Hair Buds — 10 Hair Care Products To Protect, Smooth, Control, And Replenish Your Mane During Summer And Beyond
Who wants to stay indoors all summer long when you can be sipping a frozen daiquiri by the pool, playing tennis and soccer with friends, and feeling the sand in between your toes at the beach? But all than fun in the sun often comes with a price — and one of those is frayed, dehydrated, faded, damaged-looking hair. So, short of wearing a hat at all times, what can you do to keep your hair healthy all summer long and lean into fall with a sultry mane? Follow these tips and you’ll be golden!
PROTECT HAIR FROM UV RAYS
By now, we all know the dangers of laying in the sun without applying any sunscreen. But have you taken into account what effect those very same UVA and UVB rays might have on your hair? Well, it ain’t pretty. The photochemical effects of UV rays can wreak havoc on the vulnerable keratin fiber structure that forms the hair shaft, leading to protein loss and pigment degradation, which is why, after several days of hitting the beach, you might notice your strands feel more porous and straw-like or your color has turned brassy and dull. In order to prevent this from happening, then, it’s key to safeguard hair from the sun’s rays by applying products that contain UV filters. Here are two of my current favorites:
Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist ($20 at Fekkai.com)
Formulated with vitamin E-packed sunflower seed oil, this lightweight hair mist creates an invisible shield around your head, preventing dastardly UV rays from infiltrating hair fibers. In addition to warding off UV rays, this hydrating and smoothing mist gives hair a shine boost. Best of all, you can apply it to damp or dry hair, making it great for beach and poolside touch-ups.
Unlike the Fekkai Pre-Soleil Hair Mist, this UV protecting oil has a thicker consistency and comes with a pump dispenser as opposed to a spritzer. Ideally, you’ll want to pump out a dime-sized amount, rub it in between the palms of your hands and apply it to damp strands before styling or air-drying. While you can always reapply on dry strands — particularly in order to tame frayed ends or fly-aways — it’s important to use this oil sparingly because, though effective, it can leave behind a greasy residue when used excessively. If, however, you use as directed, this paraben- and cruelty-free oil will hydrate, protect, and smooth your strands thanks to a combination of fatty acid-rich coconut, argan, sunflower, jojoba, and sweet almond oils. The Banana leaf, pulp, and peel extracts in the formula, meanwhile, are said to help stimulate hair growth and strengthen strands — all the while giving this product an island-appropriate aroma.
DITCH THOSE MOISTURE-STRIPPING SHAMPOOS
Most women have been conditioned to believe that their hair isn’t truly clean unless it’s been covered in sudsy bubbles, massaged thoroughly, and then rinsed. But, in truth, all that lather has no bearing on the quality or depth of the hair cleansing — it’s simply the result of foaming agents within a shampoo’s formula. Sadly, many of these surfactants — among them ammonium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate — can actually prove detrimental to your mane, stripping strands of essential oils needed to keep hair smooth, shiny, moisturized, bouncy, and manageable. Now, the term “sulfate-free” has been floating around for nearly a decade but, while it’s true that sulfates aren’t exactly kind to strands, they’re also not created equal. Sodium laureth sulfate, for instance, is much gentler than its similarly-named counterpart sodium lauryl sulfate. Still, if possible, try to steer away from cleansers with sulfates and parabens. They may have a shorter shelf life but, unless you’re hoarding shampoo, that shouldn’t be much of a problem! Once you get accustomed to the low-lather formulas of today’s one-step cleansing conditioners, you may find you prefer them to the alternative! Here are some of my new faves:
WEN by Chaz Dean Summer Mango Coconut Cleansing Conditioner ($40 at ChazDean.com)
