By: Sarah Federico, Beauty and Wellness Writer
A summer well spent is often marked by hair that’s seen better days. “The sun, sea salt and chlorine all dry hair out, big time,” says Rita Hazan, celebrity colorist. “It’s the most common type of hair damage I see.”
But luckily, damage borne from summer-fun is largely repairable. You might even find the process relaxing … and downright indulgent. From deep-conditioning treatments to color boosting elixirs, discover the path back to silky, nourished and oh-so lustrous locks – just in time for fall.
Assess the damage
When it comes to environmental stress, your hair type, texture and length play a big role how damage-prone your tresses are. “You’ll be able to spot damaged hair by its rough feel and lackluster appearance,” says Glen Lyons, clinical director and trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic. “Plus, the longer the hair the older it is,” he adds, “so the lengths have already been exposed to many years of sun, sea and chlorine and are therefore prone to even more damage.”
Also, remember that textured tresses are structurally weaker than strands that are smooth and straight. Surprisingly, pigment – or lack thereof – can play a big role, too. “The less pigment you have in your hair, the more damage you’ll be [susceptible] to,” says Hazan.
When assessing damage, there’s one golden rule: “If it’s splitting and breaking, the damage is extreme and often irreversible – so cut it off.”
Daily habits make a big difference
Whether you wash your hair daily or weekly, your shampoo and conditioner play a big role in how your hair looks and feels – and more importantly – how well your tresses hold up to damage.
“When it comes to products there are grades of ingredients,” explains Adam Federico, Content Director for R+Co and Creative Director for Federico Beauty. “For example, salon products contain ingredients that are grade A and B. But drugstore products contain grade C and D ingredients, which aren’t nearly as nice – or as concentrated.” Additionally, he adds, most salon products are formulated without the use of surfactants. “When you use products that contain surfactants, you risk stripping strands of their natural oils and moisture. This ultimately leads to additional damage.”
For the perfect, daily indulgence, try R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo, which imparts body, shine, strength, softness and manageability. Follow with R+Co X Fred Segal Television Perfect Hair Conditioner, which delivers deep-down strand nourishment, strength and hydration – and is formulated without the use of parabens, sulfates, petroleum or mineral oil.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
More often than not, your hair isn’t excessively damaged – it’s just severely dehydrated. If this is the case, a hydrating mask can work to instantly improve elasticity and manageability, while taming frizz. Apply R+Co Television Perfect Hair Masque through wet hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. Leave on for 2-5 minutes, and allow the Coconut Oil, Murumuru Butter, Abyssinian Oil, Pequi Oil and Olive Oil to work their restorative magic.
Tricks of the (heat styling) trade
When it comes to heat styling, we’re all about that shine. We recommend a simple, repeatable routine to optimize luster – and hair health.
Step 1: Start by removing excess, post-shower moisture with a gentle microfiber towel. Squeeze gently to avoid ruffling the cuticle of the hair.
Step 2: Next, follow with a thermal protectant, such as R+Co One Prep Spray, which is a light, yet nourishing lotion that provides a barrier against heat styling.
Step 3: Remove excess moisture by flat-wrapping the hair with a paddle brush.
Step 4: Finish by smoothing and polishing the mid-lengths and ends with a boar bristle brush. We like the VARIS Smoothing Brush, which touts a combination of hydroionic crystal infused nylon and boar bristles for smooth and shiny hair.
Though repairing sun-ravaged strands can seem tough, with the techniques included here you can reverse (and even prevent) damage. Get your tresses in their best shape yet, in no time flat – just in time for pumpkin spice latte season.