Dear Summer, I've Loved You, But I'm Taking Back My Hair

The effects of summer's environmental stressors seem to have taken more of a toll than ever. Here's what I'm doing to repair the damage.

I live for summer. Sun, sand, and surf are pretty much the only things I care about from May through September. (Really all year round, but NYC life prevents me from really enjoying the outdoors to the fullest.)

The thing is, my hair does NOT love these things as much as I do. We all know that chlorine, sun and, in some cases, salt are the enemies of healthy hair, but as I age, the effects of these environmental stressors seem to be taking more of a toll than ever.

The fact that I get my hair colored more often than I used to certainly doesn’t help. Since I’m doing this redhead thing now, I tend to be in the salon chair more than usual to maintain it. (It’s worth every second I spend in that chair, by the way).

And bangs? Oh boy. Before bangs, blow-drying my hair on a hot, summer day was not even a question. Now it’s a daily necessity.

Basically, what I’m telling you is that I’m destroying my already-thinning hair.

With fall right around the corner, I’ve decided I need to do something about this flagrant follicle abuse, and I need to do it fast. This is my strategy.

Start from the inside

I’m a biotin and Viviscal junkie. But a wise beauty blogger once told me you need to switch it up to make sure you don’t become immune to those treatments. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but I thought I’d give HUM Nutrition a try.

You’ve probably seen these supplements in Sephora and have been curious about what they are. There’s a plethora of them, all promising better skin, healthier hair, and a flatter stomach. I can’t speak for any that promise you intestinal health, but I can tell you I’ve been using the Runway Ready daily packs and am already a fan.

It’s a month’s supply of supplements that are supposed to support healthy hair, skin, and nails with a vegetarian formula of vitamin E, biotin, essential fatty acids, and a bunch of other nutrients. While I’m fully aware it’s going to take a while to see the results with my hair, my nails are growing WAY fast. (Actually, too fast for my liking because I like to keep them short. But they are definitely stronger, and that I can live with.)

Take advantage of technology

It’s 2015. We don’t have to live with crappy hair anymore. There are so many lines out there right now that offer hair-repairing products that are effective.

I’m giving the new Bumble and bumble Full Potential line a whirl right now. It alleges that we can reduce future hair breakage by 46%. I kind of love that they’re not lying to us and saying that they can reverse all the damage we’ve done, but they can help with half of it.

The line consists of a shampoo, a conditioner, and a Hair Preserving Booster Spray that is supposed to be like a “liquid bandage” against damage. The Booster Spray is supposed to be used twice a day, but, frankly, I don’t have time for that. But I will say that I’ve been using the spray every day (even though I don’t wash my hair daily) and feel like there’s a noticeable difference in my hair texture.

It weirdly feels thicker since I’ve started using this regimen. I know it’s supposed to feel stronger, but I wasn’t expecting the added thickness as well.

At-home remedies

I love to luxuriate with fancy products in my hair, but I just can’t afford it most of the time. But I have to eat, which usually means I have some sort of food in the house that can also be used on my hair.

I never want an avocado to go to waste, but there’s nothing like making an at-home avo hair mask with any leftover that I haven’t eaten. You can pretty much mix it with anything you have in the fridge and you’ll get softer, shinier hair. Mix it with a tablespoon of mayo or some egg whites or coconut oil (or olive oil if that’s what you have on tap). OR WHY NOT TRY ALL OF THEM TOGETHER AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS? I usually just end up putting anything in my hair that I’m making for breakfast on a Sunday because it always involves avocado.

I freakin’ love you, dry shampoo

I have always gone to the church of dry shampoo, but it’s a little harder to do in the summer when you’re sweaty and disgusting 90% of the time.

Living Proof’s new Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo is a REVELATION. I’ve been a fan of Living Proof since the beginning, and the first thing I wanted to know when they hit the market was “WHEN IS THE DRY SHAMPOO GOING TO COME OUT?” It’s finally here, and it’s exactly what I imagine only a bunch of MIT scientists can do with hair products.

It magically soaks up even the toughest of oils on your roots. I’m not a dainty unicorn of a woman who doesn’t sweat. I don’t get those people. I sweat A LOT. Although my hair is pretty thin, this soaks up all the oil and doesn’t weigh my hair down.

There’s a little white stuff when I first use it (I’ve never used a single dry shampoo that doesn’t have a white residue, and I’ve used a lot of dry shampoos, people) but it fades away in record timing with a little finger-tip tousle.

Anything that saves me from having to wash my hair and blow out my bangs on a regular basis is not only good for my hair, it’s good for my sanity.

  • Has anyone else totally destroyed their hair this summer?
  • What are you doing to restore your follicular health?