Summer comes with a list of beauty dos and dont’s: do stick with an SPF of 30 or above, don’tcoat your entire face in foundation unless you want it to drip down to your navel at high noon. Different rules apply to hair, as well, but you’ll be thrilled to read they probably aren’t what you think. If the thought of returning to your virgin hair color for the sake of keeping it protected from summer’s harshest elements makes you want to jump head first into the Atlantic, step away from the pier, call your hairstylist, and go on and make that next appointment. From June until September, you can enhance your strands with bleach, dye, polka dots, streaks, and stripes–scratch that, no stripes, please–provided you follow a few simple and important guidelines that will keep your hair healthy all season long.
1. Don’t dye your hair at home. For the love of everything holy, stop trying to create magic in your bathroom with a pair of $0.50 plastic gloves and cheap color,” advises Anthony Colello, owner and operator of STRUT Salon in Chandler, Arizona. When it coms to coloring your hair–particularly in the summer–call a professional! “The main problem with summer is the amount of time outside in the sun and in both chlorinated or salt water,” Colello said. “All of these factors combined lead to an increase in the porosity of hair. That means that your hair cuticle is lifting up and getting tons of little microscopic holes in it. This is a lot less of a problem if you are getting your hair done by a professional as we can use the minimum possible strength of chemicals to achieve the look you are going for. However, already compromised/damaged hair is going to get wrecked if you are a big outside person.”
2. Manage your expectations. There’s only so much you can do with your hair color when the sun is shining for 10+ hours every day. “Even if you are not a sun worshiper, daily commuting can lighten and even dry out your locks,” says Amanda Scott, a stylist at Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon. “If someone is looking to go from light to dark in the summer it can work, but it’s probably not the best idea because it will most likely lighten up a lot faster and will need to be touched up more frequently. Also, in the reverse case, if you are going to go from dark to light you must be careful not to over process the hair–make sure your salon is a cooler temperature to allow for even lifting. If your roots are extra warm it can cause the color to lift faster resulting in uneven color.”
3. Protect your hair at all costs. In order to prevent your hair from drying out and your color from fading, it’s imperative that you stock up on a few additional products that might have seemed like luxuries back in February. “Overly exposing hair to heat and sun after a drastic color change can be very harsh on the hair, causing it to be overly dry and resulting in breakage,” celebrity hairstylist George Papanikolas says. “Keeping hair moisturized is key. I would suggest a hair mask once a week like, MATRIX HYDRASOURCE Mask in conjunction with a heat protectant like MATRIX SyleLink Heat Buffer Thermal Styling Spray. These are my two hair defenders for the summer.”
4. When all else fails, fake it. If you simply don’t want to deal with faded color or would rather be enjoying yourself at the beach instead of worrying about maintaining a perfect head of hair, Papanikolas offers two fantastic and fun ways to fake a new hair color. “You can add clip-in hair extensions with an ombré affect to give the illusion of summer highlights or hair chalk that you can easily rinse out.”
Scott suggests Color Wow, a root cover-up that can be used to mask grey roots and also be used to create temporary highlights. “It can be applied to your root to blend out into grown out highlights,” Scott says. “This makes it look like you just got a fresh set of highlights! It will mask a dark root for more solid blondes as well. A truly amazing temporary solution to coloring hair. It washes out after one shampoo and is not hair color.”