In my last article, I explained some of the negative effects on our hair caused by living near the beach. The drawback is that our salty air causes frizz and dehydrated dryness, both of which require much more TLC.

Even more of an issue is our intense sun and heat, as we have experienced in the past weeks.

These conditions also wreak havoc on our hair by stripping it of moisture and fading our color 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 the hat causes your head to sweat more. A straw hat is the most beneficial because it allows some ventilation.

Is our hair health doomed in the summer? It is definitely in need of more attention now. After all, most of what we do (besides work) in the Lowcountry is outdoors.

My mantra is “a little of something good is a million times better than a lot of something not as good.” Try to think of each hair as 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 actually accepts the moisture.

When the sponge has accepted the water, it becomes full. So does the hair. And if the hair is saturated already, it cannot take in the bad stuff in the air or anywhere external.

This is why you’ve heard it’s good to wet your hair before going in the pool – so it cannot take in any chlorinated water.

More importantly, when you squeeze the sponge after it has been wet, it is the most absorbent. Keep this in mind when conditioning. Towel dried or wrung out, this is the optimum time to penetrate and suck in the good ingredients (and the bad).

Be mindful of this when buying those inexpensive products and when going outside in the sun. The most important factor that you can control is shampoo and conditioner. I’ve said this so many times but it is so true: spend the extra money on salon products.

Cheap products might have just an iota of an ingredient that allows it to claim benefits. However, the rest of the bottle has wax, oil and fillers that make it inexpensive and useless.

These products truly have no positive benefits. They will build up on the hair, strip the color and rob moisture. The time and money spent on good color is defeated by using inexpensive shampoo and conditioner.

It’s a beautiful place we live in. While it’s so hot, though, just look out the window and stay inside. (Just kidding.)

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