Summer hair should literally be like a day at the beach: Relaxed, pretty, a little bit messy, and fun. But foolproof hair can be hard to come by, especially when humidity-induced frizz, sun-parched locks, and overly oily tresses get thrown into the mix. To help put the brakes on bad summer hair days, we decided to go in hot pursuit of the best—and easiest—summer haircare tips to keep our tresses in top form. From super-sizing the shine factor to banishing humidity doused locks, our cheat-sheet—courtesy of our top go-to beauty gurus—is all you'll need to keep those locks looking lush and gorgeous right through to Labor Day...and hopefully beyond.
Protect and Serve.
"When your hair is exposed to extra stress from summer fun, it's imperative to minimize damage from the start, so always use a heat protector," says Theodore Leaf. "Starting with damp hair and spray evenly from root to tip, then comb through." Also, make sure you use a leave-in conditioner or spray with UV protection, or a color-specific mask to help boost color protection and manageability. Covering your hair with a hat helps block damaging rays, too.
Amp Up The Shine Factor.
"Hair shines naturally when it's free of excess oils and residue," says stylist Diana Conte of Bumble and bumble Downtown Salon. "So, using a shampoo that gently clarifies and a conditioner that hydrates without causing build-up will help enhance shimmer. Since it tends to be more humid in the summer months, applying a lightweight silicone product to damp hair will protect against frizz while enhancing shine." And as a touch-up, celebrity stylist Rodney Cutler recommends hairspray. "A good one can add shine and repel humidity without weighing hair down."
Liven Up Limp Locks.
Curls tend to frizz in the summer, but straight hair can go the opposite way and lose volume. "Use anti-humectants on both straight hair and curls to create support and definition," recommends Cutler. "With straight hair, it’s about using a root-lifting product and then an anti-humectant like Redken Align 12 Protective Straightening Lotion for medium hair or Power Tame 16 Intense Straightening Balm for coarse hair—they'll sit on the cuticle and help to repel humidity. Make sure you rinse your hair with cool water to seal the cuticle a little more before you get out of the shower and don’t brush your hair when its dry. Comb through your hair from ends to roots after putting in conditioner, allowing it to detangle in the shower. That way you won’t raise the cuticle. If you do have to comb your hair while its dry, use a natural boar's bristle brush, so it doesn’t get frizzy."
"If you want to cut down on frizz, the hair has to be 100% dry to fight the humidity," says Amy Abramite, Creative Director at Maxine Salon. "Humidity creates curl and volume in naturally curly or wavy hair textures and walking out into a humid environment with slightly wet hair is going to add to the problem. I also recommend using a flat iron to smooth the cuticle down even further for a double whammy on fighting frizz. You can also add dry shampoo or a little baby powder to the scalp to help absorb perspiration or humidity before it causes the hair to frizz. To apply baby powder, shake a little into the hands, rub together, and then massage into scalp."
Tame Your Curls.
"In the summer months we experience a lot more exposure to direct sunlight, and this can cause excessive dryness to curls," say Miss Jessie's founders Miko and Titi Branch. "Continue your deep-conditioning regimen from winter, and don’t forget to dab a little extra on the ends." They also recommend using moisture-enhancing products from wash to styling, and their one tip for summer curls: "Have the right haircut. You can condition your hair and have the right styling products to seal in your curl, but without the right cut your curls won't fall in the most flattering way." And to finish a look and keep curls smooth, Diana Conte recommends mixing a silicone serum with a moisturizing creme.
Banish Extra Grease.
Don't let too-slick, second-day hair or extra oil stop you this summer (because not everyone does, or should, shampoo everyday). Besides adding a dry shampoo to your routine, follow celebrity stylist Theodore Leaf's styling tips: "A great way to prevent unwanted oiliness is by creating major volume. The more lift you have in your look, the less your hair is sitting on top of your scalp. To get great lift, start with damp hair and apply a volumizer all over. Next, taking a diffuser, flip your head upside-down, and push your ends to your roots using only the dryer (no hands!). This will create a great tousled wave that has lots of lift and no extra oil." When sudsing up, follow Rodney Cutler's cues: "If your hair is a little oilier in the summer, concentrate the shampoo at the scalp—not the ends. If you don’t shampoo the scalp, when you brush you’re just going to distribute the oil through the mid-lengths and ends.”