Summer might be your favorite time of year, but your hair might not be loving it quite as much as you are. When the sun's beating down, the air's full of humidity and you're spending all your waking moments in a pool, your hair takes quite the beating, leaving you having to do damage control against everything from frizz to greasy roots. Here, top hairstylists explain how to combat the biggest summer hair issues so that you can keep your mane in tip-top condition this season.
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You no doubt can relate to this scenario: You blow-dry your hair, only to have it go haywire as soon as you step out into the heat. "Summer hair frizz is a constant battle, particularly in humid climates," says Jonathan Elkhouri, master stylist and owner of Salon Khouri in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. "Always be sure to use products formulated for smoothing." Elkhouri is a fan of Kevin Murphy Smooth Again, $34.16, an anti-frizz treatment meant to be applied to towel-dried hair before styling.
Speaking of towel-dried hair, Elkhouri says you shouldn't rub your towel over your wet hair, because that can exacerbate frizz. "Instead, wrap in an absorbent microfiber towel, then blow-dry using good, smoothing products," he says. To avoid summer frizz, it's best to keep your hair as hydrated as possible, says Stephen Donovan, lead stylist and colorist at Bentley Hair and Beauty in Chicago. He likes Shu Uemura Essence Absolue, $69, which you can use as a treatment overnight or as a finishing touch after blow-drying. When you're blow-drying, finish with a blast of cool air to set your hair and fight frizz, suggests Donovan.
One side effect of hotter weather is more sweat and consequently, oilier hair. But you don't want to necessarily get stuck in a pattern of having to shampoo every single day, since that can dry your hair out. The way you shampoo matters, too. It's also not a good idea to overly scrub your scalp because this increases sebum production, Donovan says. "Initially your hair will feel clean, but the oils will come back super-quick," he says, adding that you should be very gentle when massaging shampoo into your scalp.
If you notice greasy roots, reach for dry shampoo. "It's a good option to absorb oil," Donovan says. Some dry shampoos can be harsh and sticky, so he recommends choosing one that has a lighter formula. We like Batiste Original Clean & Classic Dry Shampoo, $5.99. You can switch to a heavier product the next day if you need more oil absorption, says Donovan.
"Chlorine is extremely bad for your hair," Donovan says. "It really dehydrates hair and can start to affect color, especially if you're on the blonde scale." Before jumping into the pool, wet your hair and apply conditioner or coconut oil, then put your hair in a swim cap, he suggests. These barriers will help prevent chlorine from wreaking too much havoc on your hair. If you don't have a swim cap, tie your hair in a bun at the top of your head so that you can protect the ends from getting wet, Elkhouri says.
"Rinsing off the chlorine immediately after leaving the pool, and before sitting and 'baking' your chlorine-exposed hair in the hot sun, is an effective way to avoid much of the damage caused by chlorine," Elkhouri adds. He also says you should use a sulfate-free detoxifying shampoo to get rid of mineral buildup. He likes Kevin Murphy Maxi Wash, $29.99, which detoxifies and smooths the cuticle with witch hazel extract and provides antioxidant protection with rosemary extract.
"Color fade is a big issue in the summer," Donovan says. Unfortunately, the sun is a notorious hair color fader, which is why using the right products is key. Donovan suggests spritzing on a hair sunscreen before you go outside to protect hair from the sun. Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, $29, contains UVA and UVB filters. When showering, Donovan advises washing hair in a cooler setting. "The hotter the water, the more the pigments of your hair color will get disturbed."