I am all too familiar with letting my hair grow long and wild in the summer months and then, by the start of fall, suddenly craving a merciless chop that obliterates any trace of scraggly ends, guaranteeing me instant polish. When it comes to summer hair, however, a little trial and error have taught me that there can be a happy medium between beach bum and Park Avenue perfection. A little maintenance is all it takes. Come fall, whatever style you choose, you’ll have gloriously healthy hair to work with.
6 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Hair from Summer Damage
Get regular trims.
Treat your hair to a trim every 8 – 10 weeks to nip damage in the bud. By keeping your split ends to a minimum, you can help prevent damage from spreading up the shaft of the hair. If you’re trying to grow your hair longer, let your stylist know, and the two of you can develop a plan to cut as little as possible with possibly longer breaks between trims, depending on your hair’s level of damage and its texture.
Apply a DIY deep conditioner to your ends.
There are a few ways to do this, and I suggest experimenting to find out which works best for your hair. The goal is to moisturize your ends, which tend to be the dryest, without weighing them down or making them look greasy.
Using a lightweight oil (like coconut or grapeseed), apply a dime size amount to the bottom inch or two of hair. You can do this post-shower, while ends are still damp, or before your shower (the oil will still condition hair). After showering, wrap hair in an old cotton T-shirt–usually, these are gentler than your average towel. If your ends still look thirsty, opt for a heavier oil like argan, plum, almond, or jojoba oil.
Take precautions against chlorine.
We all know chlorine can do a number on even the healthiest hair. If you’re going swimming in a pool, either drench hair with tap water before jumping in (this may help your hair absorb less of the chlorinated water) or keep it out of the pool water entirely with a swim cap.
Don’t forget your scalp.
Take a break from hot tools.
Summer is hot enough! Add in humidity (depending on where you live), and your hot tool styling may wilt within minutes. Even if your styled hair holds up to oppressive weather, it’s still wise to alternate heat / no-heat looks to avoid excess damage to hair. When you do use a hot tool, put it on the lowest heat setting that will still achieve your desired look.
Be mindful about your use of salt sprays–and consider an alternative.
Although a sea salt spray can lend pretty, carefree texture to hair, relying on the salty stuff too much can leave your strands dehydrated and downright crunchy. Consider alternating salt spray with a sugar spray. An expert explains the difference:
“Both salt and sugar sprays add texture to hair, but if you want the traditional summer texture—the appearance of having lounged on the beach all day—go with sea salt,” says Halli Bivona of the John Barrett, NYC. “If you are looking for a bit more polish and softness for your hair, go with sugar spray.”
There you have it–six super doable tips to preserve the health of your hair when the sun is shining down the hardest!
Does your hair care game change when the temps rise? Let us know in the comments!
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