Your Stylist: Repairing hair from the summer heat
My hair is in tip top shape at the moment. It’s not fried from sun or chlorine. Nor is it crunchy and brittle from salt water. I’m not bragging. It’s quite the contrary actually. My mid-back length strands are in good shape because I’ve sadly had a summer spent mostly indoors (hair reasonably healthy, skin definitely pale). But if you’ve managed to hit the beach most weekends, hiked daily or logged in some solid pool time, your hair may be ready for a little rehab before fall starts.
Celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin, who coifs the bombshell tresses of Sofia Vergara and Christina Hendricks, shares her expert advice on how to repair your hair from all that summer fun, so it looks great (not fried) for the remaining days of summer and still fresh and shiny for the new season.
Problem: Overexposed color
Solution: “The sun’s UVA and UVB rays work to fade hair color faster on people who spend a lot of time outside, especially during the summer,” says Atkin.
Her No. 1 fix is to simply wear a hat. Supplement the accessory by choosing hair products containing antioxidants like Vitamins A, C, E, selenium and zinc. “Antioxidants work to fight free radicals before damage can be done to hair,” she says. Atkin recommends Nioxin System 1 Scalp Treatment. A leave-in treatment with botanicals, antioxidants and vitamins to help safeguard the hair against residues and DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a naturally occurring substance in the body that weakens hair follicles.
Problem: Damage from sun and ocean or chlorine
“The pool, sea air, and water can really do a number on hair, especially when combined with sunlight,” says Atkin. “Not only does chlorine discolor hair, it damages proteins in the hair cuticle.”
Solution: If you’re planning a little Labor Day getaway, take a product like Frederic Fekkai Beach Wave Spray, not only for amping up that sexy-surf texture during these last few weeks of summer, but the spray also contains sea kelp that hydrates and blocks moisture loss. It also has a UV shield that helps to prevent color from fading.
If you’ve been swimming regularly, Atkin recommends using a clarifying shampoo at least once a week to remove mineral buildup and environmental pollutants.
She also suggests using a moisturizing treatment or mask (like Frederic Fekkai Salon Color Care Moisture Mask) in order to keep hair nourished and looking shiny. “Choose a protein and nutrient rich product and don’t skimp on the time,” says Atkin. “Leave it on for at least 15 minutes to ensure proper penetration of the hair shaft. You can also leave it on your hair while sunbathing.”
Problem: Frizz/Out of control curls
“When curly hair becomes damaged or dry, the curls frizz out,” says Atkin. “And if you live in a humid climate, this issue gets even worse.”
Solution: Summer may be winding down, but the heat and relative humidity still feel like they’re going full blast. To tame your frizz and curls for now and into any unforeseen heat waves of early fall, Atkin advises trying the following home remedies.
1. Carbonated water rinse. Carbonated or sparkling water reduces frizz because of its low ph level. “This is a good treatment if you often let your curls air dry, because it will help to eliminate the frizz caused by humidity," she says. After washing hair, give it a final rinse with carbonated or sparkling water.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural remedy that’s very effective in preventing frizzy hair and adding shine. Wash your hair as you normally would and give it a final rinse with equal parts water and apple cider vinegar.
3. Beer. Beer replenishes moisture in your hair. Dark beers often provide the most nutrients and moisture. Just coat your hair with the beer and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse with cold water — which will also help get rid of the smell.
Photos: Actress Sofia Vergara attends the premiere of "The Smurfs" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on July 24, 2011, in New York. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press
Right: Nioxin System 1 Scalp Treatment Credit: Nioxin
Left: Fekkai Salon Color Care Moisture Mask Credit: Frederic Fekkai