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9 Beauty-Boosting Hacks for All Your Summer Hair Woes


Time spent in the sun can work wonders to boost our health and elevate our mood, but it doesn’t do our hair any favors. From straw-like strands to faded color, the heat-induced damage can make our hair (and us!) appear much older. So we polled celebrity hair pros for the fast, affordable, and easy remedies that rejuvenate tresses, turning a bad hair day into a season full of locks you’ll love. Discover the solution that will leave you stunning!

Oily roots? Mattify them with a mist.

Once the temperature rises, even freshly washed tresses can take on a slick, greasy look within seconds of stepping outside. The reason: Heat from the sun opens pores on the scalp, causing a spike in sweat and oil production that leaves behind an unflattering sheen. 

Celebrity hairstylist Mike Petrizzi, who’s worked with Joan Jett and Mandy Moore, suggests whipping up a degreasing spritz made with cornstarch (a common ingredient in dry shampoo for its powdery, absorbent texture) and rubbing alcohol (an astringent). Together, they work to eliminate moisture from the scalp down to hair’s ends. 

To Do: In a spray bottle, add 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch, 2 tsp. of rubbing alcohol and 1⁄2 cup of water, then shake to combine. Lightly spritz the mist onto oily areas, then massage into the scalp with fingertips. 

Tip: Since too much alcohol can dry out locks, use the spray sparingly (no more than twice a week).

Faded color? Refresh it with a tinted gloss.

The sun tends to sap the vibrance from color, but instead of re-dying hair the moment it dulls, try a colored gloss, says celebrity hairstylist Kiyah Wright, who’s worked with Heidi Klum and Kerry Washington. “It deposits a slight wash of color that keeps your hue fresh for weeks at a time.” 

To Do: Apply half of the bottle to dry hair; let sit 35 minutes. Rinse until clear, then shampoo. Results will last three to four weeks. We like John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss ($11.39, Amazon).

Dirty grays? Lighten them with a ‘soap cap.’

Hair that lacks pigment picks up colors from things like chlorine, shower water, and product residue, leaving grays dull and discolored. The brightening fix that Abbie Thompson, hair color educator with Sally Beauty, relies on? “A quick technique that uses a mix of bleach, developer and shampoo to gently lift unwanted pigment from hair.” 

To Do: Mix 1⁄4 cup each of shampoo, powder bleach — like Clairol Professional Kaleidocolors Clear Ice Powder Lightener Packette ($13.60, Amazon) — and developer, like Ion Sensitive Scalp 20 Volume Creme Developer ($6.90, Amazon). Wearing gloves, apply evenly to damp hair. Let sit five to 10 minutes, then rinse.

Hair falling flat? Pump it up with a salty “wash.”

Humidity is the ultimate adversary to fine tresses, as the heavily moisture-filled air settles on — and weighs down — already limp-looking locks. Celebrity hairstylist Kiyah Wright’s superhero hack for va-va-volume to the rescue: Wash your hair with an Epsom salt–infused shampoo. 

“Minerals in the salt, like magnesium and calcium, draw moisture deep into follicles, plumping hair’s diameter from the inside for volume that lasts long after suds are rinsed away.” Plus, the salt has been shown to strengthen strands at the root and help maintain a healthy scalp to encourage hair growth for a thicker appearance. 

To Do: Add 2 tsp. of Epsom salts to a dollop of shampoo. Massage the mixture onto hair from roots to ends. Let sit for five minutes before washing out.

Resistant Grays? Cover them with this 2-step trick.

The lack of natural oils in gray strands gives them a rougher surface that tends to reject color when applied. Combine that with the sun’s drying rays, which exacerbate the coarse texture, and you’re left with stray grays even after a fresh application of color. Sally Beauty color expert Abbie Thompson advises treating grays with developer (the solution that’s mixed with hair color so it can penetrate strands) before coloring. The solution softens and opens hair’s cuticles so dye that’s applied afterward absorbs better. 

To Do: Apply a 20 percent developer (like like Ion Sensitive Scalp 20 Volume Creme Developer ($6.90, Amazon) onto grays with a cotton ball and let sit for five minutes; rinse and dry hair. Next, apply the dye of your choice and let sit for 10 minutes longer than the box-given processing time. This allows for maximum dye absorption and gray coverage.

Frizzy hair? Smooth it with a coconut oil spritz.

Sure, we blame humidity for causing frizz, but it’s a mere side effect of the real culprit: dehydrated hair. “Dry, porous strands soak up any moisture they can to compensate for a lack of hydration, so come summer, they’re grabbing at all the humidity in the air,” says Mike Petrizzi, hairstylist at the Chris Chase salon in New York City. “And all that excess water swells locks, resulting in a frizzy mess.” Get to the root of the problem with a coconut oil leave-in. Packed with nourishing fatty acids, coconut oil penetrates and hydrates the hair shaft so it doesn’t seek out moisture, plus it seals the cuticle so it won’t absorb more than it needs.

To Do: In a spray bottle, mix 1 cup of water, 2 Tbs. of liquefied coconut oil and 1 Tbs. of aloe vera gel (an emollient); shake to combine. Mist onto wet or damp hair prior to styling.

Gray roots? Mask them with this gel.

The good news? Research shows that hair growth increases during the warmer months as a defense mechanism to shield skin from UV rays. The bad news? That means grays are coming in fast and furious this time of year. 

To swiftly cover the pesky roots that surround the hairline, part, and temples, celebrity colorist James Corbett, who works with stars like Daphne Oz and Debbie Gibson, suggests a touch-up brush that contains dye — like Clairol Root Touch-Up Semi Permanent Color Blending Gel ($19.96, Amazon). It has the application ease of tinted powders and colored sprays, but instead of washing right out, it lasts for up to 10 washes. Plus, the semipermanent formula blends in with the rest of hair’s color without creating a harsh line of demarcation.

To Do: Apply to gray strands at roots, temples and around the hairline. Let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse out with water.

Lackluster locks? Revive them with a banana ‘cream’.

Sunshine reflects light onto our hair so it shimmers while we’re outdoors, but at the same time, the heat from its powerful rays is stripping strands of their natural shine-inducing oils, says celebrity hairstylist Mike Petrizzi. So by the time we’re back inside, hair is dull, straw-like, and brittle. 

Petrizzi’s Tip: Replenish locks with a mask made from banana and almond oil. The fruit’s potassium and vitamin A work together to help repair and strengthen strands while its hydrating amino acids penetrate to moisturize follicles from deep within. And almond oil’s fatty acids rehydrate parched locks while leaving behind a subtle sheen for added luminosity. 

To Do: In a blender, combine 1 banana, 2 Tbs. of almond oil, and 1 Tbs. of honey (a humectant that helps lock in moisture and enhance shine). Apply the mixture to damp hair from roots to ends and cover with a shower cap. Let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse.

Brassy Tinge? Reverse it with a ‘grape’ rinse.

A whole host of things like overexposure to the sun or swimming in chlorinated water can cause blond hair to take on an orange cast, says colorist Kyle White, who’s worked with Jane Pauley and Patricia Heaton. His advice: Wash it with grape Kool-Aid. Since orange and purple are opposite each other on the color wheel, the drink’s purple hue neutralizes hair’s brassy tones.

To Do: Mix half of a packet of grape Kool-Aid powder with 3 cups of water. Pour onto damp hair, let sit fie minutes; rinse. Use once a week for lasting results.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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