5 Tips for Healthy Summer Hair

Hair ConditioningHair Conditioning

For frizz-free beach days and glossy sunny highlights, top stylists reveal their best thirst-quenching hair recommendations. By Ning Chao


Just as your body needs water to survive, your hair must replenish its moisture to stay healthy. "Conditioner for hair is like water for the body: You're always going to need it," says hairstylist Lorraine Massey, founder of Devachan Salon in New York City. So if you're a dry-shampoo fan, add moisture, even if you're not washing. The time-saving formulas of dry shampoos are designed to soak up oil, leaving hair lackluster. To rehydrate without wetting, spritz a dry conditioner on thirsty ends every two days.

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People are talking about sulfate-free shampoos, but even gentle surfactants (which create suds) can fade color and cause parched scalps and strands. "Lather removes moisture, but a cleansing conditioner contains essential oils that wash hair without stripping. This is what people used before the invention of shampoo," explains Wen founder Chaz Dean, whose latest formula, Summer Mango Coconut, contains antioxidant goji berries and matrixyl peptides to strengthen strands. "After three weeks of using a non-detergent shampoo, you'll see hair like you've never seen before," Massey promises.

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Give your hair a break from blowouts and embrace summer's casual braids, ponytails, and buns. "The best thing about the summertime is you can wear your hair natural and play with accessories," says Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy celeb stylist Jen Atkin of the Andy Lecompte Salon in L.A. "I love doing a low fishtail braid and adding a Jennifer Behr headband in lime green or coral." Even an undone style will still look chic if hair appears shiny and healthy, says Atkin, who recommends substituting your styling cream with a conditioner to smooth hair and hydrate.

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To balance and rehydrate, oils work just as well on the face as they do on the hair. "I grew up in Hawaii, and we were always using coconut and macadamia-nut oils for homemade masks," Atkin recalls. "They don't contain silicone, so they're more like lotion for the hair and won't build up or weigh hair down. And avocado oil is a great holistic remedy for scalp sunburns." To fortify your conditioner or styling cream, mix in a drop of oil.

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Slathering hair with a moisturizing mask is a no-brainer before a day at the beach, but have you ever tried masking up before a workout? "If you're going to the gym, apply a mask or oil to your hair before pulling it back into a ponytail," instructs Atkin. "After your workout, put on a plastic cap and sit in the steam room." While your muscles are unwinding, your hair will get a salon-caliber conditioning treatment.

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