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

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
“Pinch heavier products onto the ends—smoothing gels, sculpting lotions, pomades,” says Edward Tricomi, co-owner of the Warren Tricomi Salon in New York City. “It helps weigh the hair down.” Try Nexxus Frizz Defy Styling Crème ($12; drugstores).

Boost your conditioning routine
Hair that’s very dry is more apt to frizz. Why? It eagerly absorbs moisture in the air, causing the dreaded swell. However, if your locks are adequately conditioned, they’ll be unable to absorb a lot of water. So when it’s particularly humid out, ramp up your routine by using one conditioner while you shower and a second, light leave-in conditioner when you’re drying off. For a leave-in, try Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Weightless Conditioning Shake ($6; drugstores).


Summer heat and humidity aren’t kind to fine hair. Here, the best ways to keep your ’do from falling flat five minutes after you’ve styled it.

Start styling in the shower
Your best bet, says stylist Kevin Lee: Use volumizing shampoos and conditioners. These bulk up your strands and remove buildup, which can weigh down hair; they also infuse your locks with a thickening ingredient that adds fullness before you even begin styling. Try Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Volumizing Root Boost Shampoo and Nourishing Daily Conditioner ($6 each; drugstores).

Build volume at the roots
“While your hair is damp, create a foundation for fullness by applying a root-lifting product at the scalp,” says Flynn-Hui. “Then dry your roots in the direction opposite from the way you normally wear it.” In other words, if you usually part your hair on the right side of your head, make a part on the left side instead, then rough-dry the roots by tousling the hair with your hand. Once the roots are dry, flip your hair back the way you normally wear it and finish the blowout. Try Samy Fat Hair “0” Calories Root Lifter spray ($8; drugstores).


Fluff on the fly
When you need a quick hit of volume, spritz your strands with hairspray—or, if your fine hair is prone to frizz, a weather-proofing spray like Nexxus Frizz Defy Leave-In Oil Shine Treatment, below($15; drugstores).Hold the bottle six inches away and lift the hair as you spray so you hit the roots’ underside to give hair oomph from the inside out, says Lee.

Stock up on dry shampoo
If you haven’t discovered this miracle product yet, it’s time. Dry shampoos were created to help absorb extra oil at the scalp, and most are essentially liquefied powder. But they have the added benefit of fattening up hair (albeit only until the next time you wash it). How the fattening-up works: As the powder dries on your hair, it slightly thickens each strand. Apply dry shampoo primarily at the root, and you have instant lift that will last the whole day. Our all-time favorite is Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($18;

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