Now that summer is coming to a close, you might be feeling a bit blah—both because the season of vacations will soon be behind us, and because your post-summer hair might look, well, a little less than stellar. Such is the reality of the impact of the summer sun, salt, and sand on strands. “The sun, chlorine from pools, and saltwater in the ocean can all dry out the hair,” says IGK Hair Care co-founder Aaron Grenia. “The humidity also causes people to use hot tools more often, which can be damaging to the hair without a proper heat protectant.”
Don’t worry though—just because your summer was filled with activities that put stress on your strands, doesn’t mean that your hair is done for. Instead, you just have to stock your haircare routine with hydrating products infused with the best ingredients (which we'll break down for ya below).
- Aaron Grenia, co-founder and master stylist at IGK Soho
- Adam Federico, Adam Federico is a celebrity hairstylist and the vice President of technical education for luxury haircare brand R+Co.
- Iris Rubin, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Seen Hair Care
- Jason Lee, Jason Lee is a hairstylist, colorist, and founder of Mela and Kera, a high-performance hair care line.
- Nikki Lee, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of In Common Hair
- Riawna Capri, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of In Common Hair
Before buying the first moisturizing hair mask you see and calling it a day, though, keep reading for 10 celebrity hairstylist-recommended hydrating haircare products to revive post-summer hair.
The best hydrating haircare products that'll fix your post-summer hair right up
Before shampooing, conditioning, or masking your summer strands, hairstylist and colorist, Jason Lee, who is the founder of Mela & Kera, says to start by detoxing the hair with a pre-shampoo treatment. “Color Wow’s Dream Filter is a great way to begin the process to treat dried out summer hair caused by a residue of copper or chlorine from being in the pool,” he says. “This will remove the buildup, allowing a clean slate to properly treat the hair.”
For best results, he says to spritz the gentle haircare product through hair, let it sit for a few minutes, and shampoo it out. “The gentle action is great, especially after the summer months, because you want to detox the hair without stripping it,” Lee explains. “This can be used once a week until the hair feels fresh again.”
If your strands look and feel stressed after what they’ve been through this summer, there’s a good chance that your scalp is reeling, too. “CBD can help to soothe and calm an irritated scalp, so this is an across-the-board ingredient that I recommend,” reveals celebrity stylist Adam Federico, who is the Vice President of Technical Education at R+Co.
With that in mind, he says that the R+Co Super Garden Collection—particularly the Scalp + Hair Treatment—is great for anyone looking to tend to their hair and scalp while heading into fall. “Featuring moringa oil, coconut oil, and hemp-derived CBD, these products simultaneously nourish and calm irritation,” he says.
If you have balayage or color-treated tresses, Lee says to reach for a replenishing shampoo and conditioner duo created specifically for color longevity.
“I created the Mela & Kera Balayage Exceptionnel collection especially for chemically treated hair where the cuticle of the hair has been raised, similarly to the way UV rays can damage hair from the summer sun,” he shares. “This shampoo/conditioner combo has been designed to lock down the cuticle, leaving hair soft, shiny, and healthy again.”
The products are able to deliver such results due to the ingredients they’re infused with.
“The duo contains a vegan keratin that will help strengthen the hair and the conditioner will allow it to feel soft and easy to comb through,” Lee says. “Lightweight hydration from the hero ingredient, the Rose of Jericho allows the hair to be rehydrated and healthy.”
Even though this combo of haircare products is sulfate and paraben free, Lee suggests not washing hair more than once or twice a week so as to not further dry it out while trying to rehab it from summer.
One of the easiest ways to deeply hydrate summer-scorched strands is with an expertly-made conditioner. However, if you have particularly sensitive or acne-prone skin, you’ll want to be careful about the one you choose.
“Revitalizing the look and feel of dry, damaged hair requires hydrating and strand-smoothing ingredients,” says dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin, who is the founder of Seen Hair Care. “However, all ingredients are not created equal. Heavy oils, for example, can weigh down the hair, and contribute to clogged pores on the face, back, chest and any other skin that comes in contact with rinse-off and leave-in products.”
That’s why it’s important to look for non-comedogenic ingredients. “Silicone is a common hair-smoothing ingredient, but silicone is not biodegradable, and can build up on the hair and scalp,” Rubin says. “Instead of silicone, Seen uses a plant sugar-derived alternative called hemisqualane to smooth the hairs’ cuticles.” This ingredient is found in Seen’s Skin-Caring Deeper Conditioner, which is Rubin’s number-one pick for reviving hair—not just after summer but all year-round. “It can also be used as a mask when left on for five minutes before rinsing,” she adds.
According to Grenia, the best way to treat dehydrated hair is to make sure you are also helping to prevent it. “You can help prevent the damage by using products with UV protectors,” he says, noting that all IGK products include UV protection. One particular IGK product that receives stellar reviews is the Good Behavior 4-in-1 Prep Spray, which acts as a heat and UV protectant, as well as a detangling, frizz-controlling, shine-enhancing miracle worker. Simply spritz it into towel-dried strands before styling—your hair will thank you.
Whether you’ve just hopped out of the shower and are about to heat style your hair or are looking for a quick and easy way to smooth your strands, celebrity hairstylist Riawna Capri, who is the co-founder of In Common Beauty, says that dpHUE’s Hair Oil is great for hair that is dry and needs a little pick-me-up. “A little goes a long way, half a pump to one pump is plenty,” she says. “Focus on the ends of the hair only.”
If you have medium-to-thick hair that needs an extra boost of hydration and shine, Lee recommends incorporating Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime Hydrating Hair Oil Serum into your routine. “For really parched hair, this oil will help make hair feel hydrated and easy to style,” he says. “It’s good for those with thicker dry hair.” For best results, he says to work a pump of the oil serum through towel-dried hair prior to heat styling. “You can use this product each time you wash your hair,” he adds.
Could your curls use some TLC? Lee recommends adding Pattern’s Leave-In Conditioner for Curly & Coily Hair to your haircare agenda. “Textured hair tends to need moisture all year round, and using a leave-in conditioner specifically designed for curly and coily hair when detangling and prepping the hair will add moisture prior to any styling,” he explains. “Use Pattern’s Leave-In any time you’re detangling hair to add a great level of moisture into the hair.”
People with curly and coily hair aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a leave-in conditioner—anyone can! “The In Common Beauty Magic Myst Universal Elixir works as a leave-in conditioner/ heat protectant/ UV protectant, and it’s great for all hair types to use daily,” says celebrity hairstylist Nikki Lee, who is the other co-founder of the brand. While it can be used post-shower, it can also be used pre-soak.
“Spray it throughout hair before going into the pool or ocean. This will create a ‘seal’ over your hair so it can’t absorb the drying chlorine or salt water,” Capri adds.
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