Sweat and oil, frizz and drizzle — no matter what hair type or texture you have, summer can pose a challenge to staying cool, calm, and well-coiffed, something that we R29 staffers know a whole lot about. While we may love warm temperatures and even the occasional romantic summer drizzle, our locks decidedly do not, resulting in droopy curls, frizzy bangs, and other follicular disasters that we'd rather do without.
Wanting to find some solutions to the hair problems that have been driving us nuts, we reached out to some seriously knowledgeable pros to solve our coiff conundrums: Michael Dueñas, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Hair Room Service, and Tippi Shorter, Aveda global artistic director for textured hair. Now, if only they could give us advice on that potential summer fling (decisions, decisions)...
Neha Gandhi, deputy editor
Neha's bangs are super-chic, but a pain to care for when it gets hot and humid outside. To deal with damp bangs, Shorter recommends being armed with dry shampoo (we love Oscar Blandi's mini size
for touch-ups). Dueñas has an alternate method for dealing with greasies: "Blot your forehead, scalp, and bangs with face-blotting papers to absorb excess oils that seep into your hair — and make sure to seal your bangs with a soft, flexible-hold hairspray."
Annie Tomlin, beauty director
To keep curling-iron curls springy (even when it's steamy), Dueñas urges Annie to make sure she's prepping her hair properly prior to styling. "Apply a soft-hold, flexible mousse to damp hair. Once your hair is dry — either dried with a blowdyer or air-dried — proceed to curl. When you release your curls from the iron, spray with hairspray and let them cool in the shape formed by the rod. Only when your hair is completely cool and sprayed with hairspray should you rake your fingers through your locks for a natural look."
Jem Michael, producer
According to Shorter, Jem should re-think her current products to keep your swirls under control without risking meltdown (and the breakouts that can come with it). "Gels can melt in the heat, but pomades have a thicker finish that won't budge," she says.
Another easy melt-proof way to tame curls in the summer, according to Dueñas, is to make the your conditioner work double-duty in the shower. "Add conditioner to your hair while it is soaking wet, then scrunch out the excess moisture with a t-shirt or microfiber towel to reduce frizz. Your hair will absorb all the conditioner, leaving no residue or weighed-down locks."
Chloe Daley, production assistant
According to Dueñas, Chloe's get-clean strategy might actually be her own worst enemy when it comes to caring for her fine, short hair in the summer months. "There's no need to wash your hair daily, says the stylist. "The reason your hair gets greasy so fast is because you wash it too often — you're actually encouraging the production of sebum from the scalp."
Thankfully, the answer to Chloe's conundrum is simply to do less (we love it when that happens). "The less you wash your hair, the less sebum you will produce over time," says Duenas. "You can still rinse and scrub with water on days you don't shampoo."
Gabrielle Korn, beauty production assistant
One style that Dueñas suggests for Gabrielle is a braided headband, which will look super-cute while also getting her bangs out of her face. "Simply French braid your hair from your part down to your ear, coming as close to your hairline by your forehead as possible, and secure with bobby pins." If your hair is too short to braid, you can try simply twist the hair, adding more hair as you go.
Shorter, on the other hand, recommends accessories for girls with short hair — just think of Carey Mulligan's chic headbands in The Great Gatsby. "Definitely invest in headbands and hair ribbons — they are making a huge comeback," she says.
Laura Argintar, beauty editorial intern
To preserve your highlights' color and tone in the harsh summer sun, Shorter recommends treating your hair as you would your skin — meaning sunscreen, and lots of it. "If you spend a lot of time in the summer sun, you definitely have to use color protecting products with UVA and UVB protection." We're currently digging Alterna's Bamboo Color Care UV+ Fade-Proof Fluide
Post-beach, baby your hair with a color-safe formula that will remove summer muck without making dryness worse. Says Shorter: "Use a color-safe formula that gently and effectively removes chlorine, salt, and product build-up, while helping to maintain moisture balance." Finish with a moisture-restoring mask, which will make your color shine like new.
Lauren Caruso, staff writer, syndication
"One of the best frizz-fighting defenses is to braid your hair," says Dueñas. "French braids work really well to contain frizz, and can continue into a low shoulder braid. When the braid is taken out, you will have a good wave pattern and frizz-free hair."
If Lauren does
decide to go all ballerina-chic with a topknot, Shorter recommends prepping the knot with a styling product before twisting it up for a smooth, chic look — we like Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Calming Creme
. "The product will add moisture and curl definition as it seals the cuticle, taming frizz all day," says the stylist. When the rain stops, all Lauren will have to do is let down her locks for smooth, soft curls.
Lexi Nisita, associate community editor
To get the super-sleek look that Lexi craves without developing helmet-head, Shorter has a few tricks up her sleeve. "Slick your hair back with gel, and then put a bandanna on for a few minutes to set the look," she says. "This will create a style that will hold up all day."
If curls still stubbornly persist, Dueñas recommends using a little heat. "Apply a strong gel such as OSiS+ Gelastic
to wet hair, then using a comb or a tight-bristle brush to blow dry your hair back while combing the same direction. The heat will help stretch the hair and dry the product — you'll end up with straight roots and a slicked-back look. If more shine is desired, finish the look with a high-shine wax, pomade, or shine spray."
Leeann Duggan, staff writer
Shorter swears by one key product to build major texture in fine hair: Aveda Pure Abundance Style-Prep
. "Using this product as the foundation for your style will add weightless volume," she says. "Apply it to your roots and blow dry upside-down on a medium temperature setting for maximum volume." Keep your summer-bombshell hair going all day by carrying the product with you as insurance, just in case your locks start to slump a bit in the heat.
Tara Rasmus, assistant beauty editor
For Tara's medium-short locks that tend to go haywire at the first sign of a summer drizzle, Shorter recommends this easy solution: "Post-shower, put your damp hair into two top knots and allow hair to dry. This will relax your curls into gorgeous waves."
Dueñas recommends using a pomade, which will provide a beachy texture, fight frizz, and weigh down fine waves just a bit. Another nifty, heat-tool-free tip? "While your hair is air-drying, add some weight to your curls with putting clips on the ends of your hair. This way, it will be just a touch straighter."