If summer is stressing out your hair — frequent frizz, limp locks, split ends — you can combat the heat and humidity with these tips from L.A. stylist Michelle Jonietz. “Summer is by far the worst season for hair,” the owner of the posh L Salon says. “Our clients are always complaining that their hair becomes schizophrenic the minute the temperatures climb.”
But, she insists, there are steps you can take to stress-proof your crowning glory. “Summer doesn’t have to be a hair emergency,” she says. Follow her professional advice and your coif will look cool even on the most scorching days.
Problem: Humidity makes your curls go crazy.
Solution: Oil-based products that keep hair under control.
“I hear it all the time, ‘Help, Michelle, my hair looks like I stuck my finger in an electrical socket!’” Jonietz says. “You need to use a styling product that repels humidity and acts as a barrier between your hair and the elements.” She recommends rubbing a dime-sized drop of anti-humectant pommade or oil-based anti-frizz gel into ringlets. “Start at the ends — they need it the most — and work your way up,” she explains.
Beat the Heat
Problem: Heat makes it impossible to set things straight.
Solution: Let it be — naturally.
“Many women with naturally wavy hair use a blowdryer to straighten it all year long,” says Joneitz. “Then comes hot weather, and all your styling efforts disappear the minute you walk out the door.” Instead of working yourself into a sweat over styling, let your hair do what it will, she suggests. “Just spray in a light leave-in conditioner, and don’t touch your hair with a comb or brush,” she says. “Let it air-dry then run fingers through once or twice. The look is soft, sexy and oh-so-simple!”
Problem: Chlorine and salt dry and fry.
Solution: Beware — and take care.
“Before you dive into the pool, wet your hair with a spray bottle of water and comb through a heavy, waxy conditioner,” says Jonietz. Now, when you take the plunge, you’re protected from all those chemicals. “The conditioner acts as a shield, preventing hair from absorbing chlorine or salt which can dry and damage it.” Use a deep-conditioning hair mask once a week and a light conditioner daily. “Look for ones that replenish moisture as well as add protein to strengthen,” she advises.
Let Hair Shine
Problem: Locks look lackluster.
Solution: Products that step up shine.
“Hair can look dry and brittle in summer — almost parched from the sun and water,” Jonietz says. Moisturizers (see above) are your best bet to repair the damage, but in the meantime, you can fake it with a shine-enhancer. “Rub an oil-based laminate into ends,” Jonietz says. “A little — about the size of a dime — will go a long way if you smooth it first between palms.” A spray-on shine enhancer also works wonders. “It coats hair, seals ends, makes hair shimmer and reflects light.”
Problem: Hair falls flat.
Solution: Products with alcohol offer a pick-me-up.
“When you perspire in the heat, your hair becomes oily,” Jonietz says. “It can look stringy instead of your normal bounce and body.” The culprit may also be the oil-based styling product you’re using. “Adding oil to oil is a disaster!” she says. “If you must, use just a dab and only on the ends. Your scalp probably doesn’t need any more.”
Jonietz also suggests switching to an alcohol-based styler — even a hairspray — to absorb the excess oils. “In general, if your hair is limp, then less is more,” she says. “The less you put in your hair, the less weighed down it will be.”
Tame Your Bangs
- Stress-Proof Summer Hair
- Beat the Heat
- Let Hair Shine
- Tame Your Bangs
Problem: Bangs are causing breakouts.
Solution: Sweep ‘em to the side.
Don’t sweat over bangs that seem to be causing skin irritations. “Again, it’s the oil build-up from perspiration,” says Jonietz. “Your bangs are depositing oil on your skin, clogging pores and causing blemishes.” Simply comb bangs back to the side (a side-part is so chic, she says). A pretty bobby pin (rosebuds and rhinestones are hot) keeps them in place. “Not only will your complexion improve but you’ll feel cooler and cleaner.”
Problem: I’ve tried everything and my hair still won’t behave.
Solution: Get creative with accessories!
“There are so many adorable options out there!” insists Jonietz. “Barrettes, combs, clips, headbands all camouflage bad hair days — go for it!” Her favorite look (and one that she uses on celeb clients Lara Flynn Boyle and Pamela Anderson) is a chignon secured with chopsticks. “Comb hair back and off the face and secure with a covered elastic into a low ponytail,” she says. “Twist hair loosely into a knot and hold in place with a pair of chopsticks. What could be cooler?”