New Arizonans may love the perpetual sunshine, but many soon discover that living in an arid climate comes with its own set of challenges. Planning your day to avoid being out in peak temperatures is just the beginning of adjusting your daily routine. For many transplants, the combination of extreme heat and lack of humidity wreaks havoc on their skin and hair, making it necessary to develop an entirely new moisturizing regimen for both. While many of the same hydrating skin care tips also apply to hair, we’ve compiled a handy list of specific measures you can take to keep your locks looking their best.
Exposing hair to dry temperatures of over 90° is like having it permanently under a blow dryer: also known as your hair’s greatest enemy. Even if you have a naturally oily scalp, it doesn’t take long in these conditions before you notice hair becoming damaged, dry and brittle. And this effect is compounded for those with curly hair. So what can you do to keep your hair moisturized and safe from heat damage?
1. Avoid Direct Sunshine
Whether you choose to sit in the shade or wear a wide brimmed hat, protect your hair and scalp by covering it during peak sunshine hours. If you’re not a fan of hats, there are a variety of SPF sprays for hair that will keep your strands from burning.
2. Prioritize Conditioner Over Shampoo
Shampoo can strip your hair and scalp of its natural oils, so you’ll want to reduce the frequency of shampooing in a dry environment, even if you’re using a moisturizing shampoo. Opt instead for extra moisturizing treatments such as leave-in conditioners, masks, oils, or dry shampoos.
3. Opt for a Richer Color
Lighter colors that require bleaching aren’t ideal in a hot, dry climate because this process multiplies the impact of any sun damage. Go for a darker color or even a vibrant red.
4. Go for Regular Trims
Trimming off your split ends is a must for hair exposed to a lot of dry heat. This will prevent the split from traveling up the length of the hair and will help battle breakage and fly-aways.
5. Let Hair Air Dry Indoors
It’s best to avoid hair dryers altogether but leaving the house with wet hair also isn’t ideal, because the moisture will evaporate more rapidly in the southwestern sun. If you can, let your hair dry indoors before going out.
6. Use a Humidifier
In addition to an amped up moisturizing routine, purchasing a humidifier for your home is a good investment for your hair and skin. It also helps other problems caused by dry air such as itchy eyes, respiratory irritation, and sore throats.
7. Eat a Hair Healthy Diet
Vitamins and minerals important for healthy hair include vitamins A, C, D and E, B vitamins including biotin, as well as iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in fruits, dark leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, fatty fish and chicken can help boost hair growth.
While adjusting to Arizona life requires a few changes for those accustomed to a cooler and more humid environment, with a suitable hair and skin routine, you’ll soon be enjoying the full benefits of a valley girl lifestyle.