How Can I Keep My Hair Healthy and Gorgeous This Summer?

Summer is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited! Warm sunshine, beach days, pool parties – what’s not to love? But as much as I adore the summer season, I know it can wreak havoc on my hair if I’m not careful. Between the harsh UV rays, chlorine, saltwater, and humidity, my locks can end up looking dry, frizzy, and just plain sad.

Over the years, I’ve learned some tried-and-true tips for maintaining healthy, beautiful hair all summer long. Want to know my secrets? Keep reading to discover how you too can rock gorgeous summer hair!

Why Does Summer Weather Damage Hair?

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s talk about why summer can be so tough on our tresses in the first place. There are a few main culprits:

  • UV rays – Just like our skin, our hair can get damaged from too much sun exposure. UV rays break down the proteins in the hair shaft, leading to dryness, brittleness, and color fading.
  • Chlorine – If you’re a pool lover like me, beware of chlorine. This harsh chemical strips away the natural oils that keep hair moisturized. It can also cause a green tint in blonde hair – not cute!
  • Saltwater – Beach babes, listen up. Saltwater is extremely drying and can make hair tangled and brittle. The salt crystals roughen up the cuticle, the protective outer layer of the hair strand.
  • Humidity – If you live in a humid climate, you know the struggle of frizzy, poofy hair. Moisture in the air causes the hair shaft to swell and kink up.

So what’s a summer-loving gal to do? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my ultimate summer hair care routine and tips.

What Are the Best Ways to Protect Hair from the Sun?

Shielding your strands from harsh UV rays is key for maintaining healthy hair. Here are some of my go-to methods:

  • Wear a hat – This is the easiest way to protect your hair and scalp from the sun. Choose a wide-brimmed style for maximum coverage. As a bonus, it’ll protect your face too!
  • Use UV protection products – Look for leave-in conditioners, serums, and sprays that contain UV filters. These create an invisible shield that blocks out damaging rays. I always apply one before heading outdoors.
  • Limit sun exposure – Try to stay in the shade during the peak sun hours of 10am-4pm. If you are outside, take breaks under an umbrella or tree.

How Often Should I Wash My Hair in the Summer?

Washing hair too frequently can strip away natural oils and lead to dryness, especially in the summer when our hair is already prone to dehydration. I find that washing 2-3 times per week is plenty for most hair types.

When you do wash, be sure to use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping moisture. I also love using cleansing conditioners, which clean the hair without the harsh detergents found in shampoos.

If your scalp gets super oily or sweaty, try using a dry shampoo in between washes to absorb excess oil and refresh your style. Spray it on the roots, let it sit for a couple minutes, then brush it through.

What Are Some Tips for Keeping Hair Hydrated?

Moisture is the name of the game when it comes to soft, healthy-looking summer hair. To keep my locks hydrated, I swear by these tips:

  • Use a moisturizing conditioner – Look for conditioners that contain nourishing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and glycerin. These will help replenish lost moisture. Apply from mid-shaft to ends and let it soak in for a few minutes before rinsing.
  • Do weekly deep conditioning treatments – To give my hair an extra moisture boost, I use a deep conditioning mask or oil treatment once per week. I’ll either apply it in the shower and let it sit while I shave and exfoliate, or I’ll apply it to damp hair and let it work its magic for 30 minutes before shampooing.
  • Use leave-in conditioners – After every wash, I always apply a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray. These are lightweight products that add moisture, softness, and shine without weighing the hair down. They also provide heat protection if you use styling tools.
  • Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of water is essential for healthy hair. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day to keep your body and hair cells hydrated from the inside out. Eat water-rich foods like cucumbers and watermelon too.

How Can I Prevent Chlorine and Saltwater Damage?

If you plan on taking a dip in the pool or ocean this summer, a little prep work can go a long way in preventing damage.

  • Wet hair before swimming – Dry hair is like a sponge and will absorb chlorine and saltwater like crazy. To minimize absorption, drench your hair with clean water before diving in. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner for extra protection.
  • Wear a swim cap – For frequent swimmers, a swim cap is a must to keep chlorine and salt out of your hair. Look for ones made of silicone, which are gentler than latex.
  • Rinse hair ASAP after swimming – The sooner you can rinse the pool chemicals or saltwater out of your hair, the better. If there aren’t any showers nearby, pack a spray bottle filled with clean water to spritz your hair until you can do a full wash.
  • Use a clarifying shampoo – Once a week, use a clarifying shampoo to remove chlorine, salt, and product buildup. I like to do this on the same day as my deep conditioning treatment to restore moisture afterwards.

