How to Sun, Surf, and Sand-Proof Your Hair

Summertime may call for fun in the sun, but it also causes serious damage to your strands. Whether from UV damage, excess chlorine, or sand particles stuck to your mane, it’s safe to say that your hair needs extra attention this month. Don’t know where to start? See below for advice on how to sun, surf, and sand proof your hair so you’re ready to tackle September with supermodel level strands.

How to sun-proof your hair…

Sure, it may seem natural to soak in rays during summer months, but it’s important to be cautious of sun exposure, as it can have serious effects on your strands. “The sun can act like bleach on your hair. It damages the outer layer, leading to discoloration, frizziness, and split ends,” says Amy Akiva, Master Hairstylist at New York’s Prince + Broad Salon. Blondes especially need to beware: “The sun is the kiss of death for a blonde, bringing out yellow and brassy tones,” Akiva asserts. “Use a purple shampoo and conditioner! My favorite is the Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Wash. It’s highly pigmented and can tone unwanted coloring. For light toning, use the purple shampoo. For more stubborn yellow tones, use the purple conditioner, and leave it on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing.” It’s also important to protect your mane while outdoors; in order to fight UV damage, try using hair products that contain sunscreen or a UV protectant primer spray. “My favorite is the Invisible Oil Primer by Bumble & Bumble,” says Gwen Nguyen, Senior Stylist at Suki’s Salons. “Kerastase also has a leave-in conditioner called Soleil CC Cream that provides a bit more heavy duty moisture.” Akiva prefers the Phytoplage Protective Sun Veil: “Cover your hair in the product, then twist it into a top knot or low bun,” she recommends. “That way, the least amount of hair is getting exposed to the sun.”


How to surf-proof your hair…

Not only does salt water cause color to fade--since it opens up the hair cuticle--but once it goes through osmosis, salt water pulls H20 out of your mane, leaving your hair dry and dehydrated. “You should wet your hair with clean water before going in a chlorinated pool or the ocean,” Akiva suggests. “Hair is like a sponge and will absorb less if it’s already wet when you enter the water. You can also coat the hair with conditioner or a hair masque to lock in moisture.” Additionally, leaving chlorine and salt in your strands for extended periods of time worsens the damage, so it’s crucial to rinse your hair as soon as you get out of the water. “Before you rinse, hold your ends up so the shampoo does not run over the bottom of your hair,” says Akiva. “Put shampoo on your fingertips and rub it at your roots. Then take conditioner and put it halfway down the hair shaft to the ends. This technique will keep the ends of your hair looking healthy while eliminating oily roots as well.” Her number one product recommendation for summer strands? “I love dpHUE Color Fresh Shampoo and Conditioner,” she asserts. “They even make an apple cider vinegar rinse the can be used to clean the hair and scalp between shampoos.


How to sand-proof your hair…

Beach days are the best--until it’s time to leave and you notice loads of sand stuck in your strands. Before you try and remove the residue, “wait until it’s dry,” Akiva asserts. “It’s a lot easier to withdraw dry sand from dry hair. Start by flipping your head over and shaking your hair with your hands. Then use a fine-tooth comb and comb your hair starting at the root.” Still have sand on your scalp? “Reach for the baby powder,” Akiva recommends. “Apply it to your scalp and strands to loosen the sand.” In the evening, certain shower products also help undo the damage. “If you find there are buildup and brittleness from sand grit, try using the Sunday Shampoo by Bumble & Bumble, which will help deep cleanse the hair,” says Nguyen. “Follow up with the Masque Magistral by Kerastase, a nourishing hydration mask that you leave on for 5-10 minutes. Finish off by applying a few drops of oil to the ends of your strands--my favorite is the Essence Absolue by Shu Uemura.” Effortless strands with no signs of summer damage? Consider that done.