Nothing quite compares to the joy of warm weather — from vacations to time spent in your backyard, watching fireflies and catching up on your reading list, there are a myriad of reasons to love summer. Summer also, rather unfortunately, comes with a handful of potential pitfalls, one of which is the never-ending quest of finding summer hairstyle hacks. Whether your naturally textured hair is prone to frizz in the heat and humidity, or your swim-loving lifestyle leaves you longing for creative ways to beautify your drenched locks, we've got a collection of summer hairstyle hacks to make your life easier.
Personally, I'm blessed with perfectly hydrated, well-balanced hair that looks good no matter what the season.
Wow, really, Jen? No, Internet readers, I'm sorry, that's not even remotely true. I don't know why I lied to you like that, and I won't do it again, I promise. The truth is, although I love my tresses, they come with their own unique trouble spots, and, as I'm sure many of you can relate, sometimes the summer humidity makes it nearly impossible for me to resemble anything even close to a polished and functioning adult woman. My long hair is fine and straight, but has a natural affinity for frizz and unruly, formless waves when the weather gets hot. Not to mention, I'm pretty active in the summer, and let's just say I glisten a lot, which means all of those fine fly-aways sprouting from my scalp are usually an odd combination of fluffy and moist.
Now that we're all basking in the glory of that vivid imagery, let's drop our inhibitions and admit that between sun, sweat, swimming pools, and sand, many of us tend to look like hot messes in the summer. And that's perfectly fine, because more than likely, we're more consumed with thoroughly enjoying ourselves than we are with our appearances. But when we do finally catch a glimpse in the mirror and panic, or have to make our way out of the pool and back into civilized society, there are a few fairly simple fall backs we can rely on to pull ourselves back together, and even add some extra style to our sun-drenched hair.
1. Wet Hairstyles
Every woman needs a few tricks in her back pocket, and having an arsenal of go-to wet hairstyles is a great way to ensure you'll make it through the summer looking generally fabulous, no matter what. Combing your way through wind blown, naturally occurring beach hair (unlike the sweet beach hairstyles you can create at home) can be almost as frightening as knowing that if you don't do something with your tresses once you've de-tangled them, they're going to turn into something resembling an angry mop. For those of us who have a case of indecisive hair (fine straight hair or semi-curly hair), taming our wet manes with an updo is often the perfect solution, but ease of styling is important, especially on the go.
There are dozens and dozens of great updos for wet hair out there, especially if you spend some time browsing through Pinterest. And while I'm a huge fan of french braids and Heidi style crisscrossed braid crowns, sometimes you simply don't have the time for that. One of my favorite wet hairstyles that goes a bit above and beyond the single braid, or a simple low chignon is the three section bun. You can create this style either horizontally or vertically, although personally I usually opt for the horizontal layout, since it's a little more unique.
2. No Heat Curls
When you're dealing with sun damaged hair, the last thing you want to do is add more heat to the problem. Avoid further drying your hair by using this simple rolled updo to create curls without heat. Not to mention, this method is much easier than standing around in a hot bathroom with a curling iron for 45 minutes!
- Begin with wet, clean hair (add a bit of mousse for long lasting hold), tying your locks back in a low, loose ponytail.
- Take a scarf, knotted in the middle for grip, and flip the loose end of the ponytail over said scarf.
- Proceed by curling the scarf and ponytail up toward your head, continually tucking your hair around the scarf and allowing the hair to wrap upward.
- Tie the scarf on top of your head, and tuck the ends of the scarf in order to create a clean look. You'll probably need to manage some stray hair.
- Wear this look up until your hair dries, then take down and enjoy a heat free curl!
3. DIY Ombre
Looking to hop on the ombre train, but want to save some cash? You can use herbal rinses to enhance your hair's natural highlights. Keep in mind, this process takes time, so you'll want to start, well, now, if you want results come summer. That being said, the effects can be lovely, and will not damage your hair, or permanently dye the strands. They simply offer slight highlights and shine.
