Most of us tend to worry about the state of our strands during the winter when hot hair tools become essential to creating a daily style. But your hair health doesn’t take a vacation once the mercury begins to rise. The summer is all about surf, sun, and sand, and those elements can quickly contribute to dryness, dullness, and damage, regardless of your texture.
While there might be some debate as to which is worse, hairstylists agree that UV rays and chlorine are some of the season’s top coif-ruining culprits. “Chlorine removes the natural oils that cover and protect your hair,” celebrity hairstylist Sunnie Brook explains. “This can cause a loss of hair shine and flexibility, as well as make your hair more susceptible to mechanical damage.” Meanwhile, UV rays can mess with your hair color and moisture levels.
But there are a number of solutions to stave off any summer strand stressors and keep it styled no matter how sweaty you get. We tapped some of our favorite hairstylists to share their favorite products to help locks look lush, lustrous, and healthy during the dog days of the season.
Start In The Shower
Many might believe that stylers are what dictate how your hair will turn out, but the truth is that it starts with your shampoo and conditioner combo, regardless of the season. Sure, you might have a year-round go-to stationed in your shower, but stylists suggest switching to something that either boosts moisture or fights frizz to prevent humidity from turning your tresses into a hair nightmare.
1. Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo ($5) and Conditioner ($6): “When the weather is extreme (hot or damp), I think starting in the shower is the most important step in your routine!” Brook says, which is why she loves using this drugstore staple. While both work to rid your scalp of dandruff, they also deeply hydrate from roots to ends so strands stay smooth without feeling weighed down.
2. Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo ($22) and Defrizzing Conditioner ($24): You don’t have to have curls to get the most out of these haircare essentials as Jason Hallman, Master Artistic Educator/ Lead Stylist at Ouidad Salon in New York City, recommends them to everyone. It’s thanks to the moisturizing formula, which is infused with not only with a blend of shea and murumuru butters but also the brand’s Anti-Frizz Nano Technology to seal the cuticle and keep humidity out. Though if you feel your hair could use an extra dose of moisture, add a leave-in conditioner before you style.
Masks are a mainstay in most haircare routines to help undo weekly damage, but they also have the power to prevent it before it starts. If you’re planning to hang by the beach or poolside, Hallman suggests slathering a deep conditioner on your locks before covering it up with a hat, and let the summer swelter activate it. “The sun’s heat on the hat will allow the treatment to absorb into the hair,” he said. Then all you have to do when you get home is rinse it out and add a hydrating conditioner to keep your tresses smooth.
3. Ouidad Deep Treatment Curl Restoration Therapy ($37): This deep conditioner is perfect to test-drive Hallman’s tip with since the formula is actually heat-activated. That way, it can better penetrate the cuticle to nourish from within. Once it dives into the hair shaft, the mask goes to work replacing any missing amino acids and proteins that keep curls (or straight strands) springy yet strong whether you’re stepping into salt or chlorinated water.
4. Hair Rituel by Sisley Regenerating Hair Care Mask ($95): We’ll admit that this is a pretty decadent hair mask to add to the mix, but consider it a serious investment in your hair’s health. It comes packed with a blend of nourishing oils, including shea, macadamia, camellia, and hazelnut, but it also feeds your scalp and follicles with a concentrated dose of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to energize and revitalize. You’ll see where the money went when your strands look and feel silky soft.
Invest In Oils
Those with naturally oily roots might be clutching their pearls at the thought of applying an oil on their hair, but it’s no big deal if you only add it to your ends or other areas where your hair might be a little thirsty. It not only acts as an instant hydrator but can also give your strands some slip should you decide to put it into a speedy updo or opt for braids.
5. Bumble&Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($22-$40): This oil is clutch if you’re quickly slicking back your strands into a bun or other updo. With a rich blend of coconut, grapeseed, sweet almond, and safflower oils, all you need are a few spritzes while your hair is still damp to score a wet-shine finish without any weight. Brook particularly loves adding this to the ends of textured tresses to ensure they have some long-lasting hydration and sheen.
6. Garnier Whole Blends Coconut Oil & Cocoa Butter Extracts Smoothing Oil ($6): Insiders can’t get enough of coconut oil, including stylist Chad Wood, whose work you’ve seen on the likes of Bella Hadid, Vanessa Hudgens, Olivia Munn, and more. While he recommends masking with the solid version (since it melts more easily), this Garnier oil allows you to achieve the same effect when you style as it nourishes hair and helps keep flyaways at bay — a must when showing off a badass braid.
Style With a Strong Hold
Between the heat and humidity, one step out the door after styling can result in a flurry of frizz and fury. While hardline hairsprays and stylers can keep heat-styled locks in place for hours, they don’t stand as much of a chance when the dew point rises and flyaways start flickering up. So swapping out those formulas for something built to withstand the summer swelter is essential if you need to keep your coif in check.
7. R+Co Foil Frizz + Static Control Spray ($28): Formulated with vitamin E and argan oil, this finishing spray enhances shine and provides excellent hold to seal in any moisture while the antistatic agent keeps out everything else. Plus, the formula’s thermal polymers provide plenty of heat protection whether it comes from a hair tool or fresh from the sun. So no matter how you style your look, the finished coif will be spectacular and stay in place.
8. IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel ($15-$29): If you decide to air dry and let your natural texture come through, then this favorite of Woods is for you. While many gels are formulated with loads of alcohol that can leave hair dehydrated, the conditioning formula replenishes hair with nutrients that keep it strong and shiny. Plus, it delivers a lived-in texture that looks controlled but not crunchy.
SPF Those Strands
Sunscreen is an everyday essential, not just a summer staple. And while you might slather on SPF from the face down, you shouldn’t forget your scalp or else you could learn the painful consequences later. After all, UV rays can dry out your hair and cause its color to fade, according to Hallman. But you don’t have to dab the same formula you use on your body to protect your head, as there’s a slew of spray formulas that you can spritz to score some serious protection.
9. Wella Sun Protection Spray ($14): If you’re looking for something light that also delivers serious shine, this spritz is it. The shine enhancer has a double-phase formula that first keeps your color safe from UV rays and then hydrates the hair with a vitamin complex that keeps it healthy before and during sun exposure. Not to mention that the spray makes reapplying a breeze.
10. Drybar Hot Toddy Heat & UV Protectant ($30): Those with thicker tresses will love this light lotion. It’s formulated with the some of the same sunscreen ingredients you’d find in your skincare to maintain your hair color and avert any additional damage. While its polymer complex makes it a great heat protectant, it comes loaded with artichoke leaf that pumps up that protection further and helps keep hair hydrated.
(Photo via Getty)
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