The Hair Guard is like a lifeguard but for your hair. So why is using a pre-salt, sun, and surf leave-in treatment so necessary?
Oh yes, I love the wind-tossed, salty surfer hair. I love the way it looks, I love the way it moves, but what it does to my hair is nothing to love (especially now that I’m no spring chicken anymore and I’m desperately hanging on to any bit of moisture I have left).
After so many years as a hair colorist and so many hundreds of clients, I can say that pre-treating the hair before soaking in hard water is something we need to talk more about.
Let’s start at the basic explanation of why the ocean is so dehydrating for your hair. Remember just like your skin, hair is porous. Like a sponge, it will expand and absorb moisture. The hair maintains its elasticity and strength when it’s hydrated.
The ocean has a very high salt content and therefore is considered osmotic. This simply means the salt water draws out natural moisture from your hair and replaces it with salinity. As it evaporates, that leaves the hair more dehydrated, dry, brittle, and prone to breakage.
Pools are no better. Whether saltwater or chlorine, they’re both hard on the hair. Chlorine is a disinfectant that will strip oils and bacteria. When the hair is constantly stripped, it will become highly porous, and like a sponge it will soak up more of the chlorine and chemicals in the water, losing more of its natural moisture and elasticity—a terrible unending cycle of damage and breakage.
Protecting your hair before exposure to ocean water, pool water, or heat is crucial for maintaining its health and appearance. Here are the reasons why it's important:
Chlorine Damage: Chlorine, commonly found in pool water, is a harsh chemical that can strip hair of its natural oils, leading to dry, brittle, and damaged hair. It can also cause discoloration, particularly in color-treated hair.
Salt Water Effects: Ocean water contains salt, which can draw moisture out of your hair, leaving it dry and tangled. Prolonged exposure to salt water can weaken hair strands and increase the risk of breakage.
UV Exposure: Just like skin, hair is susceptible to damage from the sun's UV rays. UV exposure can weaken hair over time, leading to dryness, brittleness, and fading of natural or dyed hair color.
Heat Damage: Heat from the sun or styling tools can cause the water inside hair strands to boil, leading to bubble hair (a condition where tiny air bubbles form inside the hair shaft, weakening it). This can result in split ends and breakage.
Preventive Measures: Wearing a swimming cap in pools and oceans can help protect your hair from chlorine and salt water. Applying a leave-in conditioner or a protective hair serum can create a barrier between your hair and harmful elements. Additionally, using products with UV protection can safeguard your hair from sun damage.
By taking these protective measures, you can enjoy your time in the water or the sun without compromising the health of your hair.
So here’s what we can do:
- Pre-soak your hair! Saturating your hair with water before you soak up the ocean or pool water prevents your hair from absorbing more when you’re swimming in salt or chlorine. Think of it like a sponge. If it’s already full of moisture, there’s less room to absorb anything else.
- USE HAIR GUARD! Apply on wet or dry hair before going into the water (on wet hair is best, but rest assured, we have all the bases covered for you because the Najeau Hair Guard has water in it). Reapply often—the oils help create a buffer while you swim.
- Rinse when done. Say yes to the outdoor shower! When you’re done playing, rinse your hair with clean water, removing all the excess salt and chlorine from your hair.
PRO TIP: Yes, the Hair Guard is pre-poo (so it’s only meant to be used as a mask or hair protector), but it can also be used as a hair mask treatment even if you don’t go into the water. Use it at the sauna, when you do hot yoga, laying out by the pool in Palm Springs, or running around town. Then just shampoo it out.
My favorite thing to do: Add some Hair Mask oil to it. Boom, you have an incredible ready-to-use hair mask to help protect you from the elements!
New Ingredients to Love in the Hair Guard
We’re always ready to improve our products if we learn about better ingredients that will take your hair to the next level.
We’ve introduced two new ingredients to the Hair Guard to make it that much more special. One of those is our new Najeau Olive Oil, our single source, extra virgin olive oil created in small batches at a monastery in Lebanon.
Because this olive oil is first cold pressed, unrefined with the most minimal processing, and farmed using regenerative practices for soil biodiversity, it’s as rich as you can get in nutrients for your hair, skin, and food. We’re so excited to share it with you!
The second ingredient is shea butter! Non-greasy shea butter is chock full of fatty acids and vitamins. It acts as a sealant to help keep precious moisture locked in your hair while you’re at the beach, pool, or sauna.