Summer Hair Care: How to Keep Your Hair Healthy All Season Long
Summer means long days at the beach and long nights at your fave bar with outdoor seating. It also means you need a summer hair care routine to keep your hair healthy all season long.
Even if you feel rested and relaxed, all that outdoor exposure can spell major damage for your hair if you’re not careful. But don’t give up your quest for the tastiest ice cream cone or the best spot to lay out in the sun just on account of your ‘do.
Fight frizz, lock in moisture, and protect your hair from harmful UV rays with our ten tips for keeping your hair healthy all summer:
1. Trim for the Summer
Heat, chlorine, and salt can make hair more fragile. Cut your hair before the season starts to prevent split ends from getting worse, says beauty editor Rachel Krause.
“If you plan on rocking long locks this summer, you should be prepared to part with your overgrown ends before hitting the beach for optimal hair health,” Krause writes at StyleCaster.
“As hair grows out, split ends continue to split up the hair shaft, so nip them in the bud as quickly as you can.”
You don’t have to rock a pixie to keep your hair healthy (though in hotter weather, who would blame you?). Just remember to schedule your regular trims at the salon to keep potential damage at bay.
2. Stop the Sweat
It’s only natural: in summer things get a little more sweaty. To fight oil and build-up, it’s important to shampoo your scalp more regularly – especially if you depend on dry shampoo during the rest of the year.
“Dry shampoo is great at tackling oil in between washes,” explains Jenna Rosenstein at Refinery29. “But then add the element of more sweat and, well, your dry shampoo is working overtime.”
If you depend solely on dry shampoo for your hair care needs in the summer, you’ll wind up with more build-up than you know what to do with.
Massage dirt and oil away from the roots of your hair when you hit the showers, and – depending on your hair type – consider shampooing every two days or every other day to get your scalp squeaky clean.
Just take it easy on the ends of your hair, since these tend to dry out more quickly as weather gets warmer.
3. Dive Deep
All that extra heat – and more frequent shampooing – can do a number on your ends.
To combat dryness or brittleness, add a mask, deep conditioning, or hot oil treatment into your routine to make sure your hair gets the TLC it deserves.
“I grew up in Hawaii, and we were always using coconut oil and macadamia-nut oils for homemade masks,” celebrity stylist Jen Atkin told Marie Claire.
“They don’t contain silicone, so they’re more like lotion for the hair and won’t build hair up or weigh hair down.”
Atkin also suggests using avocado oil to treat and prevent sunburns on the scalp. The scalp is one of the most vulnerable areas on your body in terms of sun exposure, and avocado oil can help you ease discomfort if you forget to pack a hat for the beach.
4. Tame Frizz
While there’s nothing you can do to fight humidity during the dog days of summer, you can take steps to minimize the effect of a frizz halo.
Try running a dehumidifier in your room at night, suggests Jolene Edgar at Health, or even running coconut oil through your strands before you style.
“Nix frizz at the beach by slicking back your hair with a little coconut oil and braiding it loosely,” Edgar recommends. When you take the braid out at night, you’ll have gorgeous, frizz-free waves.
Turning down the heat on your styling tools or using cool air on your blow dryer can all make a difference, too.
5. Pool Protection
If your blonde hair turns brassy as soon as you get in the pool, you already know chlorine is your enemy.
Rinse off in the shower before you hop in the deep end, suggests trichologist David Kingsley.
“Wet hair with tap water before you take the plunge and it won’t absorb much chlorinated water,” Kingsley told Prevention.
All it takes is an extra step to protect that expensive dye job – or your natural blonde locks – from transforming into something more sea monster than surfer girl.
6. See UV Later
Sunscreen isn’t just for your skin. Your scalp and hairline are naturally sensitive areas – and the least likely to get the kind of coverage that can save you from a painful burn.
Looking for a natural solution?
“Rub sesame oil – a natural UV filter – onto the ends of your hair before hitting the beach,” salon owner Jet Rhys told Health.
The natural oils will help protect your scalp and moisturize dry ends for a two-in-one protection plan.
7. Amp Up Your Color
Dyeing your hair this summer? Then you need a plan to prevent the sun from draining your color – or damaging your newly-fragile tresses.
Try a keratin treatment to protect your color and prevent it from fading, suggests celebrity stylist Ashley Javier.
“They build a protein shield that makes hair easier to style – it’s less fluffy, frizzy, and vulnerable to heat and oxidation,” Javier explained to Marie Claire.
For a more natural approach to keratin treatments, try using regular coconut oil masks for protection and a much-needed moisture boost.
Stick with sulfate-free shampoo to zap frizz and help color last through the summer.
8. Protective Styles
Protective styles like loose braids, bantu knots, and low buns can give your hair a break from heat styling and over-shampooing – plus, they’re perfect for summer.
Take advantage of summer’s less formal vibe and try out one of these easy-peasy protective styles from StyleBlazer.
While you’re thinking about pulling your hair back, you may also want to brush up on how to avoid breakage from hair ties.
Rule #1? Never pull hair back while it’s wet – even if you’ve just popped out of the pool.
“The hair is at its weakest point when it’s wet,” stylist Tommy Buckett explained to Harper’s Bazaar. “It stretches a little more when you pull on it, but it can only take so much before it snaps.”
Hair should be completely dry when you put it up to avoid putting too much pressure on the shaft and inviting damage.
9. Under Cover
Thank goodness the floppy beach hat is back in style. Not only will a hat or scarf protect your scalp from the scorching sun, but it can also save the delicate skin on your face from direct exposure.
“Because there’s no effective chemical product or dye designed to counteract the impact of ultraviolet rays on hair…a wide-brimmed hat is your best weapon for summer hair care,” Cheri McMaster, the principal hair scientist for Pantene shampoos, told Prevention.
Just remember to hold on tight when that ocean breeze starts blowing!
10. Avoid Beach Hair Breakage
Your hair is at its most fragile when you step out of the ocean. And while we love the loose, wavy beach hair look, trying to comb out those tangles can cause major breakage.
“The best thing you can do is go straight to the shower and rinse out the salt,” explained Diane Minar, the senior scientist for Nexxus, to Refinery29.
“Don’t try to comb out the knots until you have a chance to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner,” she added.
Once you’ve rinsed and shampooed out the salt spray, you should be able to detangle as normal.
Whether you’re jetting off to the beach for the summer or hanging by the pool in your neighborhood, don’t forget to extend summer self-care to your hair.
Beat the heat with protective styles, conditioning masks, and a strategic shampoo sesh, so you can float through vacation worry-free.