If there’s a single person who can be credited for spearheading the sulfate-free movement, it would be the amazing Chaz Dean. He developed his WEN haircare line precisely with the goal of helping women achieve healthier hair by introducing them to a line of chemical-free and lather-free products that would gently cleanse and moisturize hair via ingredients like rosemary oil, sweet almond oil,chamomile extract, fig extract, lavender extract, and eucalyptus oil. This summer, WEN introduced new seasonal Cleansing Conditioners available only through August. The new scents include Summer Mango Coconut, which smells a bit like a piña colada but with a touch of juicy mango. To say it smells good enough to drink would be a massive understatement! The WEN by Chaz Dean Summer Mango Coconut Cleansing Conditioner is formulated with such natural ingredients as: mango seed butter, which boasts a high concentration of oleic and stearic acids that hydrate and replenish strands, as well as vitamins A and C to give hair shine; aloe leaf juice, which contains over 30 vitamins and minerals that soothe the scalp, condition strands, prevent and treat dandruff, stimulate hair growth by unclogging hair follicles, and increase shine; coconut extract, which contains proteins that replenish damaged or dry strands, essential fats, and maganese that nourish strands and leave them soft and lustrous; pineapple fruit juice, which is rich in vitamin C and potassium; rosemary leaf extract, which stimulates hair growth and functions as an excellent tonic; wild cherry fruit extract, rich in vitamins and iron that help fend off hair loss and prevent split ends; banana fruit extract, a great source of potassium and vitamins A, B, and E that helps to deliver softer and more manageable strands;white tea leaf extract, which works as a gentle antibacterial and is rife in polyphenols, antioxidants that help to prevent hair damage and hair loss; antioxidant-rich green tea leaf extract, which also contains vitamin E to replenish dry strands and vitamin C to protect hair from UV rays; açai berry extract, pomegranate extract, and goji berry extract, a superfruit trifecta as all three berries are known to have some of the highest antioxidant concentrations in nature; chamomile flower and leaf extracts, which function as natural cleansers while also conditioning strands. After using this cleansing conditioner, your hair will feel silky soft and will look bouncy, smooth, and lustrous. Another win for WEN!
Pureology Hydrate Cleansing Condition ($34; visit Pureology.com for salons)
For the first time ever, Pureology introduced a new range of shampoo-free hair cleansers designed to preserve the integrity of the cuticle and to prevent color from fading. Those of us with dry hair can rely on the Pureology Hydrate Cleansing Condition, which features a creamy, low-lather formula that incorporates nourishing rosemary extract, along with the brand’s signature Anti Fade Complex, a proprietary blend of antioxidants and UVA/UVB sunscreens (among them heliogenol, a glycolic extract of sunflower seeds) that keeps color looking vibrant.
UNTYING THE KNOTS
If your hair is prone to getting tangled during the cleansing process, don’t attack it with a comb and start tugging at knotted strands since this approach will only lead to breakage. Instead, spritz a detangler that doubles as leave-in conditioner (like the one below) onto damp strands and then gently begin to comb your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up. It might seem counterintuitive to begin at the ends, but it’s the best way to release any knots without aggravating the problem.
Verb Detangle + Defrizz Conditioning Leave-In Mist ($14 at VerbProducts.com)
This paraben-, gluten-, sulfate-, and cruelty-free product features moringa seed oil to moisturize, detangle, and smooth hair; hydrolyzed vegetable kertain protein to fortify strands and improve elasticity; bamboo and green tea extracts to seal split ends and smooth any fly-away; and hydrolyzed quinoa protein to condition strands and leave them frizz-free.
FIGHT FRIZZ BEFORE IT STARTS!
In a 2010 survey conducted by Pantene, a vast majority of women reported frizz to be their chief hair-related gripe. Though certain frizz triggers like humidity, may be beyond our control, we can arm ourselves for battle with a few key products designed to keep strands smooth and controlled. Below, you’ll find some suggestions that have, worked wonders for me!
Redken Frizz Dismiss FPF 40 Rebel Tame ($22; visit Redken.com for salons)
Part of Redken’s new Frizz Dismiss collection, this leave-in smoothing cream is designed for women with medium-to-coarse hair grappling with medium-to-high humidity levels. The leave-in cream, which should be applied to clean and damp strands before blow drying, is formulated with Redken’s new Humidity Resist Complex, which combines Aquatoril, a molecule that repels humidity and locks in moisture, and Brazilian Pracaxi Oil, which moisturizes ad strengthens strands to provide even greater frizz control.
