We all know that summer can be harsh on our skin—all those hours in the sun are fun, but not so great for the wrinkle sitch. But what about our locks, though? Turns out that a day at the beach is just as bad for your hair as it is for your face, and can do serious damage in terms of drying out the hair follicle. Add in a dip in the salt water and now your hair becomes lackluster and damaged, too. The sun’s rays break down the natural proteins, making strands dry and porous, while the salt adds to the dryness by scratching the cuticle.
The best way to provide a barrier against the sun? Consistently deep condition—every third wash or so—to get a strong hydrated base for your hair. After a dip in the ocean, wash your hair immediately with fresh, clean water. Then when you get home, replenish post-beach hair with one of the easy DIY hydrating masks below—and did we mention they’re all natural?
Coconut Oil Mask
Coconut isn’t just for your pina colada. This lightweight oil is perfect for a mask because it locks in moisture without petroleum-based ingredients found in many hydrating hair products.
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Mix coconut and olive oil.
2. Coat the hair with the blend, focusing on brittle ends.
3. Wrap hair into a bun, cover with a shower cap and let the mix sit for 15-30 minutes.
4. Rinse and shampoo/condition.
Honey is a natural humectant—it attracts and locks in moisture.
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
1. After shampooing, let hair dry naturally until damp.
2. Mix honey and olive oil (this helps to loosen the honey) and massage into the scalp.
3. Coat lightly on the strands.
4. Let sit for 10 minutes and rinse.
Avocado Hair Mask
Avocado is a staple in our at-home face masks, and now we’re adding it to our hair routine. With egg yolk mixed in, follicles have a boost of protein.
1 egg yolk
1. Use a blender for a smooth mixture of the two.
2. Apply to the entire strand, from root to tip.
3. Pin hair up, wrap in a shower cap and wait 15-20 before rinsing.
4. Shampoo and condition to completely remove.
Aloe Vera Mask
Make this post-beach fix for the skin and hair. The ingredient also replenishes moisture and adds shine. 99 percent water, it keeps hair from over drying.
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
Juice from half of a lemon
3 to 5 drops of argan oil
1. After shampooing, mix the three ingredients.
2. Coat the hair from the scalp down and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
Banana Honey Mask
Banana has just enough protein to improve elasticity while the combo of honey and oil moisturizes strands and hydrates the scalp—a spot prone to sunburn.
1 ripe banana
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive or almond oil
2 to 3 drops lavender oil
1. Mix the ingredients in a blender until it is a smooth liquid with no banana lumps.
2. Saturate the hair with the mask, massaