Summer Hair Secrets

Woman in pool holding up her hair

Edward Tricomi, cofounder and master stylist of Warren Tricomi salon, reveals how to protect your hair from sun damage—and style it like a pro

We made it through winter’s harsh conditions as well as spring’s wildly fluctuating temperatures. Whew! But summer brings its own set of hair challenges—in the form of chlorine, salt, UV rays and humidity. Edward Tricomi, cofounder and master stylist of the Warren Tricomi salon, which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, shares insider tips to keep your hair looking smooth and hydrated, plus easy styles to rock through Labor Day.

Summer Hair Rx

Fight frizz and dryness with these simple hair cures.

  • Always wear a hat in the sun. Your dermatologist will tell you to don a hat to prevent sun damage, and Tricomi wants you to wear one for exactly the same reason. Exposure to UV rays can damage the hair’s cuticle (a protective covering), leading to dryness, fragile strands and the dreaded split ends. And the lighter and finer your hair is, the more susceptible it is to sun-related damage, because dark, thick hair provides a better buffer against the sun’s harsh rays.
  • Wash your hair ASAP after a dip in the ocean or pool. It’s important to rinse your hair, says Tricomi, as both salt and chlorine can parch strands. Chlorine needs to be harsh to kill all those nasty pool germs, but those chemicals also strip hair of its natural oils. Salt, for its part, can rob hair of moisture and cause damage, especially to already sensitive color-treated hair. 
  • Use a frizz-fighting product. Frizz happens when your hair is dry and the air is humid—a common scenario during the summer. Basically, the cuticle lifts up in a desperate attempt to drink up all the moisture in the air, and this makes strands swell and frizz. Tricomi says the best defense is using an anti-frizz cream or serum. Try Warren Tricomi Anti-Frizz Finishing Cream, which is packed with argan oil to hydrate hair and tame unruly strands. Or try OGX Kukuí Oil Anti-Frizz Hydrating Oil ($10, walmart.com), which contains kukui nut oil to smooth hair. Both can be applied to wet or dry strands
  • Apply a mask. Using a deep conditioning mask on your hair once or twice a week will keep it healthy and hydrated, says Tricomi. Try Warren Tricomi Restorative Hair Mask, which is a rich formula of shea butter and argan oil, or Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! deep conditioning mask ($36, briogeohair.com), which contains B-vitamins, argan and rosehip oil, algae and biotin to nourish and repair dry, sun-damaged hair. After shampooing, massage the mask into your hair, let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then rinse.

4 Hot-Weather Hairstyles

Yeah, you could get by with a regular old ponytail. But with just a tad more effort, you can make your hair look summer chic.

Sleek Braided Bun

Buns are usually associated with librarians and ballerinas—not with beach bums—but this take on the traditional knot is more casual, and it’s a stylish way to get your hair off your face on a hot day. Here’s how to do it: Make a deep side part. Then pull your hair back into a smooth low ponytail and secure it with an elastic. Braid the ponytail, coil it around to make a bun, and pin the end under the base with a bobby pin. 

Beachy Waves

Beachy waves are the white jeans of hairstyles—you can technically wear them after Labor Day, but they’re really more of a summer thing. To create these carefree curls, first spritz your hair with a heat protectant spray. Try Warren Tricomi Hot Tools Spray or Living Proof Restore Instant Protection, ($27, livingproof.com). Then wrap a 1-inch to 2-inch piece of hair around the curling iron (don’t clip hair into the wand). Repeat all over your head, then muss the curls with your fingers to loosen them up.

Braided Pony

Summer’s low-key vibe makes it the perfect season to experiment with whimsical styles. To make this creative pony, section off the front of your hair and divide it into three equal sections. French braid the first section until you reach the back of your head (don’t go all the way down to the nape of your neck). Continue braiding the tail of the braid for a couple more inches and then secure with a bobby pin to prevent the braid from unraveling while you make your two other braids. When all three of the braids are complete, gather the braids in with the rest of your hair to make a ponytail (either a high ponytail or a low one—both types look cool), and secure with an elastic. 

Short & Slicked Back

The “wet” look is trendy these days, which is convenient because we’re often dealing with post-swim hair all summer! And fortunately, this hairstyle is sublimely easy. If your hair is shoulder length or above, simply coat it with a leave-in conditioner while it’s wet, and then comb your hair back, away from your face, with a wide-tooth comb.