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Question:
 How can I avoid dry, frizzy hair this summer?

Answer: With summer comes barbecues, poolside lounging and plenty of fun in the sun. But all that fun may come with a price—damaged hair. Heat, chlorine, salt in the ocean water and humidity can lead to dry, frizzy hair, faded color and even split ends. So just like it’s important to apply sunscreen to your face and body, your hair and scalp need a little TLC too. Since we’re pretty sure you didn’t sign up for a fried and dried coiffure this summer, follow these suggestions to avoid weathered and dull-looking hair. Not only will these quick tips help protect your precious strands all summer long, but they’ll also leave you with plenty of time to soak up the sun.

Lather up

You want to get in the habit of a pre-wash hair ritual as well as washing your hair more frequently during the summer. Heat and humidity can cause sweat and dirt buildup, so keep your scalp clean to avoid infection and dandruff. Try a hydrating or organic shampoo and conditioner like Ouidad Sun Shield Leave-In Conditioner and Kérastase Bain Après-Soleil Shampoo, which will keep your hair color nice and vibrant.

Cover your head

Probably the easiest way to protect your hair and scalp from those penetrating UV rays is with a hat…or, something a bit more fashionable. Worried the baseball cap might cramp your style? A pretty scarf or head wrap is great for spring and summer as well as a printed hair turban, which will give you that effortlessly chic and stylish look. A cowboy hat works perfectly, but keep in mind that the sun can still shine through some straw hats. For extra sun-shielding with a dash of panache, throw on a fedora, and you’ll be ready for summer.

Spray on some SPF

If hats or other cover ups aren’t your thing, then you should definitely have some sun-proofing sprays on hand. Proper SPF protection will keep your scalp from burning and will help maintain your hair color in sunlight. Apply it to damp hair so it will absorb throughout the scalp. A UV-based leave-in conditioner will also protect your tresses.

Mask it

Applying a hair mask will create a barrier that’ll keep your hair from drying out. Hair masks not only impove your hair texture, but they can also be made with simple home ingredients like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, plain yogurt, olive oil, honey and egg yolks. Mix up whatever concoction works for you and your hair texture, leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse it off for instant shine and smoothness.

Air dry

Quite simply, avoid heat at all cost. Put your hair dryers, curlers and flat irons away for the season to avoid further damage to your hair. Go with the flow and embrace your natural hair texture or try braids to make loose waves when you undo the plaits.

Invest in the right products

So you’ve got the shampoo and conditioner, SPF spray and hair mask. What else do you need for ultimate summer hair protection? You should be well-stocked with plenty of leave-in serums, hair hydrating products and color-protection sprays. Nexxus Color Assure Glossing Tonic is great for color-treated hair. Living Proof Restore Targeted Repair Hair Cream is a moisture-rich cream that smoothes cuticles and repairs split ends while providing all-day UV protection.

Do more with less

Taking all these beauty products into consideration, don’t forget that less is more. Cut out greasy products, as the sun can heat gels, oils and sheens up pretty quickly, putting your hair and scalp at risk. Switch to lightweight conditioners and styling gels that are formulated to beat the heat. Also, don’t be scared to rock messy hair, because undone looks are totally on-trend.

Let’s face it, ladies—for most of us, our hair is our crown and glory. But we have to take extra precautions during hotter months to preserve healthy and luscious locks. And there’s no better time than summer for shiny and vibrant hair to match all those sizzling outfits you’ll be wearing.

What are some of your favorite products or techniques for summer-ready hair?