Summer Fun

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Avoid injury to hair and feet this summer

Long days spent riding the waves or diving to the deepest depths of the ocean can tone the body and give it a sun-kissed glow. Many people find their appearances benefit from warm weather and time spent outdoors, provided they are wearing sunscreen and taking precautions against skin damage. But a few parts of the body may pay the price for time spent enjoying the sand, surf and other elements of summer.


Saltwater, chlorine, ultraviolet rays, and hot, humid weather can certainly wreak havoc on hair. After a day spent soaking up summer sun, men and women may experience breakage, loss of color, frizziness, and tangles. Healthy, beautiful hair requires protection and a few changes to your normal grooming procedure.

* Swim cap: They may look like something your grandmother would wear, but nothing protects the hair and scalp from environmental effects better than a swim cap. A rubber cap keeps hair contained underneath, preventing snags and tangles, while shielding hair from salt, chemicals and the sun. A swimming cap is a smart idea even for those with short hair, as it can prevent sunburn on the delicate skin of the scalp, an area highly susceptible to sun damage.

* Sunscreen: Sunscreen is not just for the body. Certain formulations are designed to be sprayed on the hair and scalp. Additionally, certain shampoos and conditioners may protect hair from UVrays, providing further defense against the sun.

* Conditioner: Dryness and breakage is common when hair is damaged. Deep conditioning can restore some vitality to hair that has been dried out by the sun and surf. In addition to weekly conditioning treatments in the shower, apply a leave-in conditioner to the hair prior to going to the beach or in the pool. This conditioner will offer another layer of protection and help shield the hair follicles from damage while preventing chlorine from penetrating.

* Baking soda treatment: Some of the chemicals in pool water, namely copper algaecides, can tint blonde hair green. To combat this, rinse hair with a mixture of spring water and a teaspoon of baking soda to thoroughly clean away chemical residues.

* Overprocessing: It may be better to wait until the summer season is over before utilizing chemical processes at the salon. Coloring, getting a perm or straightening hair may compromise already taxed tresses. Plus, color tends to fade more quickly in the sun and after exposure to chlorinated water.

* Brushing: Avoid brushing wet hair, which can rip out hair from the roots and lead to breakage. Comb through wet locks and go over gently with a brush.


Open-toed shoes or even walking barefoot is popular come summertime. But strolls in the sand or around town can cause dangerous or uncomfortable conditions to the feet if cautions is not taken.

* Microorganisms: Warm, damp conditions can create a veritable breeding ground for the microorganisms that lead to plantar warts, athlete's foot, ringworm, and other infections. Closed-in shoes will provide protection against these organisms. If your feet do get wet, change out of your shoes and dry your feet.

* Sunburn: People often overlook their feet when applying sunscreen. Spending long hours in the sun can expose the feet to the same harmful rays that are baking other areas of your body. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, people often do not apply sunscreen to their feet when they apply sunscreen to the rest of their bodies. But skin cancer can occur on the feet as well.

* Support: Some summer shoes tend to be flimsy and lack support. Wearing this type of footwear can lead to ankle, leg and back pain. Supportive summer footwear may be more expensive than dollar-store flip-flops, but always look for shoes that provide good sole and ankle support.

* Burns: Hot pavement, sand and other surfaces can easily burn the bottoms of your feet. Test the temperature before walking barefoot. Better yet, wear a water shoe or a sandal to protect your feet from hot temperatures and any broken shells or debris that may cut the soles of your feet.

* Pedicures: Visiting a salon for a pedicure is a great way to keep feet healthy. Pedicures typically involve soaking, massage, moisturization, and toenail care. Always visit a salon that uses sterilized tools to prevent infection, or bring your own set of tools to ensure cleanliness.

Gadsden Times