Summer is here, though not in the way we expect. It’s usually a time when we emerge from our caves in anticipation of wind whipping through our hair and basking in the sun. But, this summer – strange as it promises to be – is no time to throw caution to the wind and some preparation is in order.
Caring for your hair during the summer months should be as easy and breezy as the season itself. A carefree summer hair kick-off includes selecting a low-maintenance, versatile cut and color that can grow out well into the “dog-days” letting you relax and worry less. We have enough to be worried about these days, right? Here are our top tips to help your hair weather summer in good health.
Be mindful of drying shampoos.
That wind and sun feel great, but it can be tough on hair. Add salt water, chlorine, the constant tugging into ponytails and buns, and hair can require major repair come Fall. So don’t add insult to injury by further parching your hair with traditional shampoo. Now is a good time to rethink your cleansing regimen.
Proper cleansing in any weather should be your number-one priority, and by proper, we mean keeping your natural moisture balance intact so hair isn’t parched by arid weather, and conditioning generously. That means you might want to take traditional shampoo off the menu entirely, especially clarifying shampoos that strip moisture and make color treatments fade faster.
Summer may be the time to adopt a co-washing (conditioner-only) regimen or experiment with cleansing products that dispense with detergent altogether and offers an oil-based method instead. With three choices of cleansing and conditioning levels, the New Wash family of products is the summer lover’s dream clean: one product both cleanses and conditions, and melts away tangles. Peppermint oil has a welcome cooling effect, and the natural fragrance has rose notes, perfect for the summer season.
Amp up the moisture.
Next, you’ll need an all-purpose moisturizing creme on hand to help prevent frizz in humid weather, soothe the sun damage that may occur, and offer easy styling options when you need to look more groomed (and let that bun down for once): Hair Balm is the perfect choice to direct hair where you want it to go without resorting to a blow-dryer (who wants more heat?) and keeps curls frizz-less without weight or greasiness. Plus, you can use it for a sleek, combed-back resort look for the beach – a la St. Tropez.
Grab a texture spray.
With summer comes permission to loosen up a little and wear imperfect, casual textures that look like you’ve been outdoors even if you haven’t. Try Undressed – a texturizing spray with a name (Déshabille en Français) that captures the seaside spirit, even in the office if you ever get back there.
With summer comes permission to loosen up a little and wear imperfect, casual textures that look like you’ve been outdoors even if you haven’t.
Inspired by surf sprays that add grit – but tend to dry out hair in the process – Undressed is a salt-free alternative that builds body, creates a low-glow finish, and helps natural wave patterns take shape. You can also use its holding properties to create waves by twisting or braiding.
Many women have rediscovered their natural texture out of necessity during the quarantine, so get ready for much more naturalness in the coming summer months. There will be limited use of the blow-dryer in salons; it stirs up inside air along with potential pathogens.
This may mean changing your styling mindset; now is a great time to work on loving what nature gave you – just reach for those products above to help you make the most of it.
If you must blow-dry, keep the heat reasonable (400 degrees, tops), work quickly to limit heat exposure, and try not to do it more than once a week. Always use a thermal hair protector that also offers some hold such as Dressed Up that contains heat-protective ingredients that also screen the sun’s UV rays, and make safe heat styling that much safer.
Wear a hat.
Always venture out into the sun with a hat or a scarf, especially if your hair is color-treated. Don’t think of it as merely a safety precaution to keep hair color vibrant and to prevent sun damage to the scalp; it’s also a fashion opportunity to show off your summer accessories (along with your mask).
Pool rules: Never let chlorine touch your hair if you can help it! Wear a cap. If you’re a bareheaded daredevil, wet hair before diving in so it will be saturated and less able to absorb chlorine. And afterward, rinse hair while it’s still wet; dried chlorine is stubbornly difficult to remove.
Remember to handle wet hair with care; this is when it’s most elastic and fragile.
• • •
But most of all, our summer prescription is to go out and have some fun! When you’ve taken all the worry out of summer haircare, you’re better able to do just that.