YES! YES! YES! A quick survey of the surfers, lifeguards and scenesters soaking up the rays at Ditch Plains surf beach in trendy beach town Montauk, N.Y., reveals women are still mad about Herbal Essences' “totally organic experience.”
Some surfers even keep the conditioner on the beach to mix with their salt-infused hair for detangled-yet-windswept tresses. As for their color? It’s the sun! Trimming? Just once or twice a year! Yes, the Montauk bunch are particularly laid-back when it comes to hair maintenance.
For those craving a bit more guidance on how to protect and/or rehab summer hair, I turned to trichologist (aka hair and scalp scientist) Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips at Philip Kinglsey’s NYC clinic who suggests:
“It’s important to think about protection pre-exposure, rather than damage control. Think of your scalp the same way you think of your face and protect it with SPF. To avoid lifeless, greasy hair, target the application of the SPF. Saturate a Q-tip with a broad spectrum sunscreen and apply it directly to the part line. Additionally, use products with UV filters to give the length of your hair a layer of sun protection. On a weekly basis use a scalp treatment that’s a combination of vitamins and minerals as well as emollient conditioners.”
We also chatted with Sera Sloane, who runs an invite-only hair studio in Tribeca, NYC, called Only Child. Sera has also been called upon to style the locks of adorable surfer Quincy Davis for cool surf shop Saturdays so she knows a thing or two about dealing with summer hair.
Sera’s preferred sun protection method? Lightly wet the hair and apply a conditioner, and then roll hair into your favorite Pebbles Flintstone top knot with a couple of pins. Pass that Herbal Essences, please.
Looking for options? Here’s what to look for in a great conditioner: effective humectants (ingredients that retain moisture) such as honey, propylene glycol and glycerin. Moisturizing alcohols are totally OK, like cetearyl or lauryl. These are fatty alcohols often derived from coconut and do not dry out hair in the same way as isopropyl alcohol or propyl alcohol. Hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera, wheat germ and natural oils like jojoba, coconut and olive oil are great, too. When leaving conditioner in hair for an extended period of time, it's generally best to avoid protein-heavy formulas (usually called out on the label) as too much protein can build up and cause breakage.
Sera’s ultra-conditioning pick? Redken All Soft Heavy Cream. I’d like to note that she is a natural brunette and her hair is currently platinum. It’s long and platinum so she really knows how to nurture her locks and prevent breakage. It doesn’t hurt that her colorist also tends to the bold hues of Lady Gaga and MIA, but still, Redken All Soft Heavy Cream cures all. Glop it on as a protective cream or just use it after the beach in the shower. Your hair will be back-to-school ready in no time.
Sera also has a great styling technique for imparting the perfect amount of surfer bendiness to hair. Typically, the dry heat of a curling iron is recommended to achieve the look, but fragile end-of-summer hair should rest from such styling evils. Actually, any sort of hair should give dry heat a rest from time to time.
Her answer? Flexi-rods! Sera likes the larger, 3/4-inch rods for a nice wave. Let hair air dry with a little bit of leave-in conditioner to control frizz and layer on your favorite sea spray for texture—she likes Ouidad Wave Create Sea Spray. When hair is completely dry, grab horizontal sections and roll onto the rod, starting from the midshaft, wrapping all the way up to the root. The more hair you grab, the bigger the curl. Make sure the ends are tucked in. Leave in the hair for about 15 minutes then release! Sprinkle or spray in some hair powder and shake out the waves. The texture will be nice and beachy.
Endless summer, indeed.
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