Summer Hair Guide for Grownups

We won’t revisit how to French-braid and apply sun-in (so ’80s). What we will deal with: all the hair annoyances that plague you come Memorial Day. New frizz fighters? Check. Protection for an increasingly exposed scalp? Oh yeah. Plus help for sun-yellowed grays. We also weigh in on an age-old argument: to go summer short or not? So pour yourself a ’tini and get ready for a great-hair summer

by Christine Fellingham
geof kern hair image
Photograph: Geof Kern

You could stay inside all summer (yeah, right), or you could become more proactive about color protection and try these tips.
Use UV-proof everything
“Hair care with UV filters won’t qualify for an SPF rating, but it will help shield color,” says dermatologist Jeanine Downie. Use multiple products with UV blockers for a cumulative effect. Try the Aveda Color Conserve collection ($16 and up;
Turn sun exposure into a spa treatment
“If you’re out in the heat for a few hours, comb in a conditioning mask,” says Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist (that’s a hair scientist). The result: Instead of causing damage, the heat helps the moisturizers better penetrate your strands. Try Biolage Colorcarethérapie Color Bloom Masque ($19;
Erase yellow/orange tone
“Hair color gets golder in the sun, period,” says colorist Rita Hazan. To cancel brassiness instantly, your best bet is a violet shampoo. One to try: Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo ($30; aveda .com). Don’t have a bottle on hand? Cunnane Phillips suggests mixing two tablespoons of baking soda into a dollop of regular shampoo to counteract the yellow.
Rinse, rinse, repeat
“You can’t leave salt, chlorine or even perspiration in your hair for an extended time. They strip hair of moisture and ruin color,” says colorist Kathleen Flynn-Hui. “To prevent this, wet your hair with fresh water before you go swimming.” And if you’re running or playing tennis or golf? Mist your hair with water once an hour or so.
Go glossy
“Whether you color or not, protect your hue with a gloss every few weeks,” says Flynn-Hui. “It seals the cuticle, deflects the sun’s rays, adds shine and looks especially amazing on gray hair.” At home, try Rita Hazan Foaming Hair Gloss in Clear, below($26;
Counteract the chemicals
“We automatically do a powerful conditioning treatment with my color clients in the summer,” says Flynn-Hui. “Ask for something similar when you go in for your color appointment. Or, once a week at home, slather on a deep conditioner yourself.” Try Pantene Pro-V Medium-Thick Hair Solutions Intensive Restoration Treatment ($6; drugstores).NEW TACTICS FOR FIGHTING FRIZZ
Whoever finds a cure for frizz will become a gazillionaire. In the meantime, these strategies will help considerably.
Go long . . . or layered
If your hair has natural texture and you wear it midlength and blunt, it’s more apt to puff out in humidity, says Flynn-Hui. Why? You don’t have the weight (read: length) to pull down the fuzz—or enough layering to reduce your hair’s density and minimize the puff. But you do have options. Go a bit longer to add that necessary weight. Or stay at midlength but ask your stylist to add tapered layers-, which will help shrink the pouf on humid days.
Work with your natural texture
“The worst thing you can do when it’s humid is fight your curls,” says Flynn-Hui. “You just won’t win. Instead, use a salt/beach spray, mousse or light gel to play up your natural wave pattern. Straighten your hair only for evenings when you’ll be inside with air conditioning.” Try Josie Maran Bohemian Waves Argan Hair Mist, above right ($22; sephora .com),or Dove Style + Care Nourishing Curls Whipped Cream Mousse ($4; drugstores). If you go au naturel and frizz still plagues you, try using a curling iron on just the top layer of your hair, which is all anyone sees anyway. Wrap one-inch sections around the iron’s barrel (don’t bother with the clamp—keep it closed); hold for 10 seconds, then release. The heat seals the cuticles in the curls you’ve created, lessening the risk of a frizz-out.
Exploit gravity

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