What's The Damage? Easy Fixes for Your Worst Summer Hair Problems
Summer may be the perfect excuse to show off faux-bronzed arms and legs, but when it comes to hair, the warm weather could leave your 'do in not-so-great condition. Think everything from dead ends to chlorine-green strands and frizz. Similar to a sunburned scalp, these hair nightmares are the opposite of fun, which is why below, we’ve rounded up some of the most effective products to combat your summer hair troubles. Ranging from essential shampoo and conditioner duos, to controlling sprays and active at-home treatments, our picks will leave you with healthy hair in no time.
Your first instinct may be to lop off all your frayed ends, but between the dry air and lack of time to hit up the salon, patching things up is worth a shot. Stop the splits from spreading by incorporating a protein-rich conditioner into your lineup, which helps to restructure damaged areas inside your hair, then spread a dab of Redken's Extreme Length Primer ($7; ulta.com) prior to styling so the biotin can seal up the free edge. Formulated specifically for long layers eager to get their grow on, Valery Joseph's Strenghtening Split End Serum ($45; net-a-porter.com) acts as a complete first-aid kit for your strands with a healing blend of baobab oil and artichoke leaf extract that target and fill in the weaker areas.
Flat, Lifeless Strands
If your mile-high blowout never fails to fall flat by noon, you may want to rethink your product lineup. Particularly for fine hair types, too much mousse or volumizer can add excess weight, and leave your strands stringy and limp by mid-day. A clarifying shampoo like the Philip B. Peppermint and Avocado formula ($28; beauty.com) can help to remove all product residue and excess oil, while the invigorating mint extract instantly perks up tired strands. Then, reach for a lightweight conditioner, making sure to concentrate the product only on your mid-lengths and ends—we love Drybar's Happy Hour ($24; sephora.com). Less is more when it comes to styling products, so take a minimalist approach, and use a light hand. In general, spray-on formulas like Ken Paves' Volumizer ($14; walmart.com) leave less room for error, and are more airy than creams or mousses.
Hey there, curly girl! If one too many dips in the pool have your ringlets dry and bent out of shape replace your regular shampoo with a hydrating cleansing conditioner, like Living Proof's Curl Conditioning Wash ($26; sephora.com), which effectively rids your hair of product and oil, but won't strip your strands of the essentials. Once a week, bounce back with the Dippity-Do Curls Deep Treatment ($7; dippity-do.ca) to restore shine, and strengthen your follicles with each use.
Going from inky brunette to a cool platinum may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but now, your fried strands are in need of some serious TLC with their overprocessed, cotton candy-esque texture. Before hitting the shower, wet your hair and apply a layer of Leonor Greyl's Masque Orchidee ($65; leonorgreyl-usa.com) and allow the all-natural blend (and delicious fragrance) to soak in for 30 minutes. Your hair will be left softer and shinier after the very first use, and you can also repurpose as a 5-minute in-shower conditioner for a quick fix. As for your shampoo and conditioner, ditch any too-harsh formulas with excess detergents, and look for a duo infused with oil to give your layers some much-needed hydration. We love Marula's Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner ($28 each; sephora.com).
Dry, Flaky Scalp
When that bottle of Head & Shoulders just isn't cutting it, now could be the time to seek out other methods. A dry, flaky scalp can take shape over the summer for a variety of reasons, ranging from product buildup, to sun exposure. Before lathering up, reach for Alterna's Caviar Clinical Scalp Facial ($36; sephora.com) to whisk away both leftover dry shampoo and dry skin alike. The gentle blend of fruit enzymes and marine botanicals acts as a toner for your skin, and adds a much-needed shot of moisture to the area. Follow with the Grow Gorgeous 10-Minute Scalp Mask ($28; ulta.com), and let your roots drink in the benefits.
One of the biggest concerns with transitioning hair is decreasing the amount of breakage through your mid-lengths and ends, while giving the new growth adequate hydration. If you're not ready to make the big chop just yet, pick up a gentle shampoo and conditioner duo with lightweight moisturizers—we love Davines' Melu formula ($25 and $29; barneys.com)—to keep your ends in check, then work in SheaMoisture's argan oil-infused Transitioning Milk ($13; target.com). To manage extra-dry areas, mix a few drops of a biotin-rich hair serum like Ouidad's ($42; sephora.com) into the nourishing emulsion.
Even the most skilled surfer girl needs a break from the wind and waves sometimes. Too much exposure to salt water and sun can leave your hair ultra-parched, not to mention, with a bleached-out finish. Reverse the damage with Sun Bum's nourishing shampoo and conditioner ($18 each; nordstrom.com), both souped up with a generous amount of coconut oil to bring back shine, and soft, touchable texture. Be sure to invest in a hydrating leave in conditioner like Alterna's Summer Sun Recovery Spray ($22; ulta.com) that also moonlights as a sun protectant with the added ingredient of zinc.
Frizzy, Unmanageable Hair
Coming in contact with frizz-inducing elements is to be expected in the summer, but that doesn't mean your strands have to suffer. By combining equal parts repair and proper sealing methods, you can rock a weather-proof blowout, no sweat. Use a keratin-rich conditioner like Keratin Complex's ($20; ulta.com) to help smooth things over—the proteins actually repair any damaged keratin bonds naturally found in your hair, resulting in a more-manageable texture all over. Use the Nexxus Humectress Serum ($19; target.com) to close off your ends and prevent moisture from re-entering, and once you're finished styling, finish with a veil of R+Co's Foil Static Control Spray ($27; randco.com) for extra armor.
Brassy Blonde Tones
Is your ombre starting to take on an orange tint? Factors like heat styling, and too much time in the sun can contribute to brassy tones, but luckily, a little DIY color-correcting can restore your strands to their salon-fresh state. Seek out shampoos and conditioners with a purple or blue pigment, like Oribe's Bright Blonde Shampoo ($44; oribe.com) and Kevin Murphy's Angel Wash Treatment ($30; kevinmurphy.com for locations), to neutralize the warm shades. If the dynamic duo doesn't work quickly enough, you can pick up John Freida's at-home gloss for Cool Blondes ($13; ulta.com) for a 3 minute in-shower treatment that will restore shine, and mute out brassiness.
When you're finding more and more strands falling out onto your pillow or hairbrush, an inside-out approach can be the most effective route for thinning hair. It may cost a pretty penny, but Philip Kingsley's Trichotherapy Kit ($215; net-a-porter.com) comes equipped with vitamins to stimulate hair growth from the inside—including once-dormant areas—and a duo of protein sprays to strengthen and condition the new growth. We recommend going easy on the styling products and curling iron work, but when you do decide to pick up a round brush, seek out a product that has good-for-you elements listed among the ingredient list. Case in point: Briogeo's Blossom & Bloom Volumizer ($18; sephora.com) which is infused with biotin, and a healthy dose of ginger to increase blood flow to the scalp area.
Chlorine Green Strands
Sure, pastel hair is having a moment, but the Incredible Hulk-esque tint a dip in the pool can give your strands is enough to make even the most low-maintenance beauty buff angry. Use a clarifying duo like TriSwim's Shampoo and Conditioner ($14 and $17; triswimbeauty.com) to strip your hair (without stripping essential oils) of the oxidized chlorine, but if you're in a pinch, simply rinsing with a bottle of apple cider vinegar ($5; gnc.com) works just as well. Before you jump in next time, make sure to wet your hair beforehand to prevent chlorine from entering the hair shaft, or mist on a leave-in conditioner.