Living near the ocean can have some negative effects on our hair. The drawbacks of salty air include frizz and dehydrated dryness, which require much more TLC.

Another serious issue is our intense sun and heat, which wreaks havoc on our hair. Obviously, it will strip our hair of moisture and cause our color to fade more rapidly.

A lesser known fact is that our perspiration is very acidic, which also causes our hair color to fade faster. This is a problem because wearing a hat could be just as counterproductive if it causes your head to sweat more. A straw hat is the most beneficial because there is ventilation.

So, is our hair health doomed based on where we live? Hair definitely needs more attention during the summer months when we spend more time outdoors.

Let’s think of our hair like a sponge. When a sponge is dried out, it takes a bit for it to begin to absorb water.

Likewise, it takes some extra moisture to penetrate dry hair before it accepts the moisture. When the sponge has accepted the water, it becomes full – as does the hair. So, if the hair is saturated it cannot take in the bad stuff in the air or anywhere external.

This is why you should wet your hair before going in the pool – so it cannot take in any chlorinated water.

Most important, when you squeeze the sponge after it’s been wet, this is when it is the most absorbent. Keep this in mind when conditioning. Towel dried or wrung out, this is the optimum time for hair to suck in the good – and bad – ingredients. Be mindful of this when buying those inexpensive products and when going outside in the sun.

When an inexpensive brand says it’s “for” color treated hair or dry hair or extra volume, it might have just a small amount of an ingredient that allows it to claim its supposed benefits. However, the rest of the bottle has wax, oil and filler that makes it inexpensive and useless. It truly has no positive benefits.

This bad stuff will build up on the hair, strip the color and moisture. The time and money spent on good color is defeated by using inexpensive shampoo and conditioner. Professional styling products are not as imperative if the shampoo is doing what it is supposed to do.

One of the best tips I can share besides using good shampoo and conditioner is spray your hair with a good leave-in conditioner before going to the beach, pool, gym or any outside sports. This will help protect your hair from the intense sun.

You might also consider a styling cream or laminate-based product to help protect your hair.

It’s a beautiful place we live in. Take care of your hair and enjoy it!

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton.