Ah August. It’s vacation time—that wonderful time of year when we can get away with not turning on the blowdryer, sporting beachy waves, wearing sleek ponytails and pulling hair up in cute top knots. But, for many of us summer, even late summer, can be a drag on our hair with uncontrollable frizz, fried strands and washed out color.
“For your hair, summer isn’t as much fun as it is for you. It especially suffers from sun exposure, so the less additional heat you apply, the better,” says Dr. Gary L. Marder, founder of Marder Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
Here, we break down the season’s most popular hair problems and ways to keep them in top form, leaving you with gorgeous tresses until fall. And if you suffer from frizz even in the cooler months, these solutions will help you out all year long.
Frizz, Flyways and Unruly Hair
One of the biggest issues for women in the summer—whether you are born with curly or straight hair—is humidity and how it affects hair. Hair gets bigger, curls get frizzier and the texture becomes unmanageable. “Humidity has a negative effect on all hair types, especially those with fine and curly hair,” says Zahir Ziani, National Creative Director for Red Door Spas. “Humidity causes curly hair to become extra frizzy and if you have fine and straight hair, humidity can make hair lifeless and limp.”
To help tame frizzy tresses, Ziani recommends applying a silicone-based serum to damp hair to provide a protective barrier and smooth curls. Try Frizz-Ease Thermal Protection Serum ($9.99), which banishes frizz and protects strands against further UV exposure.
A few sprays of Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Humidity Hair Spray ($4.29) on the roots of fine hair adds some extra lift and holds styles in place for hours without any frizzies in sight.
Limp, stringy hair
All the fun out in the warm sun can make hair appear limp and do damage to our ends. “Hair gets limp and stringy in the summer due to being overexposed by the sun,” says celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena. Humidity coupled with globbing on heavy styling products also makes hair fall flat. Mena suggests trimming ends to help keep hair looking healthy and fresh, but to also incorporate a weekly conditioning treatment to mend damaged ends.
Revive parched summer-damaged locks with Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment ($42) that works well for fine, limp strands as well as thick frizzy ones needing a little TLC. Infused with PolyfluoroEster, a moisture-controlling molecule, wheat proteins and tucuma seed butter, this weekly deep conditioning mask contains no silicones so it strengthens without weighing hair down.
Hot sticky weather causes our scalp to produce more sebum, leaving hair greasy and lifeless. Ziani suggests applying conditioner only to the ends of hair, and if hair is super-greasy ditch the conditioner all together. Switching to a shampoo that removes buildup a few times a week is also a good option.
One to try is www.johnmastersorganics.com John Master’s Organics Herbal Cider Hair Clarifier & Sealer ($17). Containing apple cider vinegar to remove buildup, lemon oil to cleanse the scalp and rosemary to add volume and shine, this eco-friendly shampoo restores the scalp’s natural pH without stripping color.
My fine straight hair can’t get enough of Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($18) to help mop up extra oil at the root and add some extra volume to strands without any greasy residue.
We always remember to apply sunscreen to our face and body, but when it comes to protecting our hair with SPF, we often forget. “Too much sun and chlorine can make hair color fade,” says Mena. “I tell all my clients to wear a hat, and if they don’t during the day, then they should use a product that contains UV protection.”
Davines SU Suncare Protection Cream ($27) protects fading locks from sun and chlorine while sealing in moisture with argan oil, wheat proteins, vitamin E, fatty acids and UV filters.
Dry, Damaged Hair
Hair that is already dry, mixed with the sun and chlorine, can lead to brittle, fried dull strands. “In general, hair becomes damaged during the summer because we don’t take care of it,” says Ziani. “ We put it up, we go to the beach and expose hair to sun, salt water and go to the pool and expose hair to chemicals.” It’s important to protect the cuticle when we swim often and stay outside for longer periods of time. Ziani suggests applying a leave-in conditioner as soon as you get out of the ocean or pool and comb through for added moisture.
Toss L’Oréal EverCreme Nourishing Leave-in Spray ($8.99) in your beach bag to hydrate over-processed tresses and act as a barrier with moisture-boosting omega-3 and 6 for glossier smoother hair.
For hair in need of serious TLC, www.ulta.comLee Stafford ArganOil from Morocco Deep Nourishing Treatment ($14.99) hydrates while it keeps frizzies at bay. Apply after shampoo, but before your regular conditioner. It won’t weigh your hair down, so this Argan Oil product can be used even on fine, damaged hair.