How To Actually Take Care Of Your Hair This Summer

Ask a hairdresser

by Jenni Robinson

Jenni Robinson is a New York City-based hairdresser, specializing in color, cut, and editorial hair. She has an adorable blue dog named Edgar and works out of her speakeasy studio in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Follow her on Instagram for more hair inspiration. 

Sure, your life is busy (so is everyone else’s—welcome to adulthood), but if you don’t have time for a little bit of hair love, you are going to find yourself with some crisp by the time you revisit your hair guru come fall. Dehydration happens outside, inside, in the water, in the air. Summertime, in particular, is especially brutal on the hair, mainly due to all the stress we are putting it under—the beach, the ocean, the pool, the sun, and total climate change shock when you go on a faraway vacay. Summer isn’t even half over, and I’ve already got a bunch of clients questioning why their tresses aren’t following protocol. If you got about 15 minutes a week, I got a few things that will leave your mop looking awesome until September.


A no-brainer.

Not every conditioning treatment is created equal—that also includes natural remedies—and some treatments might not work for certain situations. For example, coconut oil can actually dim color, especially for blondes. Every season, there’s always a new It Product or trend that catches on, and if you notice, all of a sudden, every damn lower-end beauty store begins to sell products pertaining to that trendy ingredient (argan oil, coconut oil, etc.). During the summer, hair tends to weaken, thanks to so much sunshine fun time. Add that to already lightened hair, and you are looking at crap ends. Ten to fifteen minutes every other week of a strengthening treatment, that contains amino acids (aka protein), will give the hair cuticle the muscle it needs to survive environmental and chemical stress. Follow that up with a luxurious leave-in conditioner, and it will soften the hair.

This is the easiest routine ever. Stop complaining, and begin now.

UV-protect your hair:

Yes, it is a thing. Hats are great, but let’s get real. You rarely wear them.

The sun burns through everything, including your hair. It oxides your locks super fast, which is how you achieve those truly natural highlights. For those of you with not-so-natural highlights or color (you know who you are), your color is inevitably going to fade. Remember when you got your hair color done for your vacation to visit the Grand Canyon or that awesome festival in the desert? Yeah, your color is going to last about a week before it fades, so say goodbye to those rad rose-gold pieces you paid for. There are tons of products that offer UV protection; you can use it with your other styling products, just like your regular SPF can be used alongside your current skin-care regimen. Pretty straightforward, right?

Toners, glosses, semis ... ask for it.

So, it's already too late, and your color is gone thanks to a three-day hike in Sedona, Arizona, and your hair is dull on account of that weekend at the Rockaways beach. Talk to your colorist, it's not a big deal. Most likely all you need is a toner or gloss—these are formulated color balancers and enhancers that are applied to your hair to promote beautiful, rich color. They aren't permanent and they don’t lift the hair (you won’t go lighter), so the cuticle isn’t being roughed up and depositing any kind of permanent change. Feeling brassier than usual? Get a toner. Want that copper fade to turn strawberry blonde? Get a gloss. Those rad-as-hell teal fringe pieces are now baby blue? Your hair person's got you again. Usually, it's a very quick trip to the shop and much less expensive than a typical color service. This is great for blondes, redheads, pastels, vivid fantasy tones, and even brunettes, and will keep your the tonality rich and ideal for your skin tone.

If all else fails, you need a haircut.

Okay, so your ends are officially split, even though you’ve been doing the treatments and your color is on point. Dude, face the reality and get over it. If you wait, the cuticle is going to continue splitting up the hair shaft; that quarter of an inch broken end is going to turn into two inches if you wait till mid-autumn to cut it. If you get to your stylist once you notice your ends are shot, most likely you’re looking at the tiniest trim ever. Although it won’t look like much of a difference, you will notice your hair is easier to style, healthier, and shinier. Sometimes you just gotta admit that life is an endless cycle of cut-grow-cut-grow.