As your tan fades and fall approaches, chances are your sun-streaked summer hair could use a little TLC. Follow these steps and you’ll make autumn the season of gorgeous hair days.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Summer hair damage isn’t going to just repair itself, treat parched manes with a moisturizing shampoo followed by a moisturizing conditioner. Be sure to apply the conditioner where sun-damaged hair needs it most–from the mid-shaft to the tip. Hair isn’t as dry at the roots thanks to its natural oils, so condition there more sparingly.
Handle With Care
To baby your stressed tresses, apply a leave-in detangler. This will add an extra boost of conditioner and also gently smooth and separate strands, so you won’t have to tug at snags with a comb. That kind of rough handling can add further damage to your hair. When your hair is wet, only use a wide-toothed comb to prepare it for styling. Even when it’s dry, you want to use the minimum number of brushstrokes it takes to achieve or refresh your style.
If your hair still look lackluster after using rinse-out and leave-in conditioners, call in the SWAT team: a concentrated hair-conditioning treatment or mask. To get all the benefits from the nourishing ingredients, apply the conditioner section-by-section to your hair. Start at the tips and work toward the roots. Then, leave it on for a few minutes while you buff your skin with your favorite body scrub. (Your skin can also use some extra care now!) The steam from the shower will help the product really penetrate the hair shaft.
Tweak Your Color
Sun exposure can leave your hair looking dull and brassy, especially if it’s color-processed. And the streaks that looked glowing against bronzed skin will wash out fall’s paler complexion. Maintain a flattering balance by adding rich tones to your hair. That means auburn, chestnut, chocolate and coffee if you’re a brunette; caramel, gold and toffee if you’re a blonde. An at-home or salon gloss will also restore shine to your hair so it gleams on even a cloudy fall day.
Cut Your Losses
Chlorine, sun, salt, ponytail elastics — all can lead to frayed and fried ends. Left alone, those split ends are going to continue to split. A half-inch trim will make a world a difference — leaving you with well-defined, healthy ends that will show off your hairstyle, whether it’s a modern bob, a pixie, straight and sleek or long, sexy waves.