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports: “Removing ticks within a 24-hour period reduces the risk of potential disease transmission.”
3. Keep It Up
If your kids don’t want to go super short in summer, braids are a great way to make sure summer hair stays out of the way, and out of trouble in those 90-degree temps. Believe it or not braids can be good for more than just looking cute. They can prevent hair breakage, split ends, keep the moisture in and keep kids cooler. And when kids are wearing helmets – for sports and bike riding, the Dutch braid, Double Dutch braid, Pony braid, or French braid work really well.
4. Keep It Hydrated
You’re thirstier in summer. Your kids are thirstier. So is hair. Which means even if you don’t usually use a conditioner or moisturizing shampoo on your kid’s hair, this is the time to do it. You may want to try a leave in-conditioner – we’re big fans of the Classic Leave-in Conditioner from Original Sprout. Filled with extracts from fruits, vegetables and flowers, it’s like having a nourishing summer garden on your head. And it’s great for the whole family
5. Keep It Untangled
If you feel like your kids’ hair gets more tangly in the summer, you’re not imagining it. It happens because of the increased time spent with sun, heat, wind, chlorine, sand, salt and sweat. Wrangling the tanglings can be tough – on kids and kids’ caregivers. The tears, the complaints, the drama… it’s a lot! That’s where a good detangler can really help. That’s why we recommend (and carry in our stores) the Original Sprout Classic Miracle Detangler. Spray it on towel-dried hair, and brush through with a detangling brush or comb, working your way up to the roots from the ends. Detangle daily and keep the drama to a minimum.
6. Keep It UV Protected
We love the sun. It’s so… well…sun-shiny. There’s nothing we enjoy more than sunny days and yet UV rays, which go hand in hand with sunny days, are not our friend. We know skin needs protection from sun and we do our best to wear our sunscreens. But the scalp is also skin and needs protection in summer too. Did you know you can also use sunscreen on scalps (buzz cuts make that easier, for sure). When you’re spraying sunscreen on their skin, go for the scalp too. Wanna skip the head sun spray? A hat will also help keep away the UV rays. Look for Kids and Baby Sun Protecting hats and caps and more from companies like Coolibar and others.
5. Keep It Relaxed
Your kids get dirtier and sweatier in summer and so you may feel like you need to wash their hair (or make sure they wash their own hair) MORE OFTEN. Don’t. Just let it go. Relax. If you don’t absolutely, desperately need to wash their hair, skip it. There’s enough happening to their hair in summer already, and excessive washing can just dry it out and damage it more. (On a styling note, skip the blow dryer too.) Natural oils are good for hair. A messy bun is always fun, a quick ponytail hides a multitude of issues and when in doubt, you can also slick it back with a bit of alcohol free gel from Johnny B.
Here’s hoping you and your kids have a great summer. And that their hair has a very happy summer too.