By Jessica Pigza
We’re a little more than halfway through the summer, and I’m officially over my hair. It’s too hot to leave it down all the time and between keeping the home life in order, and trying to get as much pool time in with the kids as we can before school starts, I just don’t feel like devoting the time it takes to leave my hair down and not have it look like a raggedy mess.
Don’t get me wrong, as hot as it may be, I still like having my hair long. This just means that during the summer, my hair can typically be found up in a messy bun or messy ponytail. The keyword is messy, but it’s out of my face and off my neck. Lucky for me, effortless updos are currently on-trend. Congratulations moms everywhere! Our messy ponytails are now considered stylish! But seriously, keeping it easy and simple this summer is what it’s all about. And did I mention healthy? Summertime equals beach time, pool time, and sunshine, but those can be harsh on hair no matter the length, color, or texture.
I am, however, happy to say that I have discovered a few easy ways to spruce up the “mess.” Plus ways to keep my hair healthy and protect it from summer damage. Below are a few tips and tricks you can use to get your locks through the summer.
1. Protect Against Chlorine & Salt Water
Whether you’re at the pool or the beach, salt and chlorine can wreak havoc on your hair. Both can be very drying and if you have color-treated hair, it can cause your color to fade fast. Before your hit the water, there are a few different ways you can protect your hair.
- Non-chlorinated water – Before diving into the pool, wet your hair with non-chlorinated water. Think of your hair, and skin for that matter, like a sponge. If you soak it in clean water first, then when you jump into the pool, your “sponge” won’t be able to absorb as much of the chlorinated water. Taking a quick rinse at the pool shower will cover all your bases and keep your skin and hair from drying out.
- Olive Oil or Coconut Oil – Coating hair with either olive oil or coconut oil will not only help protect hair from drying out, but it will also add moisture to your hair, keeping it healthy from root to tip.
- Leave-In Conditioner – Leave-in conditioner can help tame locks during the hot, humid summer months but it can also help protect your hair from the damaging effects of chlorine and salt. Give your strands a generous coating before hitting the water.
Tip: Not all leave-in conditioners are created equal. Some are better for curly hair while others are more geared towards fine hair. Check the labels and read reviews to help find one perfect for your hair. And just to guarantee that you’re not stuck with a leave-in conditioner you don’t like, click here to see a list of stores with excellent return policies on beauty products.
This leave-in conditioner is not only great for damaged hair but fine hair as well.
Choose accessories that will help your hair this summer! A sunhat or fedora isn’t just for looking stylish and put together, it’s a great way to protect your hair and face from the sun. You can also add scarves and head wraps to give your look a pop of color, keep your hair out of the sun and avoid that windblown look. Lastly, when you wear your hair up make sure you use elastics without metal on them as they can cut into and rip up your hair.
3. GIVE YOUR HAIR A BREAK
Give your hair a break from the added heat of hairdryers, curling irons, and flat irons. The summer sun is hot enough, no reason to add to it. However, if you must use a hairdryer, a medium to low heat setting is best, and make sure to keep it a safe distance from your hair. The metal coils on the tip of your hairdryer will actually singe your hair if you get too close. Yikes!
Tip: To achieve waves without the heat, try doing a single braid or multiple braids in damp hair before bed. In the morning take out your braids and run your fingers through your hair for effortless waves. Make sure your hair isn’t too wet or it will still be wet in the morning when you let out your braids.
4. REGULAR TRIMS
This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to get your hair trimmed. It is recommended to go every 8-12 weeks. Keeping your hair trimmed keeps your ends healthy. Healthy ends mean you’ll have less breakage and it will keep them from splitting. Also with regular trims, you’ll avoid having to cut off additional length just to get to the healthy part of your strands because you waited too long between cuts.
5. PERK UP YOUR PONYTAIL
Since I do like to wear my hair up a lot, I’ve found that sometimes a simple braid, twist, or change in my part can make all the difference between hot mess and effortless style. Below I’ve included two of my favorites and how you can achieve these looks.
The Top Knot
This is one of my new favorites, the top knot/bun. Gather hair (wet or dry) up in a ponytail on top of your head and secure it loosely with an elastic. Then twirl your ponytail and wrap that around until you have a loose bun shape. Secure with either bobby pins, another elastic, or my favorite, Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin. They come in different colors to match your hair and are available in regular size as well as mini size. These little wonders can take the place of several bobby pins!
Hint: If you’re not digging having the knot on top of your head, no worries, play around with it until you find a position that you’re comfortable with.
My other favorite addition is the braid. Braids are a great way to add some interest to your ponytail or messy bun. My go-to is a french braid across the front of my hair and then add it to my ponytail.
To accomplish this I first take a comb and section off the hair I want to braid and pull the rest back in a ponytail so it is out of the way.
Then I separate into three sections and begin to braid.
Tip: Braiding the sections over each other or braiding them under each other will create two different-looking braids. In this example, I braided the sections under each other.
After each braid, I add another small section of hair to each of the outer sections and continue.
Once I reach my temple, I stop adding hair. This is the time where I can look at my braid and if it looks too tight I can gently pull on the sections to add some volume.
I will continue braiding my hair to the end and either secure it with a tiny elastic or let it loose.
I then remove the elastic that was holding the rest of my hair back and add in the braided section. Secure in either a ponytail or a loose bun and done!