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So last time we talked about how to handle your hair when it comes to things like chlorine and sun exposure. But how about the choices we make for our hair, before we ever hit the watering hole?

Coloring: No matter what color you choose, sun exposure is going to lighten your locks.  Over highlighted hair leaves a girl, or boy, looking washed out. And your if you spend too much time in the pool or sun, your hair can turn unsightly shades of orange and yellow. Go with something natural and choose a color safe shampoo to make your shade last longer.

The cut: Going with something mid length and layered leaves you with lots of options and the ability to change your look from day to day. Something too short means your stuck with the same look every day. And something too long is heavy and makes hair more a victim of the elements outdoors. Of course, don't go with a certain length just because you feel your age dictates so. You don't have to cut off all your hair when you turn 50. Just try to avoid cuts that look like you are trying, too hard, to be young.

Conditioning: Lets face it, conditioning is just smart. Hair becomes course after much time spent in the pool or at the beach. So taking care of it before you hit the sun will put you ahead of the game. There are lots of types of treatments to strengthen your locks. Varying from type of hair to what it is you are trying to do.

For more healthy hair tips go to: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/07/16/hearstmagbeauty354058.DTL