The Most Challenging Summer Hair Problems, and How to Fix Them

It’s official. It’s time to let your hair down, this year you’ve certainly earned it! 

One caveat to planning those long leisurely days in the sun though, is to understand how summer can impact the health and appearance of your hair. This summer ensure you’re armed with the answers before you start to see the effects of the season on your hair.

Ideally you’ll be continually attending your hair with regular moisture, trims and preempting damage by tying it up and wearing a hat, but we all know that’s not always the reality. So when you emerge from the sea for the umpteeth time with hair that feels like straw, or you’re heading to an evening event and the idea of blow drying your hair in the heat feels incredibly unappealing, if you take heed of the below, you’ll know exactly how to proceed. 

Taming frizz and battling humidity

Whether your hair is pin-straight or super curly, high-moisture air in summer can mean trouble for any hair type, as frizziness and flyaways can wreak havoc. The answer lies in ensuring hair is healthy to begin with, as dry, damaged and porous hair is more susceptible to frizz, so ensure you stick with appropriate hydrating shampoo and conditioners and treatments. Make sure to squeeze your hair, not to rub it, while drying, then use a heat protectant styling cream and blow dry on a medium to cool setting to close the cuticles. Finally, call on a humidity ‘shield’ to protect your style. Spray Joico’s Humidity Blocker over hair after styling before leaving the house. 

Dry, crunchy hair that feels like straw

One of the most common issues in summer, particularly for those that get out in the elements and make the most of what New Zealand has to offer, is hair becoming dry and dehydrated and prone to breakage and split ends.  Whether you’re planning for the worst, or your locks are already feeling a little crispy, choose an ultra-hydrating shampoo and conditioner and treatment like Joico’s Moisture Recovery Shampoo, Conditioner and Balm that contain deeply quenching and smoothing botanicals, amino acids and rich, nourishing oils. In the evening try applying a treatment like Joico K-PAK Intense Hydrator to hair and tying hair up or popping under a shower cap for an hour or two before washing. If you’re heading to work or a party, using a touch of hair oil on the ends can minimise the appearance of dryness and split ends. 

The dreaded chlorine-green

Anyone with naturally blonde or lightened hair will likely have experienced the detrimental effects chemically treated pool water will have on their locks, often turning it an attractive shade of sea-monster green. It’s not just that though, sun exposure and lack of care can turn blondes golden or brassy. To keep your colour salon-fresh, use a dedicated colour-balancing shampoo and conditioner, like Joico’s Blonde Life Violet Shampoo and Conditioner once or twice a week or directly after you swim.

Hair colour fading

In general hair that’s been coloured gets a challenging time in summer, as the sun’s UV is quick to affect the intensity of your chosen hue, causing fading and dullness. While it’s easiest to tie hair up under a hat, if you need to be out and about for extended periods of time, the filters in Joico’s Defy Damage Protective Shield will help minimise any impact and it protects against heat damage from the sun and styling tools too. 

A greasy, sweaty scalp

Overwashing can contribute to dryness and breakage during summer, which in turn will increase frizz and split ends, but the cruel truth is that if you have an oily scalp the heat can only increase the problem, particularly if you’re athletic, meaning it’s so tempting to want to shampoo all the time. To help avoid overdoing it, try treating your roots directly every other day or when needed with a cleansing dry shampoo like Joico Weekend Hair Dry Shampoo, spraying it directly where it’s needed. It’ll mean your mid-lengths and ends that don’t need daily cleansing won’t be over-taxed. 

Drying your hair using your dryer on cool shot can help prevent your scalp from getting sweaty too. 

Battling knots and tangles

With this issue, prevention is better than a cure. If you have long hair and you’re going to be out and about, exercising, at the beach or even heading to an evening event, apply a leave-in treatment like Joico Color Therapy Luster Lock Multi-Perfector Daily Shine & Protect Spray and then braid hair neatly and secure up and away from the face. It will ensure you don’t have to battle a bird’s nest at the end of the day nor will you worry about a blow-dry going flat or fluffy. If you do have tangles and want to loosen them, apply the Lustre Lock Multi-Perfector Daily Shine & Protect Spray all over and take the time to gently separate and comb through them with a wide tooth comb. 

Shop these products and solve your summer hair woes here:

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Best tressed: Jen Atkin talks hair health and working with your natural texture

LA-based celebrity hairstylist and Dyson ambassador Jen Atkin tells STYLE what lockdown has taught us about our locks, and how we can harness this knowledge for better hair.

