Summer is noted for its particular flavor of “carefree” fun, but you shouldn’t neglect – or battle – your hair. We spoke to hairstylists and gurus to get the 4-1-1 on some of the biggest summer hair faux pas people commit every year. Read them and revel in gorgeous hair all summer long.
Hair Faux Pas #1: Letting The Chlorine Monster Win
Oh, chlorine. Nobody wants unintentional green hair, so this summer we recommend you make like Spiderman and keep the Green Goblin in its place.
“One of the worst hair mistakes in the summer is jumping in the pool without thinking of your hair,” warns stylist Kaci Savage, owner of The Blonde Bar in downtown Raleigh. Proper pool (and beach) protocol involves the following four steps:
- Wet down your hair with fresh water before entering the pool. Because hair is porous, it’ll soak up the fresh water and absorb less of the chlorine water.
- If possible, wear a swim cap to keep your hair out of direct contact with the water. You can find lots of cute, retro-style swim caps online at stores such as Modcloth.com and UniqueVintage.com.
- Rinse your hair with clean water after you exit the pool, as well. This will help wash out any of the chlorine water that was absorbed.
- Use a detangling spray and wide-toothed comb post swim. “Ripping through tangles and brushing your hair too aggressively can cause tons of breakage, especially after being in salt water and chlorine,” notes Savage.
- Use an anti-residue shampoo once every week to nix mineral, product and chlorine buildup in the hair.
- If possible, apply a sulfate-free conditioner to your hair before hopping into the pool, especially if you’re just going to be lounging.
- Deep condition your hair after every pool visit. Those chemicals can dry out your locks and leave you looking parched and frizzy. Even if you’re following all the above steps, it’s better safe than sorry.
Hair Faux Pas #2: Going 0-60 Blonde
They say that blondes have more fun. Though we’re still waiting on the scientific proof for that, there’s one thing we know for sure: going from 0-60 on the blonde spectrum is not fun at all. Still, when the weather starts warming up, you notice a spike in the number of babes dying their hair. People just love going blonder in the summer.
“While I fully support the transition, many people go too blonde, too fast in the summer and end
up with dead hair,” says Savage. “If you are wanting to go blonde for the summer, start preparing your hair in early spring to reduce damage of ‘going blonde.’”
Other no-no’s include using sun-in or lemons, or any product that promises it’ll lighten your hair gradually (let’s keep those orange streaks where they belong – in the ‘90s). And if you’re making a major transition, put your hair in the hands of a seasoned pro. Seek out the best salons, find a stylist who specializes in color (and blonde, in particular), and don’t even think about entering the boxed hair dye aisle.
Hair Faux Pas #3: Scorched By UV Rays
“Summer sun is really hard on colored hair, and ultra violet (UV) rays can bleach hair out,” says Margie Billian, owner of the Colour of Design. We know what you’re thinking… “What am I supposed to do – hole up inside like a vampire and wait until the sun sets to come out and play?”
To that, we say, “No way!” It’s nice outside and we encourage you to frolic under the afternoon sun with the best of them. But in the same way you cover up with SPF and protective garments for your skin, you should look out for the health of your hair and scalp, too. Here are a few tricks and tips:
- Throw on a gorgeous summer hat or billowy scarf. You can also try a sun umbrella. All three are available in super sweet options that’ll not only protect your hair, but earn you compliments, to boot. “Sun exposure is not only damaging to hair, but you can burn your scalp, as well,” explains Dr. David E. Bank, a board certified dermatologist and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age. “Try to keep hair covered as much as possible.”
- Not a fan of hats or scarves? We get it. Another option is to wear “your hair twisted up, with the ends tucked in, as in a French Twist, or chignon style,” suggests Melissa Hill, founder of UK-based Stone Bridge Hair Accessories.
- Use hair products with SPF. Yes, they exist! There are actual sunscreens for your hair made for the sole purpose of shielding you from UV rays. You can also find hairsprays, oils, dry shampoos and leave-in treatments that contain SPF.
Hair Faux Pas #4: Wrestling With Your Natural Texture
It may pain you to hear this, but consider laying off the excessive heat styling this summer. Not only will you free up more time, your hair will look gorgeous (trust us) and you won’t feel frustrated at the fact that you just spent X hours perfecting your hair only to walk outside and have your hard work undone in a matter of minutes.
“With summer comes humidity, and humidity will turn anyone’s luscious locks into a frizzy mess,” says popular YouTube vlogger Ashley Chennel. “The key element to super straight hair is sleekness, but unfortunately summer heat and sleek are not synonymous with one another.”
To tame frizz, try the following tips:
- Use serums and oils that moisturize and add a little weight to your hair.
- Consider amping up your texture with beachy salt sprays. Pair it with a side braid and you’re on your way to mermaid goddess status.
- Use sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners and products.
- Keep up your moisturizing game (repeat after us: leave in and deep conditioners are your friend).
- Try updos that work well with curly or wavy hair (BONUS: You’ll keep your hair off your neck, too).
- Touch your hair as little as possible.
On that same “don’t fight your hair” note: “Really long hair extensions are also a huge no-no for summer,” says Chennel. You’ve got enough to worry about with your natural hair, so why add more chaos?
Not to mention: extensions are hot! “When I’m sweaty and hot, the last thing I want is hair stuck to my face and neck. It will be a hot sticky mess.”
Like these tips? Share with your friends! And we’ve got lots more where these came from.