What Hairstyles Work Best for Humid Weather?

Humidity can turn sleek, polished styles into frizzy messes in minutes. To beat the heat and keep your hair looking chic, try these styles:

  • Braids – Braids are your BFF in humid weather. Not only do they keep hair controlled and tidy, but they also protect the hair from moisture in the air. French braids, Dutch braids, and fishtail braids are some of my favorites.
  • Buns – A sleek top knot or low bun is a classic summer style that keeps your hair off your neck and face. For a more textured, boho look, try a messy bun with some face-framing pieces pulled out.
  • Ponytails – When in doubt, throw your hair up in a ponytail. High, low, or to the side – you can’t go wrong. Dress it up by wrapping a small section of hair around the elastic or adding a cute scrunchie.
  • Natural texture – Instead of fighting your natural texture, embrace it! If you have wavy or curly hair, apply a curl-enhancing cream or mousse and let your hair air dry. Scrunch it with your hands as it dries to encourage your natural wave pattern.

How Can I Revive Dry, Sun-Damaged Hair?

If your hair is already feeling parched and fried from too much sun exposure, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways to nurse it back to health.

  • Get a trim – I know it can be scary to chop your hair, but getting rid of those dry, split ends will instantly make your hair look and feel healthier. Even a tiny trim can make a big difference.
  • Do a hair mask – Hair masks are like a tall glass of water for thirsty strands. Look for masks that contain reparative ingredients like keratin, amino acids, and natural oils. Apply to damp hair, put on a shower cap, and let it soak in for at least 20 minutes before rinsing.
  • Use a silk pillowcase – Cotton pillowcases can rough up the hair cuticle and absorb moisture. Switching to a silk or satin pillowcase creates a smooth surface for your hair to glide over, minimizing frizz and breakage.
  • Take hair supplements – If your hair is severely damaged, you may want to consider taking a hair supplement to promote growth and strength from within. Look for ones that contain biotin, collagen, and other hair-loving nutrients.

What Are Some Other Summer Hair Care Tips?

Here are a few more tips and tricks I swear by for keeping my hair healthy and happy all summer long:

  • Brush gently – Aggressive brushing can cause breakage, especially when hair is wet and more fragile. Use a wide-tooth comb or Wet Brush to gently detangle, starting from the ends and working up to the roots.
  • Avoid heat styling – Give your hair a break from heat tools like flat irons and curling wands, which can further dry out and damage the hair. Experiment with heatless styles like braids and buns instead. If you must use heat, always apply a heat protectant first.
  • Protect hair while you sleep – Before bed, gently twist your hair up into a loose top knot or braid to prevent tangles and frizz while you toss and turn. You can also wrap your hair in a silk scarf to minimize friction.
  • Eat a balanced diet – Healthy hair starts from within! Make sure you’re eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These provide the building blocks for strong, shiny hair.


How can I lighten my hair naturally in the summer?

The sun is a natural hair lightener! Spritz some lemon juice or chamomile tea on your hair before heading outside. The heat from the sun will activate the lightening properties. You can also try a DIY hair mask made of honey, vinegar, and olive oil to gently lighten locks.

How often should I get my hair trimmed in the summer?

I recommend getting a trim every 6-8 weeks to snip off any dry, split ends that may have occurred from extra sun exposure and swimming. Frequent trims will keep your hair looking healthy and prevent damage from traveling up the hair shaft.

Can I still use hair oils in the summer?

Yes, hair oils can be great for adding moisture and shine to summer hair. Just be sure to use them sparingly and avoid the roots if you’re prone to oiliness. I like to apply a few drops of argan or coconut oil to the ends of my hair before braiding it or putting it up in a bun.

Is it bad to air dry my hair in the summer?

Air drying is actually gentler on the hair than blow drying, so it’s a great option for summer! To minimize frizz, apply a leave-in conditioner and gently squeeze excess water from your hair with a microfiber towel or t-shirt. Then let your hair air dry without touching it too much.

How can I protect my color-treated hair in the summer?

If you have color-treated hair, it’s especially important to shield it from the sun, chlorine, and saltwater. Always wear a hat when outdoors and rinse your hair with clean water before and after swimming. Use color-safe, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners to prevent fading, and do weekly deep conditioning treatments to keep your color vibrant.

Conclusion on Summer Hair Care

Taking care of your hair in the summer doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these simple tips and tweaking your hair care routine, you can keep your locks looking lustrous all season long. 

Remember to protect your hair from the sun, keep it moisturized, and embrace low-maintenance styles. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the gorgeous weather! Here’s to a summer of good hair days ahead.

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