This summer, protect your curls from the sun.
Summer is the season when curls should look their best. If your hair is healthy, you can turn the humidity into your friend instead of a frizz-causing foe. Here are five no-frizz tips for sensational summer curls.
1: Get a Seasonal Cut
Finding the best haircut is most important, but keep in mind that your favorite cut in the winter can leave you struggling in the summertime. For example, curlies with tighter spirals can opt for a shorter style in the winter because there is less shrinkage. But when the humidity soars in the summer, experts say curly hairstyles that remove excess bulk — while keeping the length — are what work best.
"Tighter curls should be left longer in the summer because you're counting on the weight and length of the hair to loosen the curls and pull them down," says Jonathan Torch of Toronto’s Curly Hair Institute.
He suggests the opposite strategy for wavies.
"In the summertime, there's a lot more bounce to looser curls because the s-formation of the curl is tighter," Torch says. "They can try a shorter, funkier style, like individual ringlets around the face to make it look sexy, but the actual length is shorter."
2: Cleanse Less
The summer heat can also bring on a sweaty stickiness that makes you feel like you need to wash your hair — yet again. But sweaty doesn't mean dirty, stylists warn.
"The sun and heat definitely dehydrate the hair, and curly hair is already very susceptible to dryness, so shampoo your hair one less time per week than normal," says Ouidad, author of "CurlTalk" and owner of New York’s Ouidad Salon.
Shari Harbinger, director of education for New York’s Devachan Salon recommends sulfate-free cleansers and encourages curlies to cleanse their curly locks less often in the summer — especially those with color-treated tresses.
"Sulfates fade hair color, so you're getting a double hit when you're in the sun," Harbinger says. "Use a sulfate-free hair maintenance system (including a color-depositing cleanser and conditioner) to slow color fading and also to impart color tones into the hair to balance color at the same time."
Several leading curly salons offer their own color-depositing haircare products, such as Devachan's DevaColor and Christo's Colorective lines in New York.
Another important factor in protecting hair color from the sun's damaging rays is the pH level in products, according to Torch.
"If you want to protect your hair color from the sun, you have to understand the pH balance of your product will affect curly hair's open cuticles," Torch says. "If you want fantastic curls, make sure the pH of your products are more on the acidic side to keep those cuticles closed. A level of 4.5 to 5.5 is the best pH for curly hair shampoos."