Oh, the woes of summer hair. Between the humidity, sun, saltwater, wind and chlorine, tresses can become an unmanageable hot mess, and more than a few women say they feel the pain.
“My hair’s a nightmare,” says Adrienne Esposito, 58, the executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, an advocacy group based in Farmingdale. “If I left my hair on its own in the summer, I would look like I grew up in the forest with the wolves.”
The beach-loving Esposito says it's hard work to maintain her neat coif — a blow dry followed by healing oil treatment, then hot rollers and a pony tail "so it doesn't frizz up." For Esposito, those popular, costly and time-consuming keratin-Brazilian hair straightening treatments are not an option. “I don’t want to use chemicals," she says. "I’ve spent my life trying to avoid them.”
Briana Richards, 29, of Baldwin also takes her summer hair into her own hands. It takes her seven hours to work a style known as “Bohemian Goddess braids” (aka Goddess box braids, expertly worn by actress Zoe Kravitz).
“I have multiple textures in my hair, and if I didn’t do something it would look a little crazy, the volume would increase, it would be frizzy and curly,” she says. To achieve the look, she adds synthetic braid extensions with human hair on the ends. To amp up the style, she adds gold metallic accents such a small cuffs, wraps and charms that she buys at beauty supply houses. “It’s a protective style, and it doesn’t put much stress on the hair. It’s a way to give your hair a break from styling it too much. In July and August I’ll go to the beach stress free, happy and confident and not worrying about it.” And to get it off her neck in the heat, she just loops the hair around itself for a big bun on the top of her head. “I don’t even need a scrunchy,” she says.
But, alas, not everybody is as deft with hair as these two, so we asked a handful of experts to help with the hair headaches of summer.
A QUICK FIX
Dried-out, sun-damaged hair is met with a 45-minute Rene Furterer conditioning treatment at Salon Xavier in Sag Harbor. “Everybody has problem hair in the summer,” says owner and master stylist Xavier Merat. The plant-based remedy, $100, starts with an essential oil-based scalp prep. Results last about a week and a half, Merat says, and is a less expensive option than costlier Brazilian options.
FIGHT THE DULL
For colored hair, the wrath of the sun, chlorine and sea can “literally pull the color and life right out of your hair and make it look like it went through the ringer,” says Jamie Mazzei, the owner of nuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset. In between salon appointments, he recommends Gem Lites Colorwash and Colorditioner by Celeb Luxury. “It’s like a miracle in a bottle,” says Mazzei, for refreshing color by adhering only to the damaged parts of the hair. Available in 10 shades, $38, at nuBest and other professional hair salons.
RIDE THE WAVE
Let’s face it, those charmingly free-spirited “beachy waves” only occur naturally for a few of us. Glamsquad, an on-demand traveling posse of stylists and makeup artists, hits the Hamptons this summer with Beachy Waves Spray. It contains coconut water to counteract salt’s drying effect, yarrow root extract to enhance fullness and UVA and UVB filters to protect hair from sun damage, $24 at glamsquad.com.
Save Me from Sun + Sweat is a “hair reboot” product that can be slathered in hair as an overnight mask or used as a 30-minute conditioner. It fights off dryness and scalp damage caused by sun, sweat, salt, chlorinated and hard water, $88 from savemefrom.com.