Protect your hair, sooth your scalp and lighten up more gently with these new hair-care finds.
Just when you thought you’d solved your transitional winter-to-spring hair woes, here comes chlorine, sunshine, salt water and humidity.
If your usual routine is to throw your hands in the air and deal with it all in September, have a look at these new products and do-it-yourself routines.
Lighten up, gently
Remember Sun In? The drugstore spray-on hair lightener that was all the rage in the 1980s is getting a luxury makeover in products such as IGK’s Summertime Hair Lightening Spray ($27 at Sephora) and Ouai’s Son of a Beach Ombré Spray ($24 at theouai.com).
“The Sun In concept was cool, but it was done wrong,” says Aaron Grenia, a founder of IGK. “It was basically hydrogen peroxide, and it really lifted and had a lot of power. With ours, we’re using a gentler, more hydrating formula — it’s lemon and chamomile, coconut oil and coconut water.” The results are noticeable but subtler, Grenia says. “It’s also better for those with lighter hair to begin with.”
With humidity and city grime, chances are you suds up your strands more often in summer. But Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist in New York, suggests rethinking the way we wash our hair.
“People love to lather,” Bowe says. “We’re obsessed with this squeaky-clean feeling and then putting on conditioner with silicones that act as a Band-Aid for your hair. Instead we should be cutting out harsh detergents. We should be preventing damage from happening in the first place.”
She’s hardly alone in her philosophy. A slew of new hair cleansers dispense with the usual formulas. Hairstory’s New Wash ($40 at newwash.com), an aloe- and oil-based hair cleanser, recently spun off variations for a deeper cleanse — New Wash Deep ($40) — or more hydration — New Wash Rich ($40) — all of which are intended to replace both your shampoo and conditioner and to address all hair textures
The suds-less wash does take some work (you have to truly work in the product and rinse repeatedly or risk oily strands), but it can produce nice, hair-softening results.
A breezier alternative is something in between, like Miriam Quevedo’s Glacial White Caviar Resort Cleansing Balm ($60 at miriamquevedo.com). Sulfate-free, with sweet almond oil as its second ingredient, the concentrated formula smells lovely and can help temper frizz.
A happy scalp
Once upon a time, you slathered conditioner all over your hair and scalp and called it a job well done. But if you heed Briogeo founder Nancy Twine, you’d give your scalp the separate treatment it deserves.
“Summer is a very sweaty season,” Twine says. “What happens is sweat combines with your normal hair product, and you really start to build up on the scalp.” Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal and Peppermint Oil Cooling Jelly Conditioner ($36 at briogeohair.com) “is a really good way to detox and has absorbent qualities,” she says. “At the same time, the conditioner is very lightweight so your roots aren’t weighed down.”
Twine says the jelly is suitable for all hair types, including black hair like her own, and she created it specifically for her needs. “I’ve always had issues with a dry scalp,” she says.
The drugstore line Yes To’s Detoxifying Charcoal Conditioner ($8 at Target) offers lightweight conditioning results, although it lacks the soothing aspect of the Briogeo option.
Seal in wet hair
For colored hair, chlorine can be quite the land mine. “Water itself is actually super damaging to hair,” Bowe says. “When your hair gets wet, the hair fibers themselves will swell. That will make your hair very weak and vulnerable to damage.”
The new IGK Blocked Water-Resistant Hair Shield ($29 at Sephora) is a creamy wax designed to prevent water from entering the cuticle. “It’s like swim cap for the hair without actually wearing one,” Grenia of IGK says.
Hair already tinted swimming pool green? The new David Mallett Blush Hydration Spray ($45 at david-mallett.com), with raspberry vinegar and organic tomato extract, was created to cancel out Hulk-ish tones.