If your summer plans include lazy beach days, long hikes and soaking up the sun, your hair may be in for some serious torture.

Taking steps to protect your hair and keep it healthy will allow you to enjoy your summer in the sun without damaging your mane. Use these 12 tips to keep your hair looking its best – even on the hottest day of the year.

1. Get a Trim

Start the summer with a clean slate. Trim off dead, uneven and split ends that can make your hair look scraggly and unhealthy. Once split ends form, they continue splitting all the way up the hair shaft, so trim these as soon as you see them. You don’t have to go crazy with the trim. Just take off enough to get rid of those dead ends.

2. Shampoo Less

Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils, which protect, nourish and moisturize the hair. After a long day at the beach or out in the sun, you may be tempted to hop in the shower – for the second time that day. Instead of shampooing, try rinsing with warm water or co-washing (using conditioner to cleanse the scalp).

In most cases, conditioner can remove excess oils that make your hair look greasy without removing all of your natural oils. If co-washing and water won’t do the trick, try a dry shampoo. You can also apply a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel to the scalp to sop up extra oil.

3. Deep Condition in the Sun

Use your time in the sun to your hair’s advantage. Before you lay out, apply your favorite deep conditioner to your damp or dry hair and let the sun’s heat work its magic.

The heat from the sun will open the hair shaft, allowing the conditioner to better penetrate your hair. When you’re done laying in the sun, just shower and rinse out the conditioner as usual.
Just make sure that you’re responsible about your sun exposure. Don’t overdo it.

4. Cover it Up

The sun’s rays can give your hair subtle highlights, but too much exposure can also damage your hair.
UVA and UVB rays can damage the hair’s cuticle (the hair’s outer coating). If you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun, cover your hair to protect it from damage. A sun hat or a baseball cap will do the trick.

5. Invest in a Keratin Treatment

Salt water, chlorine and sun exposure can wreak havoc on your hair. Keratin treatments can revitalize and rehydrate the hair, restoring its natural shine and soft texture. While you can do keratin treatments at home, it’s worth the cost of going to a professional.

The results are more dramatic, and you can be sure that the treatment is applied by an experienced professional. Bangz Hair Studio, a hair salon in Venice, FL, says professional keratin treatments smooth and soften the hair while reducing frizz and increasing volume.

6. Avoid Tight Styles

When the summer heat ramps up, it’s tempting to throw your hair back in a tight ponytail. But those tight styles can do some serious damage to your hair, especially if you sleep in them. Give your hair a break by wearing looser, comfortable styles. You can still keep your hair up and out of your face without damaging it. Here are some style ideas:

  • Braids
  • Loose ponytail
  • Loose, messy bun

The less tension on your hair, the better – especially if your hair is already dry from sun exposure.

7. Keep Frizz Under Control

Humidity and the hot summer heat can leave your hair a frizzy mess. Try applying a mix of water, avocado oil and aloe vera juice. Keep this spritz on hand at all times to tame frizz and moisturize your hair. This is a great product to apply after spending hours in the sun.
If you need a little more frizz control, try mixing argan oil and water.

8. Stay Hydrated

Water helps moisturize your hair from the inside out. Make sure that you’re drinking at least 2-3 litres of water each day. Take a water bottle with you wherever you go, especially if you will be out in the heat for long periods of time.

9. Counteract Chlorine

Chlorine can damage and discolor your hair. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the pool this summer, it’s important to take steps to counteract the effects of chlorine. First, make sure that you wet your hair before getting into the pool, as this will help the hair absorb less chlorine. Rinse hair with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water to prevent discoloration and remove chlorine build-up.

10. Trade in Your Brush for a Comb

Swap your brush for a wide tooth comb this summer. Wide tooth combs are extra gentle on the hair, allowing you to detangle without breaking or damaging the hair. Brushes can tear and pull at the hair, which can cause breakage and damage.

11. Put Down the Blow Dryer

We all know that heat styling damages our hair. And being out in the sun also damages our hair. Heat styling and sun damage together can seriously dehydrate your hair. You can’t do much about the sun, but you can avoid heat style.

Put down the blow dryer, curler and straightening iron. Let your hair do its thing. If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, try the Curly Girl method to add definition and de-frizz your mane.

12. Try a Hot Oil Treatment

Oils can penetrate the hair shaft, particularly when the hair shaft is open. Warmth from the oil can open up your hair to the treatment, allowing the oils to better penetrate the hair and work their magic. Try coconut, olive or avocado oil to reduce frizz and boost shine.

Lastly – be gentle with your hair. Take the time to deep condition and treat your hair with the love it deserves. The summer heat can be hard on your hair, but a little extra time and care can prevent or counteract these effects.