11 Essential Tips for Summer Hair Care

Woman walking on the beach carrying her surf board propped on her head

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Keep your hair happy and healthy all summer long using these natural, chemical-free methods.

Natural hair rules in the summer! Now is the season to let go of perfect, sleek hairdos and embrace that loose, natural look. Learn how to protect your hair from the heat, sun, and humidity without turning it into an endless battle.

1. Cover up!

A blonde white woman wears a hat on a sunny day.

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Use a scarf or hat to cover your head when you’re out in the sun. Not only does this provide extra UV protection, but it also helps your scalp to retain moisture. A hat reduces damage caused by wind, especially if your hair is prone to tangling, and protects colour-treated hair.

2. Put your hair up in loose, comfortable styles

A blonde woman wears her hair in a messy braid on the boardwalk.

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A messy braid is ideal for keeping your hair under control and minimizing exposure to the sun. Tight hairstyles can be damaging because they tend to pull and tear hair, especially if your hair is dry from the summer heat.

3. Wash less often

Corn starch pouring onto a table and in a wood spoon.

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Frequent washing strips your scalp of its natural oils, which in turn stimulates additional oil production and makes you feel the need to wash it even more. Try just rinsing in the shower after a day at the beach or pool, and see if that gets rid of some extra oil. Use a homemade or natural dry shampoo, such as cornstarch, in place of regular shampoo to go a bit longer without washing. Another quick fix is to dab a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel along your scalp to dissolve excess oil.

4. Reduce the heat

A blonde woman uses a blow dryer to dry her hair in the summer.

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Try to blow-dry your hair as little as possible. It is already exposed to a significant amount of heat on a daily basis in the summer, and it will probably air-dry quickly anyways, so give the blow dryer a break and go au naturel if you can. Avoid flat-irons, too, as they will do further damage to already-dry hair. Plus, a sleek hairstyle only makes that frizz stand out more.

5. Spritz & Seal

A black woman spraying oil into her hair to moisturize.

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Make a concoction of water, aloe vera juice, and avocado oil. Keep it on hand to spritz whenever a bit of moisture and/or control is needed. Another good option is argan oil mixed with water.

6. Condition always

A person pours apple cider vinegar into a glass bottle at a low waste store.

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Rinse with apple cider vinegar diluted in water for a quick natural conditioner. Use some coconut oil or shea butter (careful with this, since it can be heavy) to smooth, de-frizz, and moisturize your locks after washing. The oil will give some shine and, if you have wavy hair, create natural, air-dried curls. Try a natural deep conditioning treatment once a week to get that extra bit of moisture into your hair.

7. No more swimmer’s hair

A blonde woman sits at the side of a pool.

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If you’re a blond who turns green after a dip in the pool, try rinsing out your wet hair with 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar and 2 cups water to get rid of discolouration and dullness. It helps to get your hair wet before entering the water because then it won't absorb as much chlorine.

8. Add some sunscreen

A mother applies sunscreen to her child's face.

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There are shampoos that contain UV protection, but most of those are chemical-laden, conventional shampoos that I’d recommend avoiding. One quick way to add some protection is to run your hands lightly through your hair after applying sunscreen to your body.

9. Try a hot oil rinse

A woman dropping oil on the ends of hair.

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Coconut, olive, and avocado oils are good at penetrating the hair shaft. Shampoo hair as usual, then work in oil from ends to roots. Rinse, then condition as usual. Your hair should feel moisturized afterward, but not greasy.

10. Fake that beach look if you haven't been there

Curly haired brunette in a sweater on the coast faces the sea.

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One blogger recommends this homemade sea salt spray, made with 1 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp coconut oil, mixed with water in a small spray bottle. Spray and scrunch to get that desirable wavy beach look. The coconut oil will counteract the dryness of the salt.

11. Use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush

A black woman combs her friend's afro with a wide comb.

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Avoid pulling anything through your hair when it’s wet, since that’s when it’s most susceptible to breaking. Wide-tooth combs are most gentle for untangling hair, as brushes can pull and tear when they snag strands.