By: Sarah Kester
Whether you have straight, curly, fine or frizzy hair, the heat and humidity of summer waits for no mane. “Without a doubt, summer can be trying and drying on our hair. The problems vary with hair types and texture, but nonetheless the challenges are universal,” Natalie James, owner and CEO of Vent Blow Dry Bar tells Lively.
In other words, hair will always require an extra boost of TLC during the warmer months as we’re faced with things like color fading, dry locks that resemble straw and, of course, dreaded frizz.
Don’t let another summer go by without your tresses looking and feeling their best. With these hacks from some of the top hair experts, you’ll wonder how you’ve ever survived so long without them.
There is nothing more “summer” than spending a day by the water – ideally, of course, with a cocktail in hand. Trouble is, while you’re busy pampering your body with a dip in the pool, your hair could be treading some dangerous waters if chlorine or salt water is present.
“Chlorine can dry out the texture of any hair type and can also cause porous blondes to turn shades of green,” says Samantha Denis, a stylist and colorist and founder of the clean hair care brand, allyoos.
While the only way to completely avoid this type of hair damage is to skip the water entirely, that’s not always realistic during the summer months. This is where hair hacks come to the rescue!
“Start by using a leave-in conditioner or even regular conditioner on strands to create a barrier between the hair and water before jumping in,” Denis tells Lively. A swim cap is another method of protection. It even helps save on styling time afterwards!
Post-pool treatment is something to consider, as well. After spending time in chlorine or salt water, Edward Tricomi, master stylist and co-owner of Warren Tricomi Salon, suggests using a clarifying shampoo to rinse your hair. Hair masks work well, too. Aim for 1-2 applications a week, although you should really be trying to squeeze in a hair treatment whenever possible in the summer. A good time to give your hair a little TLC? Before tying your hair back in a bun or braid.
Summer is definitely the time to go au natural with your locks. “Between the sun, salt, and chlorine, you don’t need to add another compromising element, which is heat,” says Denis. Her motto is: “air-dry, air-dry, air-dry,” a rule that she likes to follow all-year round, no matter the season.
If you must use hair tools, though, the key to preventing damage lies in protecting your hair. The first key is using a good, leave-in conditioner and heat protectant cream (you also have the option of blow dry serums and anti-frizz cream) to coat and protect your hair before styling.
The second is achieving the look that you want without using a heat styling tool for too long. “Even if you just rough-dry your hair, instead of fully blowing it dry and then just go over your hairline and crown area, it'll look more polished and ‘done.’ This way, you'll be able to avoid fully heat styling your whole head,” says Denis.
Ah, frizz. While it’s technically defined as the hair shaft swelling from moisture in the air from humidity, most girls – curly gals, especially – know frizz as the bane of their existence during the summer. Case in point: Monica’s hair from Friendswhen she took a vacation to Jamaica.
It’s not just curly-haired girls who struggle with humidity, either. “For those who have fine or straight hair, the humidity causes their hair to fall limp and loose its hold easily,” says James.
So, what’s a girl to do? Surprisingly, the answer is not to fight frizz at all. “If you have natural wave or curl, embrace it. Trying to straighten textured hair when humidity is on the rise will almost always be a losing battle,” explains James.
Denis agrees: “Instead of relying on heat tools, let your hair air-dry and keep the hair moisturized and hydrated.” She says that hair that’s properly hydrated (using oils and serums can helps) will be less likely to absorb moisture from the air, thus preventing it from becoming frizzy. We recommend adding Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Glow to your beauty routine. This product contains skin-saving ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, biotin and vitamin C.
While it may have been exciting to lighten your hair in the sun while growing up, it’s not so fun as an adult who pays a pretty penny to have it professionally colored in the salon.
“Color fading can happen in a number of ways, but harmful UV rays is a top contender,” says James. “Sun exposure can lift color, reduce shine and turn highlights brassy.” It can also happen as the result of chlorine and salt water.
To prevent color fading, Denis says that you can use leave-in conditioners or products with UV protection to help coat the hair and protect it from sun damage and. “You can also visit your colorist to get glazes to refresh color or clear glazes to refresh shine during summer months with fading is more of a thing,” shares Denis.
Another way to prevent color fading is by wearing a hat – doing so will also help protect your scalp! Color-safe shampoos and conditioners work, too, says Tricomi. As does the unconventional idea of spraying sunblock on the hair. “Just like regular sunscreen, it will need to be reapplied in order to be effective,” adds Tricomi.
During the summer months when you’re getting large doses of vitamin D, it’s always good to navigate towards products that are hydrating and moisturizing. Skip this important step and you just might end up with hair that has a straw-like texture from lacking moisture.
Leave the straw for the scarecrows by making an effort to hydrate your locks regularly. One way to do this is by incorporating weekly hair treatments into your hair care regime. This will help nourish the hair, as will getting into the habit of using leave-in conditioner whenever you can. This is especially the case whenever you’re going swimming since chlorine can be super drying to the hair.
If you consider washing your hair to be a chore, then you will rejoice in the news that you can shampoo less during the summer. In fact, Phil Mania, owner and stylist at Mania Hair Studio, says that shampooing is overrated! He says that curly-haired ladies can get away with not washing their hair for a week, while those with fine hair probably only require about two to three washes a week.
You can also start your hair care hacks right in the shower. For example, try rinsing with the coldest water possible. “Frizz control starts with the right water temperature,” says James. “Rinsing with cold water seals the hair cuticle and can assist with locking in moisture.”
Leave that leave-in conditioner a little longer than usual as well. “Because our hair tends to be dryer due to added heat and sun exposure, leaving the conditioner on a little longer will allow the hair to absorb what it needs,” says James.
You can save the extravagant hairstyles for September by opting for some no-fuss hairstyles that are a breeze for summer. This includes a messy topknot that’s just the perfect balance of chic and relaxed, braids or a simple ponytail that’s never out of style.
Out of all of these styles, braids were the most popular among the stylists. “They can be done on wet hair, which saves you from another unnecessary blow dry and style,” says James. “If done properly, they can also last a few days and when you do let them out, you are left with gorgeous waves that didn’t require a hot tool!” Not surprisingly, braids are also a great time to add some extra nourishing oils, like argon oil, since it has a significant amount of UV protection in it!
Another gorgeous hairstyle that’s easy to create is a low side-part ponytail, advises Tricomi. “Start by washing your hair and putting a leave-in conditioner in it. You’ll create a side part and brush all your hair into a low pony,” Tricomi continues. “Then, you’ll want to braid the hair and wrap it up into a bun then pin it.”
With these gorgeous hairstyles and life-saving hair hacks, your only problem this summer will be where to find the nearest beach party!