We love summer (especially an endless one), but the extra sun, heat, humidity, and increase in activity can present a whole new set of challenges for keeping your hair healthy. So we went searching for tips from some of our favorite, top hair stylists on the latest techniques, hairstyles, and products that not only work best for the season but can also work all year long!
Keep It Natural
Celebrity hairstylist, Nai’vasha Johnson with Exclusive Artists Management, keeps the locks fresh of some of our favorite leading ladies including Yara Shahidi, Logan Browning, and comedian Phoebe Robinson. Johnson is known for perfecting natural hairstyles. For healthy summer growth, it’s a great way to go.
“My top must-dos for gorgeous summer hair are to moisturize often and avoid as much heat exposure as possible,” says Johnson. “ My fave three protective styles are wigs, cornrows, and box braids. I love them all because you can be very, very versatile with styling choices and have immediate scalp exposure . . . For summer 2018, I’m living for hair freedom. I enjoy watching curls, kinks, and waves just be free. There is something very beautiful and liberating about it.”
Keeping your scalp exposed and accessible is important for washing, conditioning, and avoiding build-up. If you are opting for braids, twists, locks, or faux locks make sure to get them maintained every 4-6 weeks depending on growth to avoid damage and maintain a sleek look. Johnson suggests the 24K Gold Pure Luxury Age-Defying Hair Mask & Bonnet System by Peter Thomas Roth as a go-to product for deep conditioning. “It’s equivalent to getting an intense facial but for our tresses.”
Speaking of “Scalp Facials”. . .
Yoshie Sakuma, a stylist at Pierre Michel Salon, says scalp care should always be included in regular hair maintenance, including when it is warmer out and during seasonal changes.
“Massaging the scalp helps the blood circulation and this helps to grow healthier and thicker hair. Blood delivers all the necessary nutrients such as minerals and vital oxygen to hair follicles, which is the cause of the growth,” says Sakuma.
At the Pierre Michel Salon she uses Milbon Cleansing Gel to remove unwanted fatty acids around hair follicles. “I like the Milbon products because of the wonderful ingredients and aromas. They have three amazing scents for clients to choose, Rose, Citrus, and Vanilla, which we all offer at the salon. And of course their products work very well,” says Sakuma.
Embrace Healthy Style Trends
When it comes to the ultimate in healthy strands, Takisha Sturdivant-Drew is “hair” for you. The celebrity hairstylist to the likes of Kerry Washington, Mindy Kaling, Gina Torres, Liza Koshy and legions of other high-end clients says curly, blunt, and long/layered lobs with deep/low side parts, chin-grazing bobs, and natural hair trends are always great for summer. She also likes jewelry on twists, locks, and braids to show the creativity of those styles whether natural or “woman-made.” She’s also a big advocate of the pixie cut à la Ruth Negga whose hair she’s also coiffed. “Pixies will be a hit this year! If your hair is short it’s a great way to keep it healthy all of the time,” says Drew. “That’s going to be the go-to look for summer for sure!”
Headed for an active summer vacation?
“Extensions, faux locks, and wigs are a great way to protect the hair. As long as you have great quality hair that won’t tangle, it’s a great protective style,” says Drew. She uses her own line TSD Hair Extensions for bundles, clip-ins, frontals, and wigs. “A lot of my celebrity clients wear wigs when I’m working with them. It’s my suggestion to them so a lot of heat is not on the hair.”
Sturdivant-Drew emphasizes that your healthiest look should always start with how you treat your hair — kind of like considering your trip to the salon as a visit to the “hair doctor.” Look at daily hair maintenance the same way we look at taking care of our bodies. The summer is a good time for a reset if your hair needs a wellness fix.
Here’s Takisha Sturdivant-Drew’s hair Rx check-off list:
- “Get a deep conditioner with heat for 20 minutes once a week. Moisture and hydration is a MUST on all hair types,” says the hair guru. Heated conditioners deeply penetrate your hair and open up hair cuticles.
- Drink water. According to stylecraze.com: “Dehydration has a direct impact on the growth of hair. Lack of moisture results in dry and brittle hair. It may even stop growing at the maximum genetic rate if you don’t drink enough water to meet your daily needs. Drinking water also helps to eliminate hair problems like dandruff and dermatitis seborrhea.”
- Trim the ends of your hair every 8 to 12 weeks to keep dead ends away.
- Spray a heat protector on your hair before using hot tools like blow dryers and flat irons. “Protecting the hair from heat is important. It will prevent dryness and split ends in the long run,” says Sturdivant-Drew.
- For summery curves and waves “you can set braids or twists with your own hair. If you have natural hair it will give it more volume and it won’t be frizzy. If you don’t have natural, textured hair just leave some conditioner and a little oil in the hair before you set it,” says Drew.
- Platinum blonde, rose gold, blush pink, and ash tones are color trends of the moment. You can add dark chocolate to the list thanks to HRH, The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle (with a low bun and flyaway hairs gently framing the face)! Natural and organic dyes might be the “healthier” way to go but maintaining your favorite hue and keeping it healthy always requires an extra step. “Color is very dry and can make your hair brittle,” tips off Sturdivant-Drew. “You can leave conditioner in your hair and not worry about it getting sticky because it’s warm out. Also, it’s a great way to keep your hair strong and moisturized.” This tip works well for summer heat, excess sweating, and generally being more active whether in or out of the water.
Photo Credit: iStock