Hair

8 Summer Hair Tricks to Cover Up Grays, Revive Dull Color, Tame Frizz, and More

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Whether gardening in the yard, strolling around the block or lounging in the shade, nothing puts pep in our step like time spent outdoors on a beautiful summer day. It’s just too bad that the season that brings us so much joy also comes with heat, humidity and harsh UV rays that wreak havoc on our hair in the form of frizz, faded color, straw-like texture and more. 

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Thankfully, it doesn’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time and effort to refresh warm-weatherworn tresses! Here, celebrity hairstylists and colorists reveal their easy, affordable remedies to beautify strands so they stun now and for the rest of the sun-filled season. Read on to discover the simple solution that will make you and your hair shine!

Banish brass with a vitamin C powder.

Blond tresses are notorious for taking on an unflattering orange cast after overexposure to UV rays and chlorinated water, says colorist Mike Petrizzi, who’s worked with Joan Jett and Mandy Moore. His advice: Use a vitamin C–packed powder. “Vitamin C naturally brightens hair so it looks less orange, while also gently exfoliating strands to pull out color-changing impurities like pollutants and chlorine, reducing brassiness in a flash.”

To do: Mix one sachet of a powder, like dpHUE Brightening Powder (Buy on dpHUE.com, $30), with three drops of water until it turns into a paste. Massage the mixture all over damp hair for five minutes; rinse. Use twice a month to maintain the hair-brightening results.

Polish silvers with this toner.

The number-one reason for dingy, discolored grays? The sun! “If you spend too much time under its rays, the radiation will bleach any silver-boosting purple or blue molecules in your hair shaft making dirty-looking yellow tones stand out,” explains Petrizzi. To get hair back to a striking silver hue, he suggests applying a blue-based toner. “This adds a sheer cast of cool-toned blue pigments that instantly cancel out any yellow for silvers that pop.”

To do: Apply a toner, like AGEbeautiful Topcoat Toner in Silver Ash Blonde, (Buy on SallyBeauty.com, $7.79), to damp hair from roots to ends; brush through with a comb to ensure an even application. Let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse out with shampoo.

Tame frizz with an aloe spritz.

“When hair is dry and porous — an inevitability in summer — it seeks water from the environment to hydrate it, finds it in humid air and absorbs all of it like a sponge,” says hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein, who’s worked with Cindy Crawford and Sofía Vergara.

The result? Water-logged strands that swell and puff out. What can help: misting hair with an aloe-infused leave-in. Aloe penetrates and locks water into the hair shaft so it won’t absorb more in excess. Plus, the plant’s saponins seal hair’s cuticle to further tame frizz.

To do: Add three tablespoons of aloe vera gel and 1⁄4 cup of water to a small spray bottle and shake. Spritz onto damp hair before styling.

‘Clean’ oily roots with this dry shampoo.

Thanks to the hot sun opening pores and increasing sweat and oil gland activity on the scalp, even freshly washed hair can look greasy within minutes of stepping outside. It’s no surprise that dry shampoo can reverse it. The powdery spray acts like a magnet to absorb excess oil and sweat on the scalp’s surface and strands. But the latest crop of dry shampoos take it one step further! For example, Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle (Buy on Kloraneusa.com, $10) contains astringent nettle extract, which regulates oil and sweat production for continuously clean-looking hair.

To do: Lightly mist onto roots of dry hair, then massage in with fingertips or comb through with a brush to blend in any residue. Bonus: If you notice roots look greasy while out and about, rub a few drops of hand sanitizer along the part. Its alcohol content will sop up oil and moisture just like dry shampoo.

Hydrate parched strands with an avocado mask.

The natural oils that keep strands hydrated and shiny tend to deplete with age — an effect that’s exacerbated by time spent in the drying sun. This combo leaves hair literally looking like straw! But it’s easy to restore youthful luster with an avocado deep conditioner, says hairstylist Kim Kimble, who’s worked with Angela Bassett and Gabrielle Union. The fruit contains oils and fatty acids that nourish and replenish hair’s moisture levels fast.

To do: In a bowl, mix half of a mashed avocado, one tablespoon of olive oil (its antioxidants strengthen brittle strands), and two teaspoons of honey (it also moisturizes hair). Apply to damp hair from roots to ends. Let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat once a week to prolong results.

Volumize flat hair with a peppermint tea rinse.

Sure, the moisture from humid air can cause hair to frizz up, but surprise: It can also weigh strands down so they look limp and lifeless. Celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein’s tip to outsmart volume-sapping humidity?

Rinse hair with peppermint tea. Peppermint’s menthol is a stimulant (similar to caffeine) that props strands up and off of the scalp long after hair has dried, for fullness that lasts all day. What’s more, menthol also leaves behind a lingering cooling sensation on skin that prevents the scalp from feeling overheated.

To do: Steep three peppermint tea bags in two cups of boiling water. Once cool, remove the tea bags and pour onto damp hair. Rub into the scalp for one minute; let sit for five minutes, then rinse.

Cover up resistant grays with a pre-softening treatment.

Because gray strands are inherently dry and coarse, it’s difficult for them to absorb dye —and the sun’s drying rays make them even harder to penetrate. Next time you plan to cover your grays, colorist Gregory Patterson, who’s worked with Meryl Streep and Carrie Underwood, recommends treating them with developer (the solution that’s mixed with dye so it can penetrate strands) before applying dye.

“Developer softens grays and opens hair’s cuticle so dye that’s applied afterward can absorb better,” he says.

To do: Apply a 20 volume developer like ion Sensitive Scalp 20 Volume Creme Developer (Buy on SallyBeauty.com, $3.39) onto grays throughout using a hair-coloring brush. Let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse, dry hair and immediately apply color as usual.

Revive dull color with dye-depositing drops.

Sunshine bounces light onto hair so it shimmers, but it’s no match for the color-sapping heat that opens hair’s cuticle, allowing dye molecules to escape and fade color fast, says celebrity colorist Mike Petrizzi. Instead of having to re-dye hair sooner, opt for semi-permanent dye drops like Schwarzkopf Color Boost Color Vibrancy Booster (Buy at CVS, $11.99). When mixed in with your regular conditioner, the drops deposit subtle pigments onto strands that enhance and enliven hair’s hue — plus, the new, refreshed color lasts for 20 washes.

To do: While wearing disposable gloves (the color can stain hands), combine three drops of the “dye” with a palmful of your go-to hair conditioner. Apply the mix evenly all over damp, not soaking wet, hair. Let sit for five minutes; rinse.

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