How To Have Great Hair All Summer: Tips From A Top Stylist

A model with perfect summer hair at Miami Swim Fashion Week

A model with perfect summer hair at Miami Swim Fashion Week.
Photo: Getty Images

Most of us don’t wake up with perfect mermaid waves and sun-kissed color in the summer (if you do, we’re jealous!). Instead, issues like frizzy hair and faded color tend to rear their heads — and can be much more persistent than during other times of the year. But every problem has a solution, and we asked Harry Josh, John Frieda International Creative Consultant and celebrity hair stylist/colorist (he’s worked with everyone from Cameron Diaz to Gwyneth Paltrow to Gisele), for his expert summer hair tips.

Swimming in a chlorinated pool can turn blonde hair green. How can you fix it?

In a pinch, what I always recommend is coconut oil. Coconut oil is like a release mechanism, so if you put coconut oil in your hair and sit in the steam room or sit in the sun, it loosens up [the green color] and allows it to slide off. Another product you could use is Sunday Shampoo from Bumble and Bumble [$23, bumbleandbumble.com]. It’s a stripping shampoo that removes [buildup] and also can remove chlorine in the process. And there are also products made specifically for chlorine by Joico. They’re one of the few companies that actually makes a chlorine remover [Joico K-Pak Clarifying Shampoo, joico.com].

How can you avoid green hair, other than using a swim cap?

If you put oil in your hair before you go swimming, that will help coat the hair. The only downfall of that is you will have a stream of oil in your pool. You could use coconut oil as well. It creates a barrier over the hair.

What’s your advice to someone whose fine, straight hair won’t hold a curl because the weather’s too humid?

I use a really tiny iron, like an iron that’s literally the size of my finger. I want corkscrew curls, but it’s not going to be corkscrew on them. By the time they get to their party it’ll settle into the perfect wave. So don’t be scared to use an iron that’s microscopically small if you know your hair always falls flat, because you will have the perfect wave by the time you get to your event. Products are key; definitely use John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Styling Mousse [$5.95, folica.com]. Apply on wet hair and let it air dry or diffuse, and then use a tiny iron to really lock in the curls. The heat of the iron is going to keep the curl in check.

What can you do to prevent frizz, and if your hair’s already frizzy, is there any going back?

No, once you have [frizz] you might as well go back in the shower and start again because once [humid] air gets in contact with that kind of hair, nothing is going to de-frizz it. So if you’ve been a little bit lazy with putting in product in the morning and an hour later your hair is already frizzy, go straight to the sink, wet it down and put product on your soaking wet hair right away. If you don’t put product on soaking wet hair it will not dry in nice coils.

If you wrap your hair in a turban, that’s a don’t for frizzy hair because it’s taking all of the moisture out of your hair, so when you take the turban down it’s already starting to frizz. The key is soaking wet hair, put product in, like the Secret Weapon from Frizz Ease [$5.99, drugstore.com].

For fine hair, I use the Sheer Solution [$9.99, drugstore.com] which is super light. For thicker hair you can double up on products like sprays, or mix the Secret Weapon with Frizz Ease Serum [$9.99, ulta.com]. And just apply that right on wet hair and let it air dry.

Touching your hair is also going to make it frizz. You literally can’t touch it at all to get perfect curls.

What can you do to keep your color from fading in the sun?

You definitely want to use color protecting shampoos and conditioners. But sometimes I feel that color fading in the sun can give you a color that’s so pretty, you may actually like it.

If you love your color and you don’t want it to fade at all, then you should use color protecting shampoos and conditioners.

Personally, as a colorist, I like when it fades sometimes because it gives new colors that are so beautiful, you could never match them at the salon again. Sometimes Mother Nature is a great colorist and she can give you beautiful highlights.

If you want to lighten your ends, you could use the Go Blonder hairspray [$8.99, target.com], but you have to be a blonde. You will go bright orange if you aren’t! So that’s a great way to give detailing to already natural, surfer hair.

Does lemon juice do the same thing?

Lemon juice is supposed to, but essentially what it’s doing is dehydrating the hair so much that it actually just removes a bit of pigment. I don’t think it would work as fast as the sprays do. But a big disclaimer, you must be blonde or light brown for it to work. Anyone darker than light brown should stay away from it.

What can you do for hair that’s dry from spending time at the beach and in the ocean?

It’s always good to have a deep conditioner at any beach house or with you on any summer holiday. You want something super hydrating and slippery that can remove all the salt residue and give hair the soft luster that you want. If you’re going in the ocean every day, use the treatment every day. It says once a week [on the package], but in this scenario when you’re going into harsh salt water or chlorine every day, use that treatment as much as you can and it will bring back the luster.

You’ve worked with Gisele for so many years, and she has the perfect beach hair. How can the rest of us get that beautiful texture (without being Gisele)?

If you don’t have wavy hair, it’s going to be a lot more of a process to get it there. If you have medium textured hair, and it has a bit of wave and you just want to amp it up, there are a couple things that are key to that. The haircut is key. A lot of people don’t realize if your hair isn’t layered the right way, it won’t curl the right way. [Gisele’s] hair doesn’t have a lot of layers, it has layers just around her face, and the bulk of it isn’t layered.

If you have straight, fine hair and you’re dying to have what I like to call “model off-duty hair,” which is what Gisele has, I recommend using a tiny curling iron, curling your hair really tight and then going to bed. And then when you wake up you’ll have a natural looking curl where you don’t see the marks of the curling iron. If you have really fine hair, I would use mousse because it’s so lightweight, and you can apply it easily because it’s so foamy and gets on every inch of the hair, which is important. You’ll wake up with good bedhead.

Read more: 7 Ways To Get Beach Waves

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