There’s nothing more relaxing than a day on the beach or at the pool — but it’s the exact opposite for your hairdo. Between the chlorine, salt water and harsh sun, summer can wreak havoc on your hair. Luckily, we’ve gathered some simple tips and easy post-beach or pool styles that will keep you looking fresh.
Pre- and post-pool
“First things first, always be sure to protect your hair and scalp — whether you have your hair colored, extensions or completely virgin hair,” says Kacey Welch, senior master colorist and extension expert at Jonathan and George Salon, Beverly Hills. “Hats and sunscreen are always fashionable.”
And she says to pack your beach bag with a few bobby pins, hair elastics and a comb for styling. “While salt water can be a great texturizer (hello, salt water spray!), it can be damaging and mat hair if you aren’t careful after a day at the beach,” says Welch, who advises her extension clients to avoid salt water whenever possible.
A great way to keep chic and beautiful during the summer is to use wet hair as a styling accessory! To get Gisele-worthy beach waves, Fania Dambreville of RPZL Hair Extension and Blowout Bar in New York City says to gather your wet hair into a loose top bun and secure with bobby pins.
“Tug a bit on your bun to make it messy and pull a couple of pieces out from the sides so that it will have a very natural look when it dries. Let it dry and then remove the bobby pins, letting the messy bun release and fall naturally. Then using your fingers (not a brush or a comb) tousle your waves into that fresh, just-done beach-y wave!” Dambreville says.
To replicate the slicked-back roots and soft, dry strands look, apply a generous amount of gel on wet hair and distribute by combing through your scalp with your fingers. Follow with a fine-tooth comb for a more structured look, says Giovanni Vaccaro, creative director at GLAMSQUAD. Try a gel that doesn’t leave the hair crunchy, like Vaccaro’s recommendation Oribe’s Gel Serum.
Messy top knot
Your hair’s more vulnerable to damage and stretching when it’s wet, so don’t subject it to tight elastic bands, says hair treatment expert Philip B of Philip B Botanical Products. Instead, try twisting back sections of hair and securing them with bobbi pins — gold or silver ones are awesome for a fun twist! “You can also rake your hair back with your fingers, coil it into a beachy topknot or a low chignon, and anchor it with a fabric pony holder, a snag-free clear elastic and/or bobbi pins,” says Philip B. Just keep the look loose and tousled!
Braids are perfect for wet hair and they leave your locks perfectly wavy when you take them out, says Nelson Bray from Indigo Bliss Hairapy. One big braid, two side braids or a multitude of tiny braids all look cute after a day in the sun. If you don’t have a brush, try a bohemian fishtail braid. They look better messy than a typical braid, says Bray. Another spin is to create two low “milkmaid” braids and loop them together in the back. If your hair is long enough, you can just tie them together without even using pins!
READ MORE: Check out TODAY’s ultimate guide to braids — 16 styles to try!
Keep your locks blond
Welch recommends that blondes be especially careful when swimming since hair can turn green from too much chlorine. “Malibu C is great swimmers’ shampoo and keeps the green out. You can also over apply your favorite conditioner into your hair anytime you know you’ll be in the pool,” says Welch. And it’s never a bad idea to make an appointment with your colorist for an end-of-summer treatment to bring back the blond.