We tend to blame the hot weather for many of our hair woes — but as it turns out, we can use the heat to our advantage. Hairstylist-to-the-stars Diane C. Bailey reveals how to harness the sun’s rays to nourish and beautify strands.
Thinning Hair? Try coconut-mint water.
Humidity makes hair fall flat, putting a spotlight on thin locks. Bailey’s fix: a minty coconut water spritz. Minerals in coconut water boost blood flow to the scalp to stimulate hair growth while mint’s menthol tightens roots to lift strands off the head for instant body. And heat opens pores on the scalp to optimize nutrient absorption.
To do: In a spray bottle, mix one cup of water, one cup of coconut water, and five drops of peppermint oil. Spritz on damp hair; relax outside. Use three times a week for thicker hair in 30 days.
Dry, Brittle Locks? Pick hot argan oil.
Hot-oil treatments restore shine to parched strands, but instead of heating the oil before applying, Bailey suggests using room-temperature oil and letting the sun heat it up. “The sun’s warmth opens the hair cuticle for better penetration,” she says. For great results, try argan oil, like SheaMoisture 100% Pure Argan Oil ($13.99, Amazon). Its fatty acids are ultra-hydrating, but it won’t leave hair greasy.
To do: Dab a small amount onto hair from the ears down; make a bun and enjoy your day outside. Repeat twice a week for hydrated tresses in two weeks.
Faded Color? Opt for a honey tonic.
UV rays can sap the vibrancy from hair color, leaving locks faded and lackluster. But the sun can work for you with the help of a honey-lemon tonic. When activated by the sun’s heat, lemon’s citric acid and an enzyme in honey (glucose oxidase) act as mild bleaching agents. Plus, honey is a humectant that counteracts the drying effects of the sun to keep strands hydrated. The result? Bright highlights that enhance any base color.
To do: Combine 1/4 cup each of water, honey, and lemon juice in a spray bottle. Spritz onto damp hair, then part hair and pull it into a pony. “This allows the sun to hit the front sections of hair for face-framing highlights that add radiance to skin,” Bailey explains. After an hour in the sun, wash hair twice with shampoo to remove any residue. Note: Overuse of lemon can dry out hair, so limit to two times a week for sun-kissed strands in two weeks.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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