Healthier Hair Color All Summer Long
Summer conspires against hair color like no other season: The sun, salt water, and chlorine fade color, roughen texture, and dull shine. Brunettes can turn an odd, unfortunate orange; blondes fight brassiness, as well as the greenish tinge caused by the copper in pool water. All of it’s preventable, but it does take some vigilance.
Even the simple fact that most people wash their hair more often in summer does a serious number on color, says goop favorite/Redken celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham, who works out of Meche Salon in Beverly Hills: “One of the main reasons people go brassy or orange is washing with shampoos made with sulfates. I tell my clients to use sulfate-free shampoos like Redken Blonde Idol.” Colorist Marie Robinson, founder of her own wildly popular New York salon, agrees: “Don’t overwash your hair—if you feel like it’s sweaty or greasy, rinsing well with warm water and light conditioner will get your hair pretty clean with less color-stripping.” In the goop clean beauty shop, Rahua, Lavett & Chin, and Reverie shampoos are all sulfate-free and perfect for colored hair.
“One of the main reasons people go brassy or orange is washing with shampoos made with sulfates. I tell my clients to use sulfate-free shampoos.”
Sunlight itself fades color and shine from hair. “Any time you’re in direct sunlight for extended periods of time—like the beach—wear a wide-brimmed hat or scarf,” says editorial hair colorist/Aveda salon owner David Adams, whose Fourteenjay Salon in Tribeca fills with clients eager to counteract the effects of summer weekends every Tuesday morning. “Powerful, direct sunlight bleaches out color and saps moisture from the hair.”
An excess of hot air—from the environment or styling tools—has a serious effect on shine and elasticity. “Try to avoid excessive use of straightening irons, curling tongs, and hair dryers,” says Cunningham. “Air dry as much as you possibly can on superhot days. If you have to blow-dry your hair, I like Redken’s Pillow Proof Primer Cream. Everyone’s hair is different. I personally try to avoid very heavy oil-based products, but if I find on certain days my hair is that extra bit unruly, I simply layer on a little more.”
Robinson likes to counteract the sun’s effects by using the warmth of the sun to help healing oils and creams sink in. “ColoristCure and Christophe Robin (with lavender) are the only hydrating treatments with oils I feel really penetrate the hair,” she says. “Apply sparingly on dry hair and comb through with a fine-tooth comb to evenly distribute until hair feels slightly greasy. If you’re hanging out in sun, it’s even better: The warmth will help the treatment evenly penetrate the hair.” To remove the oil, Robinson also has specific directions: “Apply shampoo directly to the treated hair…do not add water until you’ve applied the shampoo. Then add water, lather, and rinse. Usually no extra conditioning is necessary.”
Wetting the hair keeps the chlorinated or salt water from getting as deep into the hair shaft; Adams likes to mix that technique with protective oils and creams.
Along similar lines, new brand Yuni makes a ylang ylang and lavender-infused spray called Microveil that’s heat activated, designed to spritz in before heat styling or a hot yoga session to condition hair and increase shine; it doesn’t need to be rinsed out.
Water is even worse than sun, particularly if it’s chlorinated. Counterintuitively, the best protection is water: “Wet hair down with tap water before you go in a chlorine or saline pool (saline pools have small amounts of chlorine),” says Robinson. Wetting the hair keeps the chlorinated or salt water from getting as deep into the hair shaft; Adams likes to mix that technique with protective oils and creams. “For finer hair, I add Aveda Sun Care Protective Veil to already wet hair, before going in the pool or the ocean,” he says. “I do the same with Aveda’s Dry Remedy oil for curly, textured, or dry hair; and the company’s Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair for blondes and highlighted hair.”
Once you’ve emerged from the water, rinse your hair again to get any chlorine or salt that has managed to seep in, out. “That lounge-y summer thing where you’re in and out of the pool and letting the chlorine sit in your hair is where a lot of that minty hue comes from,” warns Robinson. “Really always rinse it out.” If you’ve put in oils, use Robinson’s technique, above, to get them out—if not, a rinse, perhaps shampoo to really get everything out, and some fantastic, ultra-moisturizing conditioner is all you need.
“Once you’ve emerged from the water, rinse your hair again to get any chlorine or salt that has managed to seep in, out.”
Color-refreshing shampoos/conditioners/mousses work by infusing hair with pigments that counteract the unwanted shades that a given hair color fades to, from brassiness to serious orange and even green. The effects are temporary, but they can really work. John Masters makes gorgeous and totally non-toxic clean ones; Aveda, Rita Hazan, and Clairol make conventional ones. If the color becomes dull, you can get a clear or colored gloss—there are at-home or in-salon versions—that refresh your color and last several weeks, rather than a single shampoo.
For all the fixes, the sun and water do have the potential to create gorgeous highlights—and make existing ones even prettier, says Cunningham: “With the slightest exposure to the sun, your hair will always appear lighter—summer blonde always “pops” beautifully. I do the hard work then Mother Nature just adds the cherry on top.”
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER goop, $49
RAHUA SHAMPOO &
CONDITIONER goop, $70
REVERIE NUDE SHAMPOO
& CONDITIONER goop, $70
JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS
CONDITIONER: BROWN John Masters Organics, $22-35
JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS
CONDITIONER: BLONDE John Masters Organics, $22-35
LAVETT & CHIN
HAIR WASH goop, $38
LAVETT & CHIN
HAIR MOISTURIZER /
CONDITIONER goop, $36
- RODIN LUXURY HAIR OIL goop, $70