I will be going down south in November and the sun always wreaks havoc on my streaked hair. Can I do anything else to keep it from drying out besides wearing a straw hat? Does putting conditioner in your hair stop the ultra-violet rays?

It can take months for sun-damaged hair to grow out, and the damage intensifies when you have streaks or a perm.

The sun’s UV radiation can chemically break down the hair structure, making it more susceptible to destructive elments such as pollution, or blow drying. The moisture, as well as your natural or “salon” highlights, will be affected by the sun, salt or chlorine.

Here are some tips to protect your hair and keep it in shape:

-Stay in the shade as much as you can.

-Wear a lightweight hat or scarf so the sun’s damaging rays are physically blocked and can’t do their damage. The straw hat still allows sun to filter through.

-Look for hair products which have an SPF number in them for extra sun protection.

-When swimming in chlorinated or salt water, coat your hair with the proper conditioner designed for your hair type, and wear a bathing cap.

-Putting conditioner on your hair in the sun will not stop the damage of UV rays but it will help prevent the moisture loss.

-Always rinse salt and chlorine from hair after swimming and follow with a conditioner (especially on the ends).

-If you perm your hair, plan to do so at least a month before you go on holidays in the sun. The perming or bleaching processes already have a drying effect on the hair.

Do I need to use a slougher if I cleanse my skin morning and night? I also use a mask every two to three weeks.

Sloughing, exfoliation and peeling, as they are sometimes called, are more important than ever, simply because our air is more polluted than ever.

The accumulation of dirt, makeup, pollution and natural skin excretions causes the top layer of the skin to develop a thin, fine callusing that traps all the complexion problems – clogged pores, whiteheads etc. – underneath. You just can’t eliminate that kind of buildup with just a washcloth and a cleanser or soap.

Men don’t usually need as much sloughing as women do because they remove the dead cells as they shave every morning. If you look at the areas of their faces that are shaved, you will notice that these areas don’t appear to be lined. So what may appear to be age lines, a greying cast in color or just a dull finish on the face can actually be removed so that the skin will have a better glow, your creams can become more effective, and the pores and skin will be better toned. The pH of the skin will return to its normal state and all skin types will benefit from the sloughing. The mask will also do some sloughing, depending upon the type of mask, but it should be used more often – about once a week to 10 days.

Depending upon the skin type, or peeling/sloughing agent, it can be used one to three times a week. It should be considered as a preventive measure.

Can you tell me if alcohol drinks will dehydrate the skin. I usually have a couple of drinks at lunch and a few glasses of wine in the evening.

You should be aware that alcohol has a dehydrating on the skin as well as the body. It enters the bloodstream and it touches almost every organ in the body. So whenever you have one alcoholic beverage, drink at least a glass of water to compensate for it. You should also try to drink five to eight glasses of water a day – this does not include the tea, coffee and hot chocolate fluids that you also drink.

Is there any special vitamin that will help my hair and scalp become healthier? I usually take a multi-vitamin. Is this enough?

Healthy hair requires a balanced diet with adequate proteins, fats, water, vitamins from vegetables and fruits, etc. Protein is especially useful since the hair is composed of protein. Dietary deficiences, crash diets, rough treatment of the scalp and hair can result in drab, lifeless hair.