While the summertime is the ideal time of the year to show off sun-kissed skin and colourful makeup, when it comes to hair sometimes it’s not as simple as that. Between jumping in and out of a chlorine-filled pool and getting your latest dye job zapped by the sun, sometimes your mane needs a little extra TLC in the summer.
We promise that it’s possible to have super cute strands in 30+ degree temps and not be a slave to your blowdryer. We’ve put together a full, all encompassing summer hair guide for solving the most common warm weather hair woes. These are all the tips you need to know for how to keep your hair happy and healthy this summer with minimal effort.
The Problem: Greasy, Sweaty Roots
The Fix: With temperatures creeping way (way) up during a heat wave, it’s no wonder your hair gets a little on the sweaty side. “Look into a dry shampoo,” says Justin German, Toronto-based hairstylist and consulting stylist for Pantene Pro-V. “Spray it directly on your roots to help soak up natural oils and dry up the moisture from sweating. If you have access to a blowdryer you could put it on the cool setting a pop some cold air on your hair for a couple seconds but if you need it on the fly, dry shampoo [will do the trick],” he says. And if you have bangs, you know they can be especially difficult to control and keep grease-free in the heat. German advises just clipping your fringe away from your face on days when you know you’re going to be getting sweaty.
The Problem: Frizzy, Unruly Strands
The Fix: Frizz is an all to common problem in the summer, especially if you live somewhere with a high humidex. “If you have mild frizz, a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner that contains oils would be a solution,” says Kirsten Klontz, session hairstylist at P1M and The Loft Toronto. “But if you have dense, curly hair, a wax or pomade is going to be your best solution as you need something a bit heavier to combat frizz.” Klontz suggests applying the pomade onto wet or dry hair and blow-drying or letting your locks air dry. German advises using a frizz control serum on strands and setting your hair with an anti-humidity hairspray before leaving the house. “With the serum, it’s a small size so you can throw it in your purse and you can toss some of it onto your hair to fight flyaways [on the go] with a couple drops.”
The Problem: Faded, Sun-Zapped Colour
The Fix: UV rays aren’t just damaging to your skin, they can also wreak havoc on your fresh dye job. “Invest in summer accessories,” says Klontz. “Wear a hat (like one of these super cute picks), a headscarf or a bandana if you’re going to be in the sun for 10 hours. It’s about literally stopping the UV from getting to your hair.” Klontz says that brunettes and redheads need to be extra cautious as those hues are more prone to fading than blondes. She recommends spritzing locks with a colour treatment spray to help prevent fading before you leave the house and to stock up on colour-safe shampoos and conditioners to use in the shower.
The Problem: Lifeless Locks
The Fix: While curly hair often has to deal with frizz in the summer, fine hair tends to get limp and lifeless in the heat. “From a blowdry standpoint, you want to get maximum volume while you’re styling your hair,” says German. “Drying your hair upside down gives your hair way more volume.” He also recommends using a body-boosting shampoo and conditioner in the shower and a mousse or root spray when styling your hair. “Apply it right to the roots, not so much through the ends of your hair.” Klontz has a surprising tip for using a wave or texturizing spray to add oomph to limp hair. “Beach sprays are really good for fine hair as they’ll give you more grip and they often have an anti-humectant in them,” she says. “If it’s going to be like, 35 degrees, you can use a beach spray in your hair, even if you’re going to wear it straight, as it will keep that volume in your hair. The grip that a beach spray will give you is very different than a typical volumizer.”
The Problem: Damaged Ends
The Fix: When a heat wave hits, the easiest thing to do is throw your hair up in a no-fuss ponytail, but constant elastic-ing can damage hair. “If you’re always doing a top knot or low ponytail, over time that elastic is going to breakdown [the hair] in the areas where you’re putting it,” says German. “Try not to pull hair back in an elastic in the exact same spot every time and try to get a covered elastic or some sort of hair band that is more protective to your hair.” If pulling your hair up and off your neck is a must, Klontz recommends trying an Invisibobble as you can throw your hair up and they don’t cause any damage and don’t put any indentations in your hair.
The Problem: Brassy Blonde
The Fix: “Blonde hair is like wearing a white t-shirt, it picks up everything from pollution to environmental elements, basically, it gets dirty,” says Klontz. To keep blondes brilliant with no built-up residue, Klontz recos adding a clarifying shampoo to your shower routine. “The trick to finding a clarifying shampoo with a stronger rinse is to find a shampoo with a clear formula whereas a shampoo that has more moisturizing agents is going to be a milky colour.” For flaxen-manes that are turning brassy and yellow, there’s an easy fix. “If you’re seeing yellow in your blonde, follow the clarifying shampoo with a purple shampoo or conditioner as violet cancels out yellow.”
The Problem: Air Drying Woes
The Fix: We totally get it—sometimes your hair just doesn’t look as good when it air dries. Thankfully with a few tips and tricks, you can air dry your hair and it will actually look cute. The main takeaway for air drying? Embrace your natural hair texture. “Curly or coarse hair has more texture naturally, when it air dries it tends to get bigger so to counteract that I would suggest using an oil. Where people with finer hair are typically looking for volume, I would recommend a cream which will help with volume,” says Klontz. When air drying, both Klontz and German recommend experimenting with hair styles that cut out the blow dryer. “Split your hair into pigtails and then loosely braid it and when you take the braids out it will have a loose wave,” says German. “Or if you lightly twist your hair into two buns, one just below the crown and one at the nape of the neck and then when you let it down you will get a natural wave.” Klontz is a big fan of the slicked back look that’s been all over red carpets and runways the past few seasons. “If you have an event and it’s a hot summer night, push your hair away from your face, get a gel and run it through the top of your hair then scrunch it through the rest and let it air dry. It looks beautiful and it holds all night.”
The Problem: Moisture-Stricken Mane
The Fix: Beach bunnies, listen up: all that exposure to salt water could be drying out your hair. “Salt water does have a tendency to dry out your hair,” says German. “[To avoid dehydration] make sure to rinse your hair right after you come out of the water.” Klontz says it’s important to give your hair a good lather, rinse, repeat when you get home from the beach. Both say to consider an at-home weekly treatment to bring moisture back to your mane if you’re spending a lot of time in the ocean. A hydrating conditioner or hair mask should do the trick to get back to super soft strands.
The Problem: Green-Chlorine Filled Hair
The Fix: Any blond who has dunked their heads underwater in a pool is familiar with that telltale chlorine green mane. To prevent your hair going Hulk, Klontz has a helpful hint. “I put oil in my hair from roots to ends before getting into the pool since I know oil and water aren’t really friends. I find that helps to give it some protection and repel the water a little bit.” If it’s too late and your hair is already green, don’t panic! “Use a clarifying shampoo and bubble that up on your hair and leave it on for about 15 minutes,” says Klontz. “Chlorine is a residue so you need that shampoo to sit there for longer than normal and give it a good scrub. If that doesn’t work, book into your salon for a toning treatment.”