16 Stylist-Approved Tips for Beautiful, Easy Summer Hair

Summer can be drying and damaging, both to hair texture and color. There's a lot to consider when prepping for summer looks—cuteness included!

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#1 rule: Condition

Courtesy Daniel KoyeWe know: It's summer and everyone is outside and in the sun having fun, but this can cause damage to your hair. "Apply a generous amount of conditioner (regular or deep) to your hair as religiously as you put sunblock on your skin," says Daniel Koye, a hairstylist whose clients include Vanessa Williams, Carly Rae Jepson, and Jessica Chastain. "Once your done in the sun, your hair will not only be protected but you'll have soft, sexy locks."

Consider clip-ins

Courtesy RPZLIf you are not ready for the commitment that hair extensions bring, summer is a great time to experiment with clip-ins. With clip-ins, you can have long beachy waves, cute high ponytails, or an array of braids, says Lisa Richards, co-founder of RPZL, a hair extension and blowout bar in New York City.

Soothe with organic tea tree oil

Courtesy Chris Gaede"During the summer I have clients coming in with sunburned scalps, which often can be mistaken for dandruff," says Diana Gallegos, a hair stylist from Cut, Twist, Extend, in San Francisco. "For bad cases, I recommend using an organic tea tree oil to help soothe the burn." At bedtime, add a tiny amount to your fingertips and massage into the scalp gently, then rinse off in your morning shower.

For those who fear the "fade" of summer

Courtesy Beth MinardiWhile it might seem logical to lighten your hair for summer, you should, in fact, do the exact opposite for gorgeous color that lasts all summer long, says Beth Minardi at Samuel Shriqui Salon in New York City. "Ask your colorist to thread slightly deeper strands of color throughout your hair. Then, as summer sun and light make strands lighter, these deeper shots of color will provide that slight contrasting dimension that keeps hair from appearing faded."

Woke up like this...

Courtesy Shannon King"This summer is all about natural 'I-woke-up-this-way' texture, so show off what you were blessed with," says Shannon King, co-owner of HAIR & CO BKLYN. He recommends Keune Blend Paste and Keune Blend Salt Mousse for "mashing up and bringing out your hair's alter-ego."

Before you swim...

Courtesy JessicaSclambergYou know that sign at the pool that says you're required to shower before taking a dip? Do it. (Same goes for the ocean.) "Before hopping in the water, wet your hair thoroughly with water to dilute the chlorine or salt water," says Jessica Sclamberg co-founder of SF Color Collective, in San Francisco. "Salt and chlorine cause the outer layer of your hair to become brittle, dry, dull, or even lift the color out." For daily protection, she recommends spraying L'Oreal Professional Leave-In Color 10 in 1 on damp hair.  

After the pool...

Courtesy Spa PechangaIf you're trying to strip chlorine from hair, sprinkle on baking soda to your locks and massage into hair before you wash with shampoo as normal. Air-dry or blow-dry on low heat to protect strands, says Gina Layland, Spa Pechanga Manager in Temecula, California.

Go a bit caramel

Courtesy Jennifer O'Dell Photography for Marco Pelusi Hair StudioBored with your basic brunette color? Ask your colorist for a golden-beige, caramel hue instead. This gives a sun-kissed look that steers clear of red and orange, says celebrity hair colorist Marco Pelusi of Marco Pelusi Hair Studio in West Hollywood

Try cornrows

Courtesy Tym Wallace Instagram"The best summer hairstyle is cornrows," says Tym Wallace, hairstylist who works with Taraji P. Henson, Zendaya Coleman, Kelly Rowland, and others. "It's an easy, fun, low-maintenance style that's great for basking in the sun or taking a dip in the ocean, and can go with any texture or length and any look."

Get the most natural-looking highlights

Courtesy Matthew Guilin"Unlike balayage highlights where the ends of the hair are painted, this technique involves hand-painting the hair from root to tip," says Matthew Guilin, a hair stylist in West Hollywood, California. "It's great for blondes and brunettes looking to lighten up for summer because the roots grow out in a natural way, as opposed to foiled highlights that have an obvious root line after a few weeks."
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