Hot Weather Hair Guide: Summertime Tips for Keeping Your Hair Healthy

No fusses, frizzes or splitties here. This season, make sure your crown of glory is ready for heat, the beach and whatever else gets you hot.

As the sun sizzles on our soft and delicate scalps, our hair takes another annual lashing. The sun, being the aggressive entity that it is, has our locks more vulnerable than ever. Maintaining our crown of glory’s vibrancy is more than just important. In fact, it is crucial.

The sun is the reason why the outdoors ravage our innocent tresses. Frizzies, split ends, loss of color, dry and brittle strands of straw… Thank you, sun.

Luckily, you can keep your hair healthy and beautiful. You just need to follow these tips and tricks:

1. Now’s the time for a healthy trim

A healthy trim (and that is a pun) is needed, at the very least. Now that it’s hot outside, why not cut the hair?  One thing that women often struggle with is the fear of slashing their long, prized locks. Sure, many men are obsessed with long hair, but lots of guys also adore short hair.

Anyway, the guy of your dreams should prefer your personality and your lovely face over a haircut any day. It is most important that you are comfortable, cool and happy with yourself.

And guess what?

Hair always grows back!

This season, short hair is all the rage as oodles of celebrities and models are flaunting razored pixies, faux hawks and asymmetrical bobs of all fashions. Nope, this season you don’t have to be a thrasher punk or a scream queen to get a little atypical.

Wearing your hair short accents some of your best features: your sumptuous neck, svelte chest and shoulders… and of course, your fabulous face.

Make sure to keep the hair trimmed, as split ends tend to worsen when out in the heat of the day, and under the sweltering sun. The heat and UV rays not only dry out the hair, but fade the hair’s color. This leads to frays, frizzies and overall hair-wreckage.

And regular trims lead to faster hair growth. Well not really, but the hair will seem to get longer faster, because, if the hair isn’t splitting and breaking off, it will reach a longer length faster.

2. The neck & up: Supplies & routine


Beach and outdoor shopping weather is a constant concern during the heat of the summer. This season, make sure you are stocked up on the proper supplies:

Face/Neck Sunscreen:

If you are planning to cut your hair this season, do yourself (and your skin) a favor by investing in some heavy duty (but not actually thick and heavy-duty-seeming) facial sunscreen.

Wear it under your expensive foundation. Or whatever you use, because the SPF in foundation never really lasts.

  • La Roche-Posay Tinted Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid – $30. The light and soft cream quickly absorbs into skin while evening skin tone. It is delicate and mineral based.
  • Coppertone Oil-free-faces SPF 50 – $7.50. Oil free and fragrance free. Will not make skin breakout.

Sun Hats

Make sure to have a sunhat to protect your scalp. These hats are usually broad and made from materials that will allow air-ventilation.

Checking for physician-endorsed hats with a UPF is also an excellent idea, as these hats guarantee UV protection on your scalp, one of the body’s most prone areas.

Sunhats have been a hot weather staple since couture even existed. Not only are they practical, but sexy and elegant. Refer to Audrey Hepburn.

Sites to shop:

Shampoos and Conditioners

The shampoo and conditioner that we choose to use during these hectic, hot months is imperative (especially the shampoo). We need to make sure that what we are using is relatively light, with lots of moisture and an SPF. Try and steer clear of products rich in sulfites, such as shampoos.

  • Redken Color-Extend Sun – $14
  • Aveda Color Conserve – $18

Or, make your own shampoo and conditioner, and then add a bit of facial sunscreen (high SPF).

Hair Sunscreen

There is nothing more damaging than the iron fist of the sun beating down on your new ‘do. Keep your hair lustrous, bouncy and colorful by adding hair sunscreen to your day-to-day regimen. Nobody likes orangey, frizzy hair. The word is mane – not maimed. 

  • Shiseido Refreshing Sun-Protection Spray – $30
  • Banana Boat Quick Dri Sport Body and Scalp Spray – $7
  • Nioxin Scalp Shield Sunscreen Spray – $20

3. Hydrating your hair: Deep-moisture therapy

After a long day at the beach sipping on tart strawberry-ritas and icy Coronas, your hair needs an extra boost of hydration.

