There’s no doubt about it, summer is hard on your hair. High heat and humidity can cause your locks to go limp like a wet noodle or, in my case, frizz out like dandelion fuzz. Too much exposure to UV rays can make your tresses weak, brittle and more susceptible to split ends, especially if they’re color-treated, and chlorine from the pool or salt water from the ocean makes hair more porous and parched too.
With these tips, you can have healthy, great-looking hair all summer (and all year) long!
- Keep it hydrated. Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, especially if your hair is dry and damaged already. Follow it up with nourishing oils (e.g., Argan) or silicone serums to smooth out the kinks and lock in the moisture. Then once a week treat your hair to a deep conditioning mask, like the ones featured on realsimple.com.
There are all kinds of conditioning treatments out there, but you can also make your own out of natural ingredients like honey, avocado and egg whites. Check out these easy recipes for homemade natural hair treatments.
- Lather up less. According to the pros, you should wash your hair every other day or even every few days to allow natural oils from your hair and scalp to surface. Less shampooing actually improves your hair’s appearance, making it softer, shinier and easier to style. If your hair feels too oily (or smells a little funky) between shampoos, try a dry shampoo spray – there’s a fine selection at Sephora.
If you’re having a horrible hair day (we all have those, right?) you can always pin it up, pull it back in a pony tail, or braid it. If it’s short, spritz it with water and style.
If you spend a lot of time in the pool, you should use a clarifying shampoo, like Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three, to help remove chlorine buildup and other impurities. It also keeps your hair from turning green (yes, that can happen!).
Of course, it’s important to pick the right products for your hair type. Click here to find the best shampoos and conditioners for you.
3. Cover it up. If you plan to be out in the sun for any length of time, consider wearing a hat – like a fun straw fedora or a cool ball cap – or even a colorful scarf to protect your hair and scalp from the elements and keep color-treated hair from fading or turning brassy.
4. Get a trim. Because hair tends to be more frazzled this time of year, it’s a good idea to have the ends trimmed at least every 4 to 6 weeks.
5. Comb it out. Use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush to detangle your hair when it’s wet. Pulling a brush through damp hair can snag strands and cause breakage.
6. Limit heated styling tools. Give your hair a break from blow dryers and flat irons as often as you can to prevent split ends. If you do need to use them, protect your tresses from the heat with the right styling products – totalbeauty.com ranks the 10 best heat protectant products.
NOTE: If your hair is fine and curly, like mine, you’re better off letting it air-dry, especially on humid days. If I don’t style it right, I end up looking like a Chia Pet! I don’t want tight tendrils like a poodle either, so I’ll unwind my curls a bit with a straightening cream or gel – I like John Frieda Frizz Ease Unwind Curls Calming Cream.
If you have thick, wavy hair, you should apply styling products only on the ends. Otherwise, you get that Sphinx-head look, all bushed out on the sides.
To tame unruly flyaways, I use Kenra Platinum Silkening Gloss – a 2.2 oz. bottle costs around $20, but it lasts a long time and is worth every penny! Plus, it smells heavenly!
Learn how to air-dry your hair like a pro with these tricks from Allure.com
7. Drink lots of water. In other words, hydrate your hair from the inside out.
Here’s to a great hair day, every day!
Smart Perks blogger Catherine B. wishes she had a live-in stylist to do her hair every morning.