According to Stephanie Tourles, author of Organic Body Care Recipes, in order to create your homemade batch of highlight solution, you'll want to boil three and a half cups of distilled water in a small saucepan, then remove it from heat. From there you'll add five heaping teaspoons of the herbs you've chosen from the list below and stir the mixture. Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes, then strain, pour it in a storage container, label it, and refrigerate it for use. (Note: It's best to toss any remainder after seven days.)
When using this solution, you'll want to shampoo and condition as usual, then squeeze out excess water from your hair. Apply the solution to your hair and do not rinse. Let your hair dry, or apply an additional leave in conditioner if that is part of your regular routine.
For blonde hair:
- sunflower petals
- chamomile flowers
- lemon rind
For brown/black hair:
- crushed black walnut hulls
For red hair:
- calendula blossoms
- hibiscus flowers
- red clover flowers
- rose hips
- red rose petals
Of course, if you're going for an ombre effect, you won't want to rinse all of your hair with the solution, instead, you'll want to add it to the ends of your hair, gradually sinking more of your strands into the mixture over a few days time. And, you'll likely use quite a bit of the solution, so making larger batches will be worth your while.
4. Prevent Chlorine Damage
Having to re-dye your hair after it's turned some strange color is the worst, isn't it? In order to keep fly-aways at bay and your newly highlighted summer hair from turning green or crunchy, making sure your mane stays chlorine-free is hugely important. Of course, you always want to shower and wash your hair as soon as you can after spending any time in a chlorinated pool (I know, it's a pain, but take it from someone who's had chlorine damage — it's not worth the risk), but there are a couple of simple ways to grant yourself a little added security when it comes to chlorine defense.
- Replace your after pool shampoo with apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar will not only remove the chlorine from your hair, according to the helpful folks at healthyandnaturalworld.com, apple cider vinegar will help balance hair pH levels, work as a conditioner, and treat dandruff.
- Wash your hair with a baking soda solution. Apparently, wikihow.com suggests mixing one tablespoon baking soda and one cup of water to create a paste with which to wash your hair free of chlorine. Once you've done this, you'll want to rinse your hair completely, and continue on with your normal hair routine.
5. Homemade Sea Salt Spray
If you're looking to embrace the beach look, and you want to make waves at home without having to purchase designer sea salt spray, you could whip up your own batch. According to wellnessmama.com, combining the following common household ingredients, will get you the makings of a great homemade sea salt spray.
- 1 cup of hot water
- 2 tablespoons Epsom salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
- 1/2 teaspoon conditioner
- any additional essential oil for scent
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vodka (optional, to lighten your hair)
Place the ingredients into a spray bottle that holds at least 10 ounces, then shake until salts are dissolved. This blend apparently lasts about three to four months, and should be stored in the fridge if you decided to add lemon juice for lightening.
6. Head Wraps
Whether you go full turban, sweet scarf, or rock a handkerchief with attitude, employing a head wrap is a surefire way to keep all hair types manageable and off your neck in the sweltering summer sun. Head wraps also help keep any freshly dyed locks protected from sun-induced fading. Since I'm a big fan of retro vibes, I tend to gravitate toward more of a rockabilly look. Here's how I sport my summer head wrap. Leaving two long sections out of your bun helps create the illusion of bangs for anyone tempted by the look that isn't willing to dedicate themselves to daily bang styling.
7. Sleep On Satin
Longing to sport some long, luxurious, frizz-free locks this summer? To help maintain the moisture in your classic, let it loose hairstyle, you might want to consider switching your pillow case. As it turns out, cotton has a tendency to soak up moisture, so while it's an OK option if you're sleeping with a wet head, most nights your high count Egyptian cotton pillowcase is actually just robbing your strands of their essential reserves.
Feeling a little panicked? Don't fret, the solution is easy. Invest in satin pillow cases, and not only will your hair be less likely to frizz out from lack of moisture, but you'll also reap the added benefit of feeling quite posh and maybe even a bit more sexy as you crawl between your satin sheets. Sweet dreams!
Images: Fotolia; Jen Schildgen; Giphy; Getty