We love when summer’s long-awaited warmth and sunshine finally arrive, but aren’t exactly thrilled at the toll that summer heat takes on our hair. Here are the best fixes for summer’s most common hair problems.
The No. 1 hair complaint during the summer months is frizz, caused by humidity in the air. To reduce puff, Andreas Hogue Salon stylist and Education Director Carla Makowski recommends switching to a microfiber towel to dry hair. It absorbs water quickly without roughing up the hair. Makowski also favors smoothing products like Pureology Smooth Perfection Shampoo and Conditioner (starting at $28, Andreas Hogue Salon, 840 Willow Road, Northbrook, 847-272-1616).
Most people ditch bangs for the summer, to avoid the frizz and oily look that comes with the summer heat. However, the new trend of choppy fringe bangs, seen on actresses like Dakota Johnson and Emilia Clarke, are the newest do, allowing you to rock low maintenance bangs that totally work with humid summer air. “The eyebrow-skimming, undone style of ’60s fringe-cut bangs works great for summer because it lends itself well to wearing hair with natural texture and requires no styling or products,” says Maxine Salon stylist Dani Hauflaire. “Before cutting your bangs, talk to your stylist to make sure you know how they will move with your natural texture and work this into the cut. When styling your bangs, ditch the flat iron and round brush and allow for this long, piecey look to take to the natural texture of your hair; let the curls and cowlick happen! This look will last all day in the summer heat and hair is less liking to appear oily when ditching styling products like hairspray.”
When combatting frizz, oil is your friend. Try a weekly deep-conditioning treatment that’s oil-infused, like Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask ($18-75, Moroccanoil), and limit how often you’re washing your hair, as too much washing will deprive hair of its natural oils.
2. Chlorine Build-Up
“If your hair is dry and brittle from sun exposure, or if you’re a swimmer with chlorine build-up, a customized hair regimen will help improve hair and scalp condition,” says Ten Friends Blow Dry & Style House Artistic Director Lindsay Zito, who recommends the salon’s re-plumping and detoxifying prescriptive treatments once every four weeks to nourish and replenish.
Be proactive and hit the shower before you get into the pool. Let your hair get really wet during a pre-swim rinse. This minimizes the amount of chlorinated water your hair will absorb in the pool. For added protection, apply a leave-in conditioner.
3. Burnt Scalp
Don’t forget about your scalp when slathering on sunscreen! Apply a protective product like Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray ($36, Nordstrom) or Paul Mitchell Sun Shield Conditioning Spray ($14, Amazon). If you don’t want to use a product, a hat is always in fashion! Damage already done? Tea-tree oil is anti-inflammatory and will soothe skin (find it at any Whole Foods). Fill an 8-ounce container 3/4 full with olive, almond or coconut oil. Next, add 10 to 15 drops of tea-tree oil. Massage onto scalp and hair. Leave it on overnight and shampoo out in the morning.
4. Color Fading
To prevent fresh color from fading, Makowski recommends products with UV protection. Pureology’s entire line is sulfate-free and has an anti-fade complex, which makes it her top choice.
It’s vital to add moisture to your hair to keep strands hydrated and lift dull color. Use a moisturizing product after washing hair but before drying it such as Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Oil Spray ($32, Macadamia Professional). A water filter for your shower head is a small investment but will reduce chlorine and other impurities that can strip strands. Get one with a water-saving feature and you’ll save your hair and conserve water!
5. Hair That Falls Flat
If your hair is naturally straight or smooth, it probably tends to fall flat in the summer. Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove product build-up. If you like to let hair air dry, at least blow dry your roots to maintain some volume in your hair.
Finally, go easy on the products, as they can add weight to your hair. If you must use a styling product, instead of a cream or gel, try a hair powder like Label.M Resurrection Dust ($29, Pascal Pour Elle, 368 Park Ave., Glencoe, 847-501-3100), favored by Brenda Bonomo, stylist and salon educator at Pascal Pour Elle Salon.
6. Split Ends
Dryness from the sun can result in split ends. For prevention, detangle hair with a wide-tooth comb, go easy on the heating tools and skip everyday hair washing. A product like Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Fresh Cut Split End Mender ($24, Sephora) will heal ends while creating a polished finish.
For truly stressed-out hair (due to heat damage, color and chemical processing, and general exposure to the sun), Teddie Kossof Salon offers two incredible professional treatments to instantly transform hair at the mid-shaft and ends. “Nigelle improves natural texture, helps tame frizz, detangles and softens unmanageable rough hair,” explains co-owner Alan Kossof. “The other treatment, Inphenom, deeply restores moisture from the inside out, leaving hair shiny and color vibrant. It revitalizes dull, dry, brittle or porous hair, reversing damage caused by heat or chemical processes.” Both have results that last up to five weeks. To book treatments, visit or call Teddie Kossof Salon, 281 Waukegan Road, Northfield, 847-999-9500.
7. Greasy Locks
We sweat more during the summer and our hair can become greasier from added perspiration. Clean out your hairbrush to rid it of styling product build-up and avoid washing your hair too frequently. This will only make the problem worse. Instead, try a dry shampoo like Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo ($22, Sephora), recently praised by InStyle as the best dry shampoo on the market.
More from Make It Better:
- The Hottest Shoes for Summer 2017
- The Best Makeup and Moisturizer With SPF
- 3 Ways to Waste Less Time Shopping (Hint: Shop Local!)
Jenny Muslin, Beauty Editor at Make It Better, has been writing for the magazine for seven years. She has also written for Chicago Parent, NS Modern Luxury, Red Tricycle, Stroller Traffic, and is a contributor for beauty app PrettyQuick. When she isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her 3 year old son or trying to keep her eyes open after a late night feeding with her new baby girl.