Mastering Summer Hair Care: Top Tips for Healthy Hair

This is a photo of a woman wearing a sun hat, protecting both her hair and her face, while at the beach. This photo is used in the Ippodaro Natural Salon blog post titled, “Mastering Summer Hair Care: Top Tips for Healthy Hair”

Summer activities, brimming with fun and adventure, can be harsh on your hair! Chlorine, saltwater, UV rays, heat, and air conditioning all pose significant challenges to maintaining healthy locks. Therefore, mastering summer hair care is essential to combat the adverse effects of these elements and keep your hair looking its best.

Below, we dive into the world of summer hair care, offering essential tips and the best hair care products to shield your tresses from the summer heat. With a focus on protection practices, especially for swimmers, you'll find everything needed to ensure your hair remains healthy, radiant, and strong all season long.


Understanding the Effects of Sun, Chlorine, and Salt Water on Your Hair

The Importance of Protecting Hair from UV Rays

The summer sun, while glorious, brings harsh UV rays that can significantly damage hair, particularly if it's color-treated. Exposure to sunlight can lead to faded hair colors, increased dryness, and susceptibility to further damage. To counteract these effects, it's crucial to use hair care products that contain UV filters. These products act as a shield, protecting your strands from the sun's harmful rays and helping to maintain the vibrancy of color-treated hair.

The Importance of  Protecting Hair from Chlorine and Salt Water

Chlorine and salt water pose their own unique challenges to maintaining healthy hair during summer. Chlorine, commonly found in swimming pools, is known for stripping hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. This can lead to weakened hair that is more prone to breakage and split ends. On the other hand, salt water can also dry out hair but has the added effect of potentially adding volume and texture. To mitigate these effects, saturate your hair with clean water or a leave-in conditioner before taking a dip. This pre-soaking prevents your hair from absorbing as much saltwater or pool chemicals, thus preserving its natural health.

The Importance of Utilizing Physical Barriers for Additional Protection

In addition to specialized hair care products, employing physical barriers can provide an extra layer of protection against the summer elements. Wearing a hat or scarf or using an umbrella while out in the sun will not only protect your skin but also help shield your hair from direct UV exposure. 

Pro Tip:  Wearing a scarf over your hair will act as a barrier against sweat and friction from movement. It can also absorb some moisture, keeping your hair from becoming overly damp and prone to breakage. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or moisture-wicking materials like microfiber. These materials can help to absorb sweat and prevent it from lingering on your scalp, reducing the risk of irritation, odor buildup, and fungus Melassezia (which causes itchiness, flakiness, and dandruff in the hair). 

For those who enjoy spending extended periods at the pool or beach, consider the occasional use of a swimming cap to minimize hair contact with chlorine and salt water. These simple yet effective practices are essential in maintaining the integrity and health of your hair throughout the summer months.


Essential Tips for Protecting Your Hair in the Summer Heat

This is a photo of a woman wearing her hair in a top bun in an effort to protect her hair from the sun. This photo is used in the Ippodaro Natural Salon blog post titled, “Mastering Summer Hair Care: Top Tips for Healthy Hair”.

Keep Your Hair Hydrated!

Hydration is paramount when it comes to summer hair care. To keep your locks luscious and resilient against the heat, invest in hair care products that are rich in hydration and contain UV filters. 

Great Products with UV Protection:

  • The Oway Smoothing Hair Bath and Smoothing Conditioner integrates UV filters to help protect your hair from the summer sun. You can lightly apply the conditioner on dry hair before heading out — this will act as a sunscreen for your hair. 
  • The Oway Bio-Rich Water is a versatile spray made with pure essential oil hydrolates that invigorate the mind, body, and hair. It lightly hydrates and eliminates toxins. Before hitting the beach or pool, spray your hair, then apply it again after you wash your hair to keep your hair hydrated.


Another crucial step is to wear your hair in protective styles like braids or twists. This will help to minimize the manipulation of your hair while at the beach or playing in the sun and will reduce the risk of breakage and tangling while preserving the hairstyle and minimizing the need for restyling after outdoor activities. Additionally, styles that keep hair off the neck and face such as ponytails, buns, or braids are effective ways to keep hair contained and minimize contact with sweat and sun exposure. 


