Summer Hair Care Guide for Autoimmune Disease Sufferers

As adults, the start of summer can spark the same excitement we felt when the last bell rang in grade school, giving us the green light to set aside work and soak up the sun.

Since my diagnosis of autoimmune disease and Hashimoto's in 2019, this season brings new considerations, especially regarding my hair. As a hairstylist for years, I've noticed significant changes in the texture, growth, and overall appearance of my clients' hair if they were dealing with thyroid issues, autoimmune diseases, or even menopause (See 10 Autoimmune Diseases That Cause Hair Loss and Other Hair Conditions). So, I wasn't surprised when I saw changes in my own hair.

While summer boosts our Vitamin D, fruit and veggie intake, and laughter (all great for the soul and body), the season's activities can also lead to inflammation and even drier, more brittle hair for those managing autoimmune and hormonal challenges.

Whether you're facing hair thinning, scalp sensitivity, or dryness, addressing these issues requires a specialized approach. Here, I break down way to maintain healthy and vibrant hair throughout the summer months, tailored to the specific needs of individuals with autoimmune conditions or hormonal dysfunctions.

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Understanding the Challenges

1. Hair Thinning and Loss: Autoimmune diseases and hormonal imbalances can contribute to hair thinning and loss. Summer heat and sun exposure can exacerbate these issues, making gentle care essential.

2. Scalp Sensitivity: Conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis associated with autoimmune diseases can cause scalp sensitivity. Sun exposure and harsh chemicals in hair products can further irritate the scalp.

3. Dryness and Frizz: Hormonal fluctuations can lead to dry, frizzy hair. Summer weather, with its humidity or dry heat, can worsen these conditions, emphasizing the need for hydration and moisture balance.

Essential Summer Hair Care Tips

  • Choose Gentle, Moisturizing Products: Opt for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners that hydrate and nourish your hair without stripping natural oils or causing irritation. You should avoid ingredients that contribute to inflammation or imbalances in your endocrine system, also known as endocrine disruptors, like fragrance, phthalates, parabens, triclosan, dimethicone, or propylene glycol. One of my favorite go-to summer shampoo and conditioner for those not suffering from hair loss is 100% Pure Burdock & Neem Health Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner.  It keeps the scalp healthy while creating balance from dry out and sun damage.
  • Protect from UV Rays: Shield your hair and scalp from UV damage by using products with UV filters or wearing a hat when outdoors for extended periods. I do this for my skin and hair. Most UV protecting ingredients,  like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and benzophenones, have been found to contribute to endocrine disruption, reproductive issues, skin irritation and toxicity so opt for hair products that include natural UV protection. Look for ingredients like Mongongo Oil, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, or Beeswax. Here are some of my favorite toxin-free UV protecting sprays:
Cult and King Tonik Scalp and Hair Purifier - North Authentic

Cult & King Tonik

This lightweight hair and scalp purifier cleans and balances the scalp while delivering lightweight hydration and sun protection. Perfect for those with short hair or buzz/shaved cuts/balding to protect the scalp from sun damage. Apply scalp to ends on finer hair types.

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Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier - North Authentic

Rahua Hydration Detangler + UV Barrier

This medium-weight UV protectant spray is the perfect first step in your summer styling routine or to apply to wet hair before entering the pool or ocean.

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Evolvh Super Finish Polishing Balm

Slightly thicker gel-like balm that is wonderful for thicker, dry, brittle hair as well as protects from sun damage while controling frizz and manageability.

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  • Use Non-Toxic Ingredients -  You know I can’t finish a blog without mentioning how much toxic chemicals negatively enhance our autoimmune symptoms. Avoid harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances. Opt for products with natural ingredients like those I have tested and carry at North Authentic. Ensure any hair or body products you choose are gentle on sensitive skin and promote scalp health.

juliArt Hair Loss With Dry Scalp ECHO System

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juliArt Hair Loss With Oily Scalp ECHO System

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Oway Micro-Stimulating Hair Bath

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Oway Vivifying Remedy For Sensitive Scalps

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Before and After using juliArt Echo System

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and hair from within, promoting overall hair health and moisture retention. My skin and hair quickly show me when my body is dehydrated. A benefit of suffering from these types of challenges is we become very aware of our bodies and what it likes and doesn’t like. Listen to your body and make sure it is getting all it needs.

Why Non-Toxic Ingredients Matter

Choosing non-toxic hair care products is crucial for several reasons:

  • Reduced Irritation: Harsh chemicals can exacerbate scalp conditions and irritate sensitive skin, leading to discomfort and potential flare-ups.

  • They don’t contribute to the problem, but support your healing journey: Many chemicals in hair products are endocrine disruptors meaning they are messing with an already confused and reactive hormonal system. Using these products is like eating peanut butter when you’re allergic. Put as much thought into what you put on your skin and scalp as you do in your gut. 

  • Healthier Hair - Non-toxic ingredients help maintain the natural balance of your scalp and hair, promoting overall hair health and vitality. Plus, dirty products contain a great deal of drying ingredients that exacerbate the problem.

  • Environmental Benefits: I’m sure, like me, you care as much about mother earth as you do about your body. Opting for sustainable and non-toxic products supports environmental sustainability and reduces exposure to harmful pollutants. Plus, most North Authentic products have refill options that are reusable and eco-friendly!

By adopting a gentle and holistic approach to summer hair care, those of us suffering with autoimmune diseases or hormonal imbalances can effectively manage their hair challenges while enjoying the season. With the right care and products, you can confidently embrace summer with healthy, resilient hair.

Have the best summer ever autoimmune warriors!!

XO,

Natalie Palomino

Written by Natalie Palomino

Natalie is a Master Stylist, Hair Care Expert and Founder of North Authentic, your conscious hair care marketplace. She was diagnosed with Hashimotos, Autoimmune Disease, and Epstein Bar in 2019 leading her to transition her salon and hair career to clean products and education.

Natalie Palomino
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