Summertime is hard on hair.

Exposure to chlorine, saltwater, high temperatures, and sunshine can wreck it.

It can also damage your scalp.

If you’re tired of having straw-like strands and discoloration, read on.

The first step: get rid of the gunk

Did you know that there are shampoos made for swimmers?

They are the absolute best option if you spend time at the seaside or in the pool.

They also combat residue left by hard water at home.

Swimmer’s shampoo neutralizes the minerals, metals, and chemicals that dry out and discolor the hair.

It gets rid of the odor, too.

Even occasional swimmers can benefit from this type of clarifying shampoo.

Moreover, it provides plenty of moisture, especially if you follow up with the matching conditioner.

Once you’ve got rid of the gunk that’s wreaking havoc on your scalp and strands, you’re ready for step two.

Step two: moisturize

It seems like most women don’t have a problem using conditioner.

Unfortunately, it appears that most guys skip this step.

Everyone needs to moisturize their hair and scalp.

Even those with oily skin can benefit from the right conditioner. It doesn’t make their hair more greasy. In fact, it can reduce the problem.

If your scalp doesn’t feel like it needs to overproduce sebum to compensate for dryness, everything stays in balance.

Take the time to use conditioner each time you wash. After a few days (or sooner), you’ll notice a dramatic difference in the texture and shine.

The conditioner smooths the cuticle and seals in moisture. Then, your hair feels glossier and softer.

If your hair is especially in need of repair, use a deep conditioner.

This is a hair mask that you apply and let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes or overnight.

Finally, check out leave-in conditioners if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

They defend against frizz and harsh environmental conditions.

Step three: defend

Furthermore, many conditioners (leave-in and otherwise) offer protection against ultraviolet radiation.

They have ingredients that defend your hair against sun and heat damage.

It’s like sunscreen for your curls.

Otherwise, wear a hat if you’ll be out in the sun for a while.

Part of your defense is limiting your hair’s exposure to things that can damage it.

If you’re worried about washing your hair every day in the summer, try dry shampoo.

It will soak up the extra grease and sweat to refresh your appearance.

Then you can skip a day between shampooing.

Another part of defense applies to color-treated or chemically-processed hair.

In the case of hair dye, it’s essential to use a color-safe shampoo. It will prevent fading for as long as possible.

As a bonus, color-safe shampoo is generally free of sulfates and salt. That makes it beneficial for damaged hair that’s in recovery.

Also, if you straightened or permed your hair, summertime can be hard on your locks.

Again, it’s crucial to use a mild, moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

Extend the time between treatments by using dry shampoo. It can help you look and smell good while washing less.

Step five: be gentle

Haven’t we all grabbed a regular rubber band and made a ponytail with it? Do you remember what happened afterward?

When you removed the band, you pulled out your hair.

When your hair is damaged, you need to pay attention to the little details.

If you like wearing ponytails, use elastics that won’t pull out strands.

If you must braid your hair, keep it loose.

And take a pass on extensions and dreds until your hair is healthy again.

Curly girls and guys should stick to finger-combing or wide-tooth combs only. No brushes! Use a leave-in conditioner to remove tangles.

But it’s not all bad news.

It’s not all about the don’ts but also the dos.

For example, get your hair trimmed regularly. It removes split ends and encourages growth.

Enjoy head massages as often as you can.

Plus, now’s a good time to splurge on a silk pillowcase. It pampers your hair.

It also feels very nice and cool on a hot summer night.