4 Best Natural Tips For Summer Hair Care

Here's how to keep your mane looking lustrous and healthy even in the summertime.

July 14, 2017
summer hair
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You might need more than a cold shower to help your locks combat this summer’s heat waves. While you slather the rest of your bod with increased SPF (like with these 6 best mineral sunscreens), your hair care routine might need to be kicked up a notch, too. And you can do it without amping up your daily chemical intake.

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“I think people forget about sun damage with hair,” explained Nancy Twine, founder of eco-friendly haircare line, Briogeo. “There’s a need for antioxidants to combat that damage—not just for skin, but in your hair products, too.” Heat, UV rays, humidity, and sweat can lead to dryness, damage, and limp, lifeless hair—all of which can be tackled with the right products.

Here, our guide to maintaining gorgeous summer hair—naturally. 

Related: 5 Mistakes You're Making With Your Dry Shampoo—And 4 Natural Brands To Try

woman with hat
Heat protectant for your hair? Consider it a must.

Hot tools aren’t the only vice worth protecting your hair from. The sun’s UV rays might not only damage your strands, but can also age it. “When your hair is exposed to the sun, it gets hot the same way it would if it were under a blow dryer or a heat tool,” said Twine. “Those harmful UV rays can have an aging effect on the hair that’s visible—it makes it lighter and duller.”

Related: What Happened When I Tested Out 7 Different Hair Oils

She recommends applying a heat protectant (like Briogeo’s Rosarco Heat Protection Crème that protects hair up to 450 degrees) to damp hair before stepping out into the sun, even if you’re air drying, for damage control. "It's key to protect against damaging heat that can break and destroy the cuticle over time," she says. 

Related: 8 Natural Ways To Help Your Hair Grow Faster

Likewise, a good protectant coat can also help salvage your hair color from the sun's damaging rays. Wintergreen and cinnamon oils power Aveda's moisturizing, water-resistent Sun Care Protective Veil, and can keep your color vibrant and true to itself, while drying out your locks via harmful UVs can cause you to go brassy, or can turn a good blonde bland. "The same way the sun can tan your skin, it can change the color of your hair," added Twine. "Some people might like it, but as soon as the sun has lightened your hair, it's damaging it." 

Buy it: Briogeo Heat Protection Crème, $24, Sephora.com
Aveda Sun Care Protective Veil, from $29, Amazon.com


frizzy hair
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Need to fight frizz? Add moisture to your hair.

Summer’s sweltering hot days could be causing the additional frizz and breakage you’ve been experiencing lately. Prep your strands by adding lots of moisture, because dry, weak strands soak up the humidity to equate frizz city. Stylist and salon owner Laura Mazzaferro of IVY hair loft in Boston recommends trying a splash mask—a K-Beauty concept that concentrates the benefits of a nourishing mask treatment into a spritz (or splash) it on one-step—like IGK’s petro-chemical, paraben, and sulfate-free product, Prenup.

Related: 4 Natural Steps To Getting Rid Of Split Ends For Good

 “You shampoo your hair, wring out the water, and then spray in this mask,” she explained. “Comb it from root to ends and leave it in a minute—or two to three for deconditioning—and it makes your hair feel amazing.” Bonus: The speedy process won’t have your wasting time or water in the shower.

Buy it: Prenup Instant Spray Hair Mask, $32, Sephora.com

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Speaking of, cut down on the showers.

We’re more likely to shower when sweltering summer weather has us sweating more than usual, but an uptick in shampoos could be doing more damage than you think. “Just washing your hair every day can be stripping the hair of moisture and nutrients that it needs,” added Twine. It also does a number on your scalp. “There’s a correlation between what your face needs and what your hair and scalp needs,” she continued, highlighting the benefits of rosehip oil and vitamin C. “Read the ingredients and look for those types of nourishing antioxidants, vitamins, and essential oils you’d seek out in skincare products. Those will be the products that contain the foundation for a healthy scalp.”

Related: How To Make Your Own Shampoo

The market is flush with chemical-free alternatives for a squeak clean shampoo (here are some of our favorites) but in the sweaty summer, we find ourselves reaching for 100 Percent Pure's Kelp & Mint Shampoo. The seaweed collagen-rich formula adds bounce and gloss without the weight, while mint and aloe keep you feeling fresh when things get steamy. You can also add moisture with Sachajuan's sulfate-free sea algae Hair After The Sun moisturizer. 

Buy it: Kelp & Mint Shampoo, from $19, Amazon.com
Sachajuan Hair After The Sun, $32, Sephora.com


brushing hair
But what about styling?

Twine recommended staying away from products that contain silicone (“They cause a lot of buildup that makes the hair feel limp”) and aerosol sprays. “They have an alcohol content; and that plus sun exposure is just an equation for damage," she says. 

Related: The 5 Foods You Need To Eat For Shiny, Healthy Hair

Instead, she recommends topping a texturizing spray that contains sea salt. We love Captain Blankenship’s Golden Waves Sea Salt Spray, that contains organic sea kelp extract and natural gold mica for a subtle shimmer. “Those can be drying though,” she added. “So add oil to the ends of the hair so it keeps them not frayed or prone to damage.” You can go for an oil like True Moringa Oil, a restorative and protective hair and body natural oil blend that provides a matte finish.

Related: I Gave Up Shampoo And Washed My Hair With Apple Cider Vinegar For 6 Weeks—Here's What Happened

Or to keep things slick, just hit up a dry oil spray that adds moisture and shine without weight or grease. Mazzaferro likes IGK’s Speechless, made with Marula Oil and Shea Butter. “You can also use it on your body for a bit of shimmer,” she said. “Saltwater and sun can dry out your hair, so this replenishes shine and moisture lost. Plus, it’s quick and easy.”

Buy it: IGK Dry Oil Finishing Spray, $29, Sephora.com
Captain Blankenship’s Sea Salt Spray, $28, Sephora.com