Allow for the Hair to Dry Before Styling

Another critical tip to prevent damage and breakage is to allow your hair to fully dry after water activities before restyling. Wet hair is more vulnerable to stretching and breakage, especially when pulled into tight styles like ponytails or buns. Allowing your hair to air dry or using a cool setting on a blow dryer can help prevent damage and maintain hair health.


Detangling is Key

To prevent hair breakage, we strongly encourage detangling your hair in the shower after applying conditioner! Doing so will help the detangling process run smoother after getting out of the shower. Start by dividing your hair into manageable sections, and always start your detangling process from the ends while brushing your way up to the root. Consider using your fingers, a wide-tooth comb, or a wet brush when detangling!

Hair is more elastic (and less prone to breakage) when wet. So if you plan to detangle your hair outside of the shower, just ensure it is either still saturated or use a You can detangle in the shower while your hair is saturated with water or use a spray bottle to keep it wet.

Pro Tip: If you really want to get proactive and prevent the excess tangling and matting that occurs during the washing process, it’s wise to detangle your hair before washing. 


Hair Masks

To help keep those luscious locks all summer long, reduce breakage, and increase manageability, we strongly encourage using a hair mask at least once a week! Hair masks are especially useful for those who have coarse, wavy, or frizzy hair, and/or for those of you living in a humid climate!

When using a hair mask, be sure to leave it in for more than 30 minutes so that your ends receive hydration (which is essential for maintaining their health and preventing dryness). If you’re short on time, apply the hair mask before bed, leave it overnight, and rinse it off in the morning to reveal smoother, more manageable locks. 

For those who enjoy swimming, using a hair mask before entering the pool can help protect your hair from the damaging effects of chlorine. The mask creates a barrier that prevents chlorine from stripping moisture from your hair, keeping it hydrated and healthy despite exposure to pool chemicals.


The Best Hair Care Products for Summer

Products for Reducing Frizz in the Hot Hot Heat

To help reduce frizz, apply a lightweight leave-in conditioner like OWAY no rinse-moist conditioner or hair oil, like OWAY silk n glow serum to damp hair before you go outside. This helps to seal the hair cuticle and lock in moisture, reducing the likelihood of frizz caused by humidity and sweat.

If you don’t have any products on hand, coconut oil is a great option. This oil helps moisturize, strengthen, and reduce the frizz in your hair. Just note, you don’t want to overuse coconut oil, as it can potentially clog hair follicles and impede hair growth. If you are using coconut oil, opt for a clarifying shampoo like Malibu Un-Do-Goo (more info below).


Products When You’re Short on Time – Dry Shamoo

If you do not have time to wash your hair after enjoying outdoor activities, you can clean your hair and scalp by using a dry shampoo like Oway Plant and Mineral Refresh. Dry shampoo absorbs excess oil and sweat, refreshing the hair and scalp without water. 

Pro Tip: The Oway Plant and Mineral Refresh is our favorite dry shampoo because, unlike most dry shampoos, it will never clog up your follicles! This is great news since clogged follicles can cause hair breakage and prevent the hair from pushing through the follicle. 

Another trick when you do not have time to wash your hair is to use a soft-bristled brush. Soft-bristled brushes distribute natural oils from the scalp to the ends of the hair which helps maintain shine and manageability between washes. 


Products for Combating Greasy Hair

Summer months can often lead to greasy hair due to sweat accumulation, dead skin cells, and oil and product build-up, thus causing that undesirable greasy look. How do you combat it? Use pre-shampoos! 

Pre-shampoos are beneficial for the following reasons:

  1. They break down, loosen, and remove buildup from the scalp and hair strands before shampooing.
  2. They help keep your scalp healthy and promote cleaner hair. 
  3. They prevent product buildup, enhancing the effectiveness of your regular shampoo and conditioning routine.

When looking for an effective pre-shampoo, find products with clean clarifying agents, hydration, and gentle exfoliants. 

  • Clarifying Agents - Look for the following ingredients: apple cider vinegar, zinc PCA, zinc colceth sulfate ND, zinc pyrithione, and/or salicylic acid.
  • Hydration - Look for the following ingredients: coconut oil and/or jojoba oil
  • Exfoliants that will remove buildup without stripping the hair of its natural oil - Look for the following ingredients: fruit enzymes and/or microbeads 

Some favorite pre-shampoo products include the Oway Soothing Hair Bath and the Oway Smoothing Hair Bath. 

