Our bodies aren’t the only thing needing a detox after the summer we’ve had. Through the days spent taking in the rays and soaking in chlorine and salt water, our hair has also been through the ringer this summer. If prevention wasn’t your main concern, take the opportunity now that Labor Day is coming to bring your locks back to life. Living Proof stylist Tim Rogers offers a simple detox formula. No juice cleanse required.
Rogers warns that the sun, which serves as a year-round problem, is one of the most corrosive factors. “It basically erodes the cortex of the hair, which makes it dry and brittle.” For prevention, which is crucial, he recommends a hair SPF. “One of the first sunscreens for hair is the Living Proof Restore Instant Protection ($26, livingproof.com),” says Rogers. “You should use this every time you are in the sun to protect it from heat and UV damage.”
To add moisture back into the hair after sunbathing, use a highly-concentrated hair mask, like Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle Moist ($3.99, aussie.com). Aussie Celebrity Stylist Sarah Potempa offers a simple how-to: “Start by rinsing hair with hot water to open the hair’s cuticle. Next, apply 3 Minute Miracle for three minutes and rinse out with cool water to seal the cuticle and lock in moisture.”
“Chlorine is a corrosive chemical that will weaken hair. One of the effects that it can have on the hair is a change in hair color. This is from the oxidized metals from copper found in the water.” Rogers recommends using a mask before you swim and rinsing with a clarifying shampoo after. Two of our favorites are Phyto Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Brilliance Mask ($39, sephora.com), which moisturizes and softens instantly, and Alterna Caviar Clinical Daily Detoxifying Shampoo ($32, sephora.com), a paraben-free formula that protects and cleanses the scalp.
Swimming in salt water gets a worse rep than it deserves. “Really, salt water just makes the hair texturally feel dry,” says Rogers. “It can tangle hair quite a bit, so you should do your best to detangle using a wide tooth comb after you swim.” In fact, the trouble lies in how you style wet hair. “Number one area for damage is that people pull their hair back when it is wet. Hair is extremely fragile when it is wet, so pulling it back after you are in the ocean will create the most amount of breakage.” If a wet topknot was your go-to all summer, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize—and even consider a trim.
Read more: This Product Is Making Us Co-Wash Converts