Summer Hair Care: Easy Tips and Styles to Look Your Best
On hot summer days, hair care is as important as the hair-do. Photo: Solskin/Getty Images
Heat and humidity can cause fine hair to fall flat and add frizz to drier, coarser hair. So hair care is as important as the hairdo to avoid the less flattering effects of a sunny, sultry climate.
Hair texture changes as we age. A decline in scalp-nourishing oils results in duller, thinner tresses and UV rays further roughen the cuticle, which then swells in response to heat and draws humidity, thus the frizz of hot weather hair.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a natural wave that’s only enhanced by heat and humidity, it’s time for sexy, super easy Beach Hair. Have a few summer layers cut in around the face and crown; shorter pieces add wavy fullness and texture. After that, this wash and wear look just requires a quick comb-through with a texturizer — Bumble and Bumble Surf Texturizing Finishing Foam or a salt spray like UNITE Hair Beach Day Spray — and an air dry for beachy waves and texture. For added oomph, twist slightly damp hair into a loose topknot and let it dry. For wow waves, run a lightweight, super-hold foam through towel dried hair, twist it into a top knot and sleep on it, positioning the bun just behind the hairline for face-framing waves.
The blond to blondish, or blond highlighted, can add natural looking colour with Sun Bum Blonde Formula Hair Lightener. Infused with pineapple, honey and a splash of peroxide, this UV-activated liquid gives you a sun-kissed lift without any brassiness. It can be sprayed all over, aimed at sections for face framing lightening or beachy blond tips, or aimed at the hair and part line to lift dark roots. Just apply, sit in the sun and repeat if needed, once hair is dry, for extra brightening.
People whose colour does not benefit from hours in the sun, should look for products with anti-UV ingredients to shield their mane from the sun’s dehydrating, colour-bleaching properties. Available in hair misting sprays, wash-out shampoos, conditioners and leave-in conditioners, these are very beneficial to shades prone to fading and brassiness like gingers, auburn brunettes and caramel blonds.
Spend a lot of time in the pool? Find a shampoo and conditioner that minimizes the effects of chlorine. Malibu C Swimmers Wellness comes in bottles as well as individual sachets you can toss in your beach bag when lounging around a friend’s pool. A clarifying shampoo, like Redken Detox Hair Cleansing Cream, removes chlorine along with buildup from air pollution and minerals (like copper and iron) found in hard water.
Organic and super cost effective? Apple cider vinegar is a natural clarifier. Just add one part vinegar to four parts water and pour over freshly washed hair, let soak for a few minutes, then rinse. Blond hair is more susceptible to the green tint that a chlorinated pool, especially an over-chlorinated pool, can offer. Applying leave-in conditioner, or an apple cider rinse, before you swim makes it harder for minerals, primarily copper, to infiltrate the hair shaft and discolour it. However, if you do emerge from the water with an unwelcome tinge, quick home fixes include saturating your hair with lemon juice (fresh lemons or pure bottled juice) and massaging a paste of baking soda and warm water into your hair.
Beat the Heat
Dry shampoo is the all-time summertime salvagente! (that’s lifesaver in Italian). Instantly revitalizing perspiration and oil-defeated manes, it’s indispensable for women with even slightly oily roots, a scenario aggravated by hot weather, and anyone with bangs. Klorane is good but Batiste is just as good and half the price. Affordable and widely available, it comes in full size, as well as handy minis you can pop in your purse for an on-the-go hair refresh or tuck into a carry-on if travel is on the agenda.
Women battling frizz and dryness will thank heaven for a lamellar water like L’Oréal Wonder Water, Garnier Sulfate-Free Glass Hair Water Lamellar Rinse Out Treatment or Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Lamellar Water Treatment. Applied for 10 seconds in the shower (on the lengths only, avoiding the scalp), the hair care industry’s newly introduced ‘water’ treatments that leave hair soft and silky. Ultra-lightweight, they penetrate the shaft more thoroughly than viscous hair conditioners and masques, depositing active hydrating ingredients like amino acids for strength and sheen along with conditioning agents that fill in rough spots for super smoothness.
For an anti-frizz treatment that’s longer lasting and also fights colour fade, go for a semi-permanent gloss. Coating the hair cuticle, this treatment offers megawatt shine and keeps colour from fading. Washing out in four to six weeks, you can opt for clear or tinted, and it’s something you can easily do yourself with easy-to-use products, instead of paying for it at a salon.
Play With Pastels
Kicking back at the cottage for July? Summer is the ideal time to have some fun with pretty, semi-permanent colour washes. Overtone offers a wide range of pretty hues. Why not add a layer of pale lilac or shimmery rose gold for the season? Hydrating pigmented conditioners free of bleach or lighteners that jazz up wet or dry strands in 10 to 15 minutes, they also come in subtly enhancing shades for silver and grey hair.
With frizz, greasy roots, limp locks, colour fade, sun and pool damage at bay, the main thing with managing a summer mane is keeping your hair off your skin. When it’s 90 degrees in the shade, hair on the neck and shoulders can feel like a fur coat. Easy up-dos are an essential so carry a few hair accessories in your handbag.
A classic hair pin is perfect for a quick bun, high or low, and you can’t go wrong with tortoiseshell or metallics. Hair sticks are handy. A chopstick does nicely as well; buy short ones or children’s chopsticks for a tidier twist. If your hair is slippery and accessories fall out, this one is made to stay firmly in place. This minimalist bar chics up a half-up and gets your hair off your face. A high, tight ponytail is always jaunty — as well as an instant face lift when you’re feeling wilted — and this 20-second hack is brilliant for maximum fullness. If your hair is long enough, a side braid is always flattering and the messy fishtail technique makes it look super thick, even if your hair isn’t. Evening? Add a few diamante barrettes.