We all know the virtues of slathering on your SPF in the summer months (really SPF is important all year round, but especially in the summer), but we rarely pay attention to sun protection when it comes to our scalp or the hair on our heads. Not only is SPF a must, but also without proper protection your hair colour will fade or become brassy, your hair shaft will loose its luster, get frizzy, have increased breakage and be generally fried. Not a good look for anyone.
Read on to find out what can cause your hair to fry and frizz in the summer months and the products you need to fight back. Translation?
Gorgeous and healthy hair.
Summer hair protection: Just add SPF
Not only does proper SPF protection prevent your scalp from burning, but it also protects your hair colour from fading in the sunlight. Don’t worry; we aren’t advocating smearing your Skinceuticals sunscreen all over your head. Instead, invest in one of these sun-proofing hair sprays.
This lightweight, water-resistant formula contains a blend of wintergreen and cinnamon bark oils, which help block UVA and UVB rays. Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil ($34)
, at Aveda.com.
Enriched with the SolarVeil Complex—which includes a nourishing sunflower extract—this colour protecting spray smells like the tropics and is as essential poolside as a mojito. Paul Mitchell Sun Shield Conditioning Spray ($27), at paulmitchell.com.
Summer hair protection: Water proof
Chlorine. The dreaded swimming-pool culprit responsible for celery-tinged blondes, itchy dry scalps and split ends. Weekends at the cottage can also wreck havoc on your hair since the high concentration of iron in the water may build up on your hair shaft and create dull, lifeless hair. (
Check out our best summer hair styles for the cottage here).
Reduce chlorine damage with a nourishing shampoo treatment like Biolage Colorcarethérapie Color Care Shine Shake ($19.95)
For more summer hair tips and ways to prevent damage, read on to the next page…
Summer hair protection: Lather up
If your hair is colored and you’ve already been out in the sun without any kind of safeguard, then you’re once vibrant sheen is most likely resembling a beloved (well worn) tee-shirt: faded and tattered.
Get back your
youthful sheen and prevent colour from fading in the sun by opting for a protective shampoo/conditioner. This moisturizing duo is enriched with antioxidants to boost hair’s radiance and shine. Marc Anthony Colour Save Shampoo and Conditioner ($15), at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Country singer Taylor Swift relies on this after-sun shampoo to repair damage and keep her hair colour bright. Kérastase Bain Après-Soleil Shampoo ($36), at kerastase.ca.
Summer hair protection: Cover it up
This season scarves and head wraps are more Grace Kelly than Jack Sparrow (thank goodness). Try a pretty scarf or head wrap. Not only will it protect your hair from being penetrated by UV rays, but it will also keep you from frying your scalp.
Summer hair protection: Less is more
Happily undone, somewhat messy hair is on trend and appeared on the catwalks of Valentino and Louis Vuitton. The key to this relaxed style is to avoid using too many products (that means putting away your gels, oils, and styling creams). Skipping this styling step will also
protect your hair from frizz and damage as certain hair products can heat up in direct sunlight and cause your scalp to burn or dry out.
Swap your usual styling gels for this lightweight gel—specially formulated to deal with summer heat—and rock a Freja Beha-inspired shag to your summer BBQ. Bumble & Bumble Color Minded Styling Balm ($28), at Sephora.
Summer hair protection: Air dry
Heat treatments—which include blow drying, flat irons and curling irons—are the most damaging thing you can do to your hair (even more than colouring). Take advantage of the warm weather and let your hair air-dry this season to prevent breakage and minimize damage to your hairs’ cuticles. If your mane is an unruly disaster opt for a set of rollers to give you cascading curls, but if you’re pressed for time, a loose braid will keep you mane in check and give you loose waves when you let your hair out.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter