Summer usually means good things for your skin: a natural bronze, wearing less makeup and saying goodbye to dry skin for a few months. But when it comes to hair, you gain a host of seasonal problems. We spoke with Mario Russo, owner and lead stylist of Mario Russo in Boston, to give us the low-down on the products for summer hair.
The Problem: All that fun in the sun has given you a dry, itchy scalp.
The Solution: Swimming in chlorine or saltwater can be hard on your scalp. You also run the risk of sunburn if you have fair hair or part your hair the same way every time you're in the sun. To combat a flaky scalp, Russo suggests waiting 3 or 4 days before shampooing. "This will allow some oils to build up, adding moisture to your scalp," he says. Use a boar bristle brush or your fingers to redistribute the oils on your scalp and hair, spreading them around from where they're concentrated at your roots. When you're ready to shampoo again, use a product that has ingredients such as cocoa butter, shea butter, rosemary or chamomile for extra moisturizing. "You can give your hair a quick pick-me-up between washes using Bumble and Bumble's Tonic Lotion. This product contains a mix of vitamins, tea tree oil and herbs to give even the driest scalps the boost it needs to fight the itch," Russo advises.
The Problem: Your once-fresh salon hair color looks dull and dingy.
The Solution: We slather our faces in SPF but rarely think about the consequences of sun exposure to our hair. To keep your hair color from going brassy, spritz on a protective hair spray before going outside. Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil is a water-resistant formula that protects hair from sun exposure for up to 16 hours, minimizes color fading and keeps your hair from drying out. But if the damage is already done, no product can reverse the effects of the sun. "There is really only one remedy if you don't want to have your color redone," Russo says. "Opt for an in-salon gloss treatment, which will boost your color and add lots of shine." And the perk – a gloss treatment can cost less than half the price of a full color treatment, so you can hold out for a little while longer before shelling out more cash.
The Problem: Your stylish Zooey Deschanel-esque bangs turn your forehead into a pimple-covered mess.
The Solution: Bangs always seem like such a good idea. It's only later you realize just how much trouble they are: the upkeep, the styling and the new blemish battleground. "Sweat paired with styling products can leave heavy debris on your forehead and cause unwanted breakouts," Russo says. In order to clear up your complexion, Russo says to let your skin breathe, pinning up your bangs when you're at home or going to bed. "It's very important to pay attention to the way you are styling your hair. When using a product, simply apply a small amount to your fine-tooth comb and brush it through your bangs. This will help avoid buildup, which will in turn make your hair oily," Russo says.
The Problem: Your dried-out hair is starting to resemble straw.
The Solution: In addition to using a UV defense spray or SPF hair spray daily, clarifying and deep conditioning are important parts of summer hair care. Sun exposure causes keratin (the stuff that gives your hair major volume) to break down, leading to brittle strands. Once a week use a purifying shampoo like Aveda Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser to remove chlorine, salt and product buildup. Deep-condition once a week with products that contain natural rich oils. Another benefit? "Oils like vitamin E or argan oil are extremely beneficial when it comes to taming frizz and fly-aways," Russo says. Or try a product like Philip Kingsley Swimcap that acts as a conditioning treatment when applied before sun exposure and guards against sun, chlorine, saltwater and wind.