Many of us only realised how much we depend on our hairstylists during lockdown, when our ends were splitting and our roots were appearing and a visit to the salon was out of the question. But celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin, who is still holed up in her Los Angeles abode when I speak with her, knows a thing or two about the connection between a woman’s hair, and how good she feels about herself. So at the peak of the pandemic, as Google searches for DIY haircuts spiked around the globe and our hair obsessions took hold, it was no surprise to Atkin. “Hair is an emotional thing for women,” she says. “It’s part of our identity; it’s often the first thing people notice when they see you, and it’s something that can really make or break your day.”

Atkin herself is used to being in demand. When she’s not busy finessing the lustrous locks of the Kardashian and Jenner clans, you’ll probably find her on the set of a Vogue cover shoot, or helping Bella Hadid or Chrissy Teigen get ready for the red carpet. During lockdown in LA, her own friends and clients continued to seek her advice, and what she tried to instill in them all was an appreciation for their natural hair. “I saw it as an opportunity to encourage them to just enjoy their hair the way it is,” she says.

Thanks to all the time away from the salon and spent staring at ourselves on video calls, Atkin believes many of us emerged from lockdown with a renewed focus on and awareness of our hair health. And without any real need to make ourselves overly presentable and put our hair through the daily styling gauntlet – blow-drying, straightening and curling it into submission – lockdown saw many of us get better acquainted with our natural hair, whether we liked it or not. “It’s funny, everyone has actually seen for the first time in a while what their hair is really like,” says Atkin.

Accepting your natural texture and colour can be easier said than done. Atkin laughs as she recalls a few clients that cut their own fringes out of desperation. “Fifty per cent of those stories ended well,” she says. “Honestly, the best thing you can do right now with all this time is try to get your hair to a healthy place and work with your natural texture.”

An abundance of ‘How to’ videos on Instagram and YouTube has made doing so a little easier, and Atkin is optimistic that these are learnings that will stick with us. “Watching tutorials and getting inspiration from different places, I think people are going to try and maintain that,” she says, hopeful that this will mean more adventurous hair looks in the coming months. Adding that a lot of her clients have been experimenting at home with bolder make-up looks, Atkin muses that since we only live once, “Let’s have a little fun with our hair!”

Sure, we might not have the same cultural touch points – the runway and the red carpet – to turn to for inspiration. But Atkin, whose website clocked up three million views in May alone, has seen first-hand how and where we are hunting down fresh inspiration. Atkin’s own contribution comes via her social media channels, where she shares pro hair-styling tips using her favourite Dyson Airwrap and Corrale.

Styling skills aside, Atkin is emphatic that what most women will have gained from lockdown is a deeper understanding of how crucial the condition of our hair is to our overall confidence and wellbeing. “Hair health is so important, because once it’s gone, it’s gone,” she says. As for how often we need to be washing hair, Atkin says under-washing and over-washing are both detrimental. “Over-washing is bad as it strips your hair of its natural oils. But going three or four days without washing isn’t great either. It’s like your skin; it’s going to clog up your pores,” she says.

And coming into summer, she says, it’s important to pay attention to sun, chlorine and other environmental factors that can cause damage. Hair is much weaker when it’s wet, “So be wary of how vigorously you towel-dry.” A big believer in nurturing your hair from the inside, she points out that many hair problems – such as the commonly googled issue of hair fall – come down to nutrition, hormones and diet. “I tell all my clients that we should take care of our skin and hair with vitamins, the same way we do with our body,” she says. “If you’re healthy from head to toe, you’re going to feel really good. Great hair gives you confidence. To me, that’s what great hair is.”


Tools of the trade

Hair tools are an essential part of our beauty arsenal, but invest in the wrong ones and you can do more damage than good. When Atkin isn’t working with her famous clientele or on her cult haircare line, Ouai, she’s collaborating with Dyson’s team of engineers on their innovative hair tool offerings. “There’s so much consumer awareness now around maintaining hair health, and more people are looking to achieve their desired style with less heat,” she says. “That’s where the intelligent heat control technology within Dyson’s styling tools – the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, Airwrap styler and Corrale straightener – can help, says Atkin. “This unique piece of engineering, combined with a range of heat settings on each tool, ensures temperatures can be tailored for the user’s hair type and desired style.”