Leave-in conditioners can help protect your hair

Leave-in conditioners can replenish emollients stripped from the hair shaft, helping to repair damage caused by the sun, chemicals or heat damage.

Summer is a great time to get outdoors, but summer sun can be hard on hair. Days spent diving through the waves at the beach, submerged in the backyard swimming pool or lying out in the hot sun can be particularly damaging to tresses.

As summer draws to a close, men and women find that their hair needs a boost to repair the damage that has accumulated over the last few months. It is important to note that hair that is split or broken has experienced permanent damage and cannot be repaired entirely. There are products that can help smooth hair or make it appear thicker, but such products will not repair the hair shaft. The only option in such instances is to cut hair shorter (if possible) and wait for new, healthy hair to grow in, according to the experts at Good Housekeeping's Beauty Lab.

A proactive approach to preventing hair damage all year long is a great way to avoid summer sun from wreaking havoc on hair. Here are some steps to take.

Speak with a stylist

Make an appointment with your stylist to discuss your hair quality and what can be done. He or she likely knows of products or techniques that can mitigate any existing damage and what may prevent future issues. Seek out expert advice if damage may have been the result of do-it-yourself chemical treatments.

Lay off of heat and chemicals

Let hair recover by skipping chemical treatments like coloring, perms, straightening, and other services for the time being. Limit coloring to simply touching up roots, if possible. Similarly, let hair air dry whenever you can, and keep heat-based styling tool use to a minimum.

Minimize yanking or pulling

Hair is delicate, especially when wet. Always use a gentle hand when drying, combing or brushing to reduce breakage. Use hair accessories that are covered in fabric so they do not damage tresses.

Opt for leave-in conditioners

Leave-in conditioners can replenish emollients stripped from the hair shaft, helping to repair damage caused by the sun, chemicals or heat damage. Bimur Aral, Ph.D., a beauty and hair expert, says conditioners can coat hair when wet and make it easier to untangle, leading to less damage. Again, speak with your stylist to gauge how frequently to use conditioners and other treatments.

Use a sunscreen for hair

Invest in products that help block UV damage on hair much in the way you use sunscreen to protect your skin.

Remove green hues

Metals present in swimming pool chemicals can leach into porous hair shafts and lead to a green tint that becomes more noticeable over time. The experts at Livestrong.com say to use a special swimmer's shampoo that contains chelating ingredients that break down and remove metals from your hair.

Repairing hair and preventing future damage can take some effort, but it's worth it for beautiful tresses.