How To Beat Summer Hair Woes, According to a Stylist

Tame frizzy locks, rejuvenate dry ends, and protect your scalp from sunburn.

Woman With Dry Hair

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Hair Health Hotline is your direct access to dermatologists, trichologists, hairstylists, and other beauty pros. Each story in this series tackles a common hair or scalp concern and offers science-backed solutions to care for your strands.

When summer arrives, the air is filled with a sense of relaxation and the promise of sunny, stress-free(ish) days. But let's face it, as glorious as the warm weather season can be, it's not always as kind to our hair. You may find yourself excitedly prepping for a day at the beach or brunch with friends, only to find a frizzed-out mass of dry, brittle locks that could easily pass for a bird's nest. Not to mention that your scalp tends to feel like it had a close encounter with a grill after a long day of soaking up the sun. If you're nodding in agreement and are desperately looking for the solutions to all of your summer hair woes, look no more—we've got you covered.

Q: How can I avoid all the summer hair woes, including frizz, dry, brittle ends, and a sunburnt scalp?

A: Incorporating things such as nourishing hair oils, moisturizers, UV protectants, anti-humidity products, and protective styles are your best friends in the summer to keep your hair healthy, according to Chris Funk, a leading hair stylist and educator. Though each of the above concerns common hair woes associated with summer heat and activities, each requires its own course of action, which Funk walks us through.

Beating Humidity and Frizz

High humidity and moisture in the air can cause your locks to go full-blown rebel mode and poof up into frizz. The fix? A little TLC in the form of a smoothing serum or an anti-frizz spray can do wonders, assures Funk. To really up the ante, swapping your regular brush with a boar bristle brush comes highly recommended as it's gentler and doesn't create static which increases frizz.

When humidity enters the scene, your hair can fall flat—another course of action is switching to low-maintenance styles such as updos or braids! "Embrace your natural hair texture and try out low-maintenance styles like braids or buns to minimize damage and save time during the summer," Funk suggests.

Driving Away Dry, Brittle Ends

From sun exposure to a splash in the ocean, the summer can make your ends (and honestly, your hair in general) feel dry and brittle. Funk suggests giving your hair a regular trim (generally every 6-8 weeks) and treating it with deep conditioning treatments or masks. If you're feeling fancy, you can book a hair botox," [a semi-permanent hair treatment] infused with amino acids, keratin, and vitamins to help hydrate and repair damaged hair. This treatment offers many benefits like deep conditioning, increasing hair elasticity, and reducing split ends", Funk explains.

Additionally, After your fun-filled day of swimming in the pool or at the beach, rinse your hair with fresh water immediately to flush out salt and chlorine. Funk recommends following the rinse with a clarifying shampoo and a hydrating hair mask. Think of it as a detox and hydration combo to help revive your post-swim hair. Whatever you do, avoid over-washing your hair—this can strip it of natural oils, leaving it even thirstier.

While we're on the subject of things to avoid, skip hair elastics with metal clasps or rough textures as they exacerbate breakage, especially on hair that may already be dry and brittle. Lastly, avoid brushing your hair when it's soaking wet; it's more vulnerable to breakage and split ends then.

Saving Your Scalp from Sunburn

Let's not forget about the often-overlooked scalp, the foundation of healthy hair. It's skin just like any other area of your body, and it can burn in the sun (especially since the rays generally hit it first). To avoid this often painful hair woe, you can rock a functional yet fashionable hat or scarf, which will serve as a protective barrier. Kick things up a notch by adding a scalp-specific UV protection product to your routine, such as serum or scalp spray, to ensure you cover all bases, recommends Funk. If you're reading this and the damage is already done, applying aloe vera to your scalp and limiting sun exposure for a few days can help you soothe a sunburned scalp.

Here are a few bonus tips for your summer haircare arsenal. Try a scalp exfoliation—it's like a deep-cleaning facial for your scalp and aids hair growth by removing product build-up, suggests Funks. Also, incorporate lots of water and nourishing foods into your diet to support healthy, shiny hair from the inside out.

So, what is the trick to avoiding summer hair woes? It's all about keeping your hair nourished, protected, and giving it extra love. With these insightful tips, you're ready to face the summer head-on (pun intended) and enjoy a season of great hair days ahead.

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