Depending on what part of the country you live in, your swimming pool has either been opened, just opened or is getting ready to open. And for you beach dwellers, access is granted to you all year round, practically. There couldn't be a better time to discuss ways to prevent chlorine- and salt-damaged hair.

The first thing you should know is that hair saturated with clean water won't soak up as much chlorine or salt as dry hair. Before going for a swim, soak your hair with tap water. When you get out of the pool or ocean, don't run a brush through your hair. Instead, use a wide tooth comb to prevent breakage. You might want to add a detangling treatment first, and comb through hair.

Another hair protector and hydrator is neem oil. You can coat your hair with this oil prior to going swimming. It's not only great for hair, but itchy skin, as well.

After your swim, use a shampoo that will pull the chlorine out from your hair. Look for an ingredient called ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid. You can find it in Frédéric Fekkai Marine Clean Detox Shampoo. You should never shampoo before swimming, as it strips away the protective oils in your hair, leaving it vulnerable to chemicals and salt. And you should avoid alcohol-based styling products, such as hair spray.

Deep-conditioning your hair once a week in the summer is a must. An at-home treatment is an easy fix to forming a protective guard against frayed cuticles. Try Samy Beyond Repair Professional Intensive Hair Masque, Matrix Sleek.look Miracle Reconstructor or Kerastase Ciment Thermique.

For severe split ends, see your hair stylist. If you do not visit the hair salon often, you should during the summer ... every six weeks. And if you are like me, the sun lightens your already highlighted hair. To avoid this, your hair colorist can add lowlights, in strategic places, to create a nice contrast and t