  • The OWAY Soothing hair bath is a very gentle shampoo (safe for daily use) due to its ingredients. Plus, It is great to use if you get a sunburn as it has healing ingredients to help nourish and repair the scalp. Additionally, the OWAY Soothing Hair Bath has zinc PCA, which helps to combat scalp oiliness while keeping your scalp clean and healthy!
  • The OWAY Smoothing hair bath is great for taming the frizz and keeping the hair smooth while basking in the sun or at the beach.  

Products for Detangling Hair

Increased exposure to the sun and elements can lead to dry and tangled hair. That’s why it’s imperative to start a detangling routine using a leave-in conditioner, a moisturizing hair cream, or (if you don’t have those on hand) water. Some of our favorite products include:

  • Oway Finest Fluid: This lightweight product is great for all hair types keeping the frizzy effect at bay while it conditions, nourishes, and moisturizes hair. 
  • Amika Hydro Rush: This great leave-in and detangling product helps to protect the hair while brushing but also replenishes the hair without weighing it down. 

Pro Tip: Apply a detangling product or conditioner with slip to each section. Products with slip make it easier for the comb or fingers to glide through the hair, reducing friction and breakage.


Products that Hydrate and Repair — Hair Masks

Though we truly love hair maks regardless of the time of year, the OWAY Rebuilding Hair Mask and the OWAY Silk n’ Glow Hair Mask are two of our summer favorites!

  • The OWAY Rebuilding Hair Mask is a balanced formula that revives hair with the perfect balance of essential phytokeratin and hydrolipidic ingredients. This product never leaves your hair starchy or dry. Ultimately, it helps keep the hair hydrated and healthy without weighing it down. 
  • The OWAY Silk n' Glow hair Mask is a great option for those with frizzy and coarse hair. When applied overnight and rinsed off in the morning, it helps calm your frizz, making the hair feel soft and frizz-free. 


Hair Protection Practices for Swimmers

This is a photo of a woman flipping her wet hair in the pool, and water is cascading from the end of her hair. This photo is used in the Ippodaro Natural Salon blog post titled, “Mastering Summer Hair Care: Top Tips for Healthy Hair”.

Pre-Swim Preparation

  1. Shower Before Swimming: Always shower to saturate your hair with clean water before entering the pool. This step helps reduce the absorption of chlorinated water. 
  2. Apply Natural Oils: Coat your hair with natural oils like coconut or olive oil. These oils create a protective barrier that minimizes chlorine and saltwater absorption.
  3. Conditioner Spray: Use a leave-in conditioner spray to add an extra layer of protection before you dive into the pool or ocean.

During Swim Care

  1. Protective Hairstyles: Opt for hairstyles that keep your hair compact and less exposed to water such as buns or braids.
  2. Use a Swim Cap: Although it might not be the most fashionable accessory, wearing a swim cap significantly reduces your hair’s contact with harmful chemicals.
  3. Rinse Regularly: If swimming for extended periods, periodically rinse your hair with clean water to wash away any accumulated chlorine or salt.

Post-Swim Care

  1. Thorough Washing: After swimming, use a gentle, hydrating shampoo to cleanse your hair without stripping it of natural oils.
  2. Deep Conditioning: Follow up with a deep conditioner to replenish moisture and repair damage from the harsh elements.
  3. Detangle Gently: Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently remove tangles and prevent breakage.

Final Thoughts

Throughout this exploration of summer hair care, we've underscored the importance of safeguarding your locks against the relentless summer elements—UV rays, chlorine, and saltwater. By integrating protective hair care products and adopting effective practices into your daily routine, you can ensure your hair remains healthy, vibrant, and resilient all summer long. These strategies are not only about preventing damage but also about enhancing the natural beauty and strength of your hair, whether you're taking a dip in the pool, soaking up the sun, or simply enjoying the great outdoors.


As we've navigated through the myriad of tips and product recommendations, the overarching goal has been clear: to maintain the health and integrity of your hair during the harshest of summer conditions. Embracing these practices offers a pathway to effortlessly beautiful hair, capable of withstanding the challenges that come with our favorite season. Remember, the journey to healthy summer hair is a continuous one, requiring consistent care and attention. As such, let's carry forward these learnings, welcoming the sunny days ahead with open arms and well-protected tresses.