Here at AMS, we love to fulfill requests for sun-kissed summertime highlights. July and August happen to be the perfect months to try out long-lasting, natural-feeling balayage. But summer also means clients who come in with major heat- and swim-related hair damage.
Thing is, these clients could have taken a few easy steps to prevent the hair emergencies that can arise from everyday summer activities.
Here are three simple ways to keep your hair healthy while you’re enjoying the best the season has to offer. As much as team AMS loves to see you anytime, we don’t want you to miss a day at the beach, pool or park because of an entirely preventable a summer hair crisis.
1. Condition It
Just like your skin this time of year, hair that sees sun and heat requires serious moisturizing—every time you shampoo. But not with a heavy conditioner. Instead, opt for a product that’s both light and strong.
“Take time to invest in a good conditioner,” advises AMS’s Corene Sontingco. The AMS favorite: Milbon’s Willow Lux ($21). The direct-from Japan conditioner is both lightweight and deeply enriching. Use it every time you shampoo.
We can’t say that enough: Condition every time you shampoo.
2. Protect It
When it comes to major heat damage, hair dryers and flat irons aren’t the only culprits. Regular old 90-degree days can do a number on your tresses, too. “The reality is, hair is going to oxide from the heat outside,” says senior colorist Megan Reilly. No need to stay indoors, however.
Instead, spritz those locks with 12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment ($23). This magical all-in-one leave-in conditioner spray contains a complete UV protectant and strengthening moisturizers to prevent tangles and soften summer frizz.
Another great option: L’ANZA Healing Smooth Thermal Defense Spray ($21). Made by the pioneers in therapeutic hair technologies, the spray promises protection up to 500°F (not that you or your hair will ever get that hot). It’s made with adaptogens from cactus, the same ingredients that keeps those prickly plants growing and green despite grueling desert temps.
3. Wet It
This is a huge one, especially for those of us with highlights. Before you dive into that refreshing pool, before you even think about sinking into a hot tub, wet your hair with plain, pure water. Doesn’t have to be bottled. Tap water will do. “Saturate it,” says Megan, “Your hair is like a sponge, it will soak up whatever liquid you put on it first.”
Exposing dry hair to chlorinated water can be especially devastating to both natural and helped-along blondes color. “Chlorine dries your hair out. Chlorine turns hair green,” said Megan, adding, “And it’s not easy to get it removed.”
(Don’t get us wrong: We’re happy to help with any fix you need. We just advocate for an ounce or two prevention.)
Soak first. Swim next. Once you’re out of the pool, rinse again.