You know that your usual regimen is to come home and moisturize after being out in the sun (because who wants tight, red and potentially flakey skin?), so how can you neglect your hair?

Hair is mostly made of water (just like the rest of our bodies), so we need to quench its thirst. Once a week, try a deep-moisture mask (you can elect to make one) or an intense conditioner in the shower.

5 Steps to Deep-Moisture

Whenever moisturizing the hair, make sure to let the product/mask sit on the hair for at least 5 minutes. A good trick is to:

1. Lightly wash the hair with a baby-shampoo (you can pick one of these up at the dollar store) with warm water. Try and focus the shampoo around the scalp, not the tips (which are often the most damaged areas).

If your hair is greasy, use a chelting/clarifying shampoo before-hand. Try and go light; focus on the roots.

2. Apply conditioner. Continue to shower as you normally would with the warm/hot water.

The steam will open up the follicles, assisting your hair to absorb more moisture (Do you remember learning in science class that heat makes things expand and cold makes things condense?).

3. Rinse it. Once you are all done, rinse your hair with cold water. This CONDENSES the hair; tightens and smoothes the cuticle: moisture is locked in.

4. Towel dry hair by lightly pushing to absorb water.

5. Air-dry hair. Feel free to add hair-sunscreen all over. Add smoothing serum (if your hair is generally unruly) to hair’s tips.

4. Tropical Summer-Heat Hair Mask

Open up your cabinets and make your very own mask. This is intended for salty, beachy, parched, dry-normal hair:

In a large bowl, muddle & mix/blend:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

If you would like to lighten your hair naturally you may choose to add lemon or citrus and more honey. If you are choosing to add in something acidic, be sure to balance it out with something hydrating. Mayonnaise, avocado and olive oil are perfect substitutes.

Apply all over clean hair. Cover with small towel or hair-net. Heat towel/hair net until it is hot. Let the mask sit on the head for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water.

Intense-Moisturizing Hair Mask/Treatments to try:

  • Neutrogena Triple Moisture Mask – $5
  • Pantene Pro-V 2-Minute Moisture Masque – $7
  • SashaJuan Intensive Repair Conditioner – $30
  • Lea journo Parfait Intense Hydrating Masque – $45

Extra tips

  • Keep a dark-colored silk scarf in your purse. Feel free to whip it out on random grocery trips and to have it handy for eye cover-ups when lying by the pool. Added bonus: silk scarves are ultra chic and even come in handy for those spurts of summer wind and rain. Feel free to tie it on your purse for a little personal-staple.
  • Drink lots of water! Hair NEEDS water to thrive, as does your skin. Healthy, vibrant hair is thirst-quenched hair. If you increase your in-take of water, you’ll notice all kinds of health benefits, from clearer skin to livelier hair. Feed it water and a weekly hair mask.
  • Depleted hair loves oils and vitamins. Vitamin E capsules and omega-fatty oils are excellent for frazzled locks. Not only can they be added to hair masks, but taken orally. Adding a multi-vitamin to your schedule will help you emotionally, physically and aesthetically (hence, the hair.)
  • Switch your pillow to silk. By doing this, you’ll eliminate the chaffing of your hair during the night. This will help your split ends. In addition, silk contains amino-acids and protein (even in your pillow). Silk is a heat regulator, so even though it may feel warmer, it actually keeps it cooler than that oh so cozy, deceiving cotton.
  • Always keep a spare umbrella (for rain/beach) and sunhat in your car’s trunk.
  • Aloe Vera is good to drink (yep – you can add it to a smoothie), put on the hair or even an excellent add-in to a DIY hair mask.
  • Blondes, combat pool hair with a purple-based leave-in/shampoo and conditioner. Hit up your beauty store and see what is available.

There are tons of products to douse your head with, but remember that a good sunhat and a balanced routine are all you need to keep your hair looking fall fresh all year ‘round. No beauty wants to start the day out at the beach with flawless tresses and end the night at a club dancing in hair-disaster.

This season, make sure you are prepared for a no-hair-scare year. Let the beach-bumming begin!

Cover photo:

About the author

Alexandra Meehan

Alexandra Meehan is a poet and writer residing in Gainesville, Florida. When she's not writing, she is biking or spending time with her partner Cathrine and their beloved Australian Shepherd, Pekoe.

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