This brand new product has been compared to a makeup primer or manicure base coat in that it provides the necessary foundation to create the hairstyle of your choice. The lightweight serum is formulated with fatty acid-rich starflower seed extract, which helps to lock in moisture, and Tegosoft CT, a cosmetic ester derived from coconut oil that works as a natural emollient, smoothing and conditioning hair. Just a few drops of this serum will provide excellent frizz protection without weighing hair down, allowing you to rock as voluminous a look as you desire! And, as with all Tara Smith products, this serum is formulated without parabens, glycols, phtalates, artificial coloring, or synthetic fragrances.
Imagine that you could create a magical, Star Wars-worthy force field around your hair that humidity couldn’t penetrate. Sounds awesome, right? Well, the Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield is the next best thing to a protective force field. Back in 2008, the biotech scientists employed by Living Proof developed the game-changing molecule OFPMA, which blocks out humidity 70% more effectively than the silicones typically used in frizz-busting products. Armed with this new technology, Living Proof launched its No Frizz line, consisting of a shampoo, conditioner, nourishing styling cream, leave-in conditioner, and styling spray. This year, it added a new product to the best-selling collection: Humidity Shield. This weightless spray was designed to address the needs of modern women, who know better than to wash their hair on a daily basis (as explained, it will dehydrate strands) but who also need some reinforcement in between shampooing sessions. The Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield, then, is designed for use on dry hair —as a final step for a freshly styled mane or as a refresher in between washes. This invisible spray creates a thin shield around strands that blocks out humidity, thereby preventing frizz, while also offering both UV protection and static control — all without weighing down strands or leaving behind any greasy or icky build-up. It can literally be spritzed on at any moment, working to both prevent frizz and to obliterate it the moment it rears its pesky head.
SAY YES TO DRY SHAMPOO
Over-shampooing is the culprit behind a plethora of hair problems: dryness, brassy color, breakage, flaky scalp, and so forth. That said, what’s a gal to do when it’s been two days since her last shampoo and her hair is starting to look a bit iffy? Well, that’s when she should reach for a dry shampoo that will absorb any excess oil and refresh her ‘do, giving it new life. Picking the right dry shampoo, however, can prove incredibly tricky. Some even leave behind a white, powder-y residue that resembles dandruff — and who wants that? Others, while invisible, diminish the hair’s tactile appeal, making it overly stiff or forcing it to appear limp and soggy. If you want a dry shampoo that leaves behind no residue and actually pumps up your hair’s volume, check out the one below:
Salon by Sally Hershberger 24K Dry Shampoo, $32. Available at HSN.com
This powerful dry shampoo will refresh next-day hair but, moreover, it will actually add volume to your hair, giving it major body!
OIL THE MACHINE
Think of your hair as a hard-working machine that needs its oil changed regularly. To that end, make sure to take the time once a week to give your mane an indulgent oil treatment.
Agave Healing Oil Oil Treatment ($40 at Sephora.com)
Designed for fine, medium, and coarse hair, this treatment contains amino sugars from the blue agave plant that hydrate hair and preserve your color’s vivacity, along with other agave plant extracts that nourish and smooth strands, eliminating frizz and improving the hair’s texture and manageability. Best of all, it accomplishes these feats without weighing hair down, an unfortunate byproduct of heavier nut-based oils. Created by international stylist Fernando Romero using an ancient Mixtec Indian recipe, this treatment also features coconut oil and vanilla, both of which nourish strands and improve elasticity; sunflower seed oil, which protects strands from UV rays and keeps color from fading; and Madagascar baobab seed oil, nourishes strands and transforms the outer layer of the cuticle, leaving it nice and smooth. For best results, apply a few drops to damp hair and massage thoroughly, then sit under a hair dryer or steamer for 10-15 minutes. In a rush? Then work the oil into your hair and proceed with your normal blow-drying routine. Either way, your hair will thank you!