For those of you living in a four-seasons region, the summer is a special time to soak up all the rays you can get. Drenching your locks with beams of sun can give them natural highlights, but beware of overdoing it. Keeping your mane soft and silky this season means minimizing the flat iron and blow dryer and amping up the moisture. Here are some tips to make sure that your lovely locks survive the heat of summer.
Tea isn’t just for sipping
Give your tresses a nice herbal tea soak to bring out natural highlights and give your hair and scalp a healthy treat. Choose a lighter tea for blonde locks, like lemon or chamomile, a black tea for brown hair or red zinger for red hair. Make the tea as usual, but let it cool down before applying. Lean over a sink or bathtub and pour the tea over your hair, letting it just drip out. Then, put a shower cap or plastic bag over your hair to keep from dripping, cover that with a towel and let it soak. Use your best judgment on timing – I’ve heard anything from 10 minutes to an hour can give your locks a little TLC. Try to incorporate the soak into your weekly regimen.
Ditch the harsh shampoo
Opting for a sulfate-free shampoo can protect your hair from drying out this season, since your hair is naturally more dry during summer months, especially for those of us who live in dry climates. If you would rather keep your favorite beauty product in rotation, mix three parts conditioner with one part shampoo while washing.
Heat damage to your hair can cause frizz and split ends, so using a deep conditioner on a weekly basis will help lock in moisture. For extra protection, use your favorite conditioning mask on your hair before heading out to the beach or pool, without rinsing. Put your hair in a braid, ponytail or bun to protect it from the sun’s harsh rays. Using a conditioner as a styling product will also protect your hair and lock it in place while styling. For a natural softness, add a touch of sesame oil to the ends of your hair.
Keep it as natural as you can
If you can, cut out the flat iron, curling iron or blow dryer completely this summer. Adding heat to your hair may dry out your hair and scalp. Try to skip out on the hairspray as well, the chemicals found in most hairsprays are damaging and may cause breakage.
Flatten out the frizz
Find an anti-frizz product that works well on your hair type. Fekkai’s Summer Marine Hair or Rusk Str8 Anti-Frizz lotion will smooth down out-of-control hair. Kicking the hot styling tools habit will also help with frizz.
Skip the color before the sand
While it may be tempting to head to the salon for a summery update to your hair, the sun will likely change the color you just dropped your paycheck on. Chemicals used for coloring dry out your locks, and so do UV rays. It is best to avoid all types of lightening during this season, and focus on protecting your locks instead. If you’re really looking for a change this summer, spritz a lemon juice and water mixture on your hair while in the sun. Just make sure to condition afterwards, because the acidic juices can dry out your hair – but not as much as chemical dyes.
Rock the head scarf
I’ve spent many summers lying next to crashing waves, followed by a painful sunburn on my scalp. My near-black hair attracts the sun, and in the past I have had many problems with a peeling scalp (yuck). Most of my lucky lighter-haired friends don’t seem to have this problem, but I’ve learned from my mistakes – although it did take a while.
Tying an adorable scarf around your tresses before you head out in the summer sunshine can keep harmful rays from damaging your hair and scalp. Plus, the added accessory will keep your hair out of your face and your style chic.