Summer Strategies for Your Beauty Routine
Your hair, skin, and nails need a break as much as you do. Here, tips on how to cut back on primping to let your natural beauty shine.
Why it’s stressed-out: Many things that make summer fun for you are really tough on your hair. “Ultraviolet rays, salt, and chlorinated water compromise its outer layer, allowing moisture to seep out,” says Paradi Mirmirani, a dermatologist in Vallejo, California. Also, you’re probably sweating more—and therefore shampooing more—which further robs hair of hydration. (This is especially true if your shampoo has a high pH. Does your hair feel squeaky-clean after washing? Chances are you’ve got a high-pH shampoo.) Top that with all the stuff you’re using to manage your hair under these harsh circumstances—including heated tools and stylers that contain dehydrating alcohols (like SD alcohol 40, ethanol, propyl, and isopropyl)—and you’ve got a recipe for dull, fried hair.
What you can skip: First, shampoo every other day or less. On days you don’t wash your hair, just use a dry shampoo—which comes in either spray or powder form—to freshen hair, give it body and texture, and absorb oil at the roots without leaving it parched. A good one is Living Proof Straight ($29, livingproof.com). Another benefit: Using dry shampoo allows you to go longer between heat-styling sessions. On days that you do shampoo, afterward simply run a dollop of leave-in conditioner through your towel-dried hair from midshaft to ends. This will give you light hold plus some extra hydration, and you can forgo your usual styling products, says Matthew Preece, the owner of the Fred Segal Salon, in Santa Monica. Many leave-in conditioners are water-based (which means they’re gentle on hair) and use nonstripping alcohols, like lauryl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and stearyl alcohol. One to try: Dove Hair Nourishing Oil Care Leave-In Smoothing Cream ($6 at drugstores).
Spa treat: To give your hair even more of a reprieve, try an apple-cider-vinegar rinse, which can be used once a week to deep-clean hair and make it shinier. Dilute ½ cup apple-cider vinegar with 1½ cups water, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to mask the smell, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spritz the concoction onto dry roots and massage it into your scalp. Leave it on for five minutes, then rinse thoroughly.