Summer Haircare Tips from a Local Pro

Conquer frizz, damage, and fading color with this expert advice
summer haircare
Photo: IStock

Warm, sunny weather brings the return of many Michiganders’ favorite outdoor activities. But those pool parties, boat rides, and backyard barbecues mean chlorine, wind, sun exposure, and heat — all of which can take a toll on our already stressed tresses. We spoke with stylist Amy Gibson of Alchemy Hair Design in Northville to get her top summer haircare tips.   

Keep frizz at bay

It might seem counterintuitive given summer’s high humidity levels, but Gibson says hair that’s prone to frizz is typically lacking in moisture. To level up your summer haircare game, she recommends using a high-quality oil treatment (such as Moroccanoil Treatment Original, $44, at moroccanoil.com) after washing and before blow-drying to add critical hydration. “[Moroccan Oil] doesn’t sit on top of the hair — it actually works its way into the [core of the hair shaft] and moisturizes from the inside.” After blow-drying, Gibson recommends finishing with a protective sealing spray (like KMS Hairstay Anti-Humidity Seal Spray, $20.15, at walmart.com). “It adds shine and actually puts a protective finish on your hair to stop it expanding in the humidity.”

Protect your color 

“Sunlight is a huge factor for reducing the vibrancy of hair color,” Gibson says. Luckily, the same Moroccan Oil treatment she recommends for frizz also functions as a sun protectant. “It’s got UVA and UVB protective qualities in it. It’s almost like sunscreen for the hair.” She also recommends wearing a hat or a scarf during summer activities to block excess sun exposure.

Chlorine is another potential threat to highlighted and color-treated hair, Gibson says. The chemical compounds in the common pool sanitizer can fade darker colors and add a green tint to lighter colors. To avoid that, she recommends pre-treating the hair before swimming. “Wet your hair thoroughly before getting in the pool, then cover it in conditioner and put it in a bun or a braid,” she says. “Hair acts like a sponge and will soak up the chlorine, but [not] if you prepare it by filling it with water and conditioner.”

Fight damage and dryness

“We put [our hair] through a lot with coloring every four to six weeks, blasting it with a blow dryer, then raking hot tools through it,” Gibson says. So it’s no surprise that the added heat and sun exposure of summer can take damage, like split ends and breakage, up a notch. For extra TLC, she recommends an in-salon deep conditioning treatment. “At my salon, I use Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair Instant Treatments,” she says. “They last up to three weeks and work by getting moisture and restorative properties deep into the center of the hair, healing it from within.”

For curly and textured hair, go natural 

For curly and textured tresses, Gibson says that your summer haircare should focus on natural styles to maintain the integrity of the hair through the hot months. A leave-in product designed for your specific texture (such as Bumble and Bumble Curl Anti-humidity Gel-Oil, $30, at bumbleandbumble.com) can add moisture and definition to curls and waves without creating crunch. “It’s got the hold of a gel but the anti-frizz qualities of an oil,” she says.

Don’t over-wash 

Sweat-inducing summer activities can make us feel the need to wash our hair more often. But Gibson cautions that washing too frequently can contribute to dryness and damage. “Washing your hair every day isn’t necessary,” she says. Instead, “rinse it and use a product like Amika Nice Cream [$10, at loveamika.com]. It’s a cleansing conditioner, so you get the feeling that you’re getting rid of sweat, sunscreen, and hat hair without all the astringent qualities of a shampoo.”

For more from Gibson, visit alchemystylist.com

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