Summer goal: no bad hair days!

What do you think of when you hear the words "summer hair?" Do you see a sexy, laid-back beach style, gently tousled by a sea breeze? The wet, swept-back Bond girl look? Or maybe those vacation braided cornrows? If you're envisioning a messy mop of dried-out straw, or a limp and lifeless curtain around your shoulders, you're not the only one. Summer hair should be fun and effortless, like the season. Unfortunately, heat, sunshine, and other natural (and not-so-natural) elements can make taking care of your hair a real challenge.

Here's how to turn summer hair don'ts into sexy hair do's:

  • Skip a day. Unless you go swimming or get really dirty and sweaty, you can get by with a shampoo once every other day. If you're prone to dry, brittle summer tresses, choose products with boosted moisturizing capabilities. If your hair is liable to go limp, opt instead for protein-enriched shampoos. Indulge your sun-dried hair in an occasional deep conditioning treatment, or try out protective hair masks.
  • Wash in some sun protection. Seek out shampoo and conditioner options infused with elements that protect against sun damage.
  • Prime your hair for the plunge. Before diving into chlorinated pool water, wet your hair with normal water. Some savvy pool pros even stash a spray bottle in the bags for just this purpose. Chemicals in pool water can discolour and damage your hair. The minerals in salty sea water may also strip it of moisture. Douse your hair with freshwater soon after a dip in the ocean. Alternatively, wear a swimming cap so water doesn't touch your tresses.
  • Cover up or pile up. Shield your precious locks from the peak sun hours, between 10 am and 3 pm. Hats and scarves can offer coverage, while a loose, upswept ponytail or bun keeps wind from whipping tangles into your hair.
  • Lower the heat. Lay off the hair dryers, curling irons, and flattening irons because goodness knows your hair will get enough heat outside. If you can't part with that even part, give your hair a break, using heat tools infrequently or on special occasions. Products, such as heat protectant sprays, are also available that buffer the heat of irons and hair dryers.
  • Go on a sexy, summer hair diet. Hair that shines and shimmers in the sunshine needs nourishment. Feed your hair from the inside-out with a steady diet of hair-healthy ingredients, including omega-3-rich fish and lean protein-packed foods like shrimp, turkey or chicken breast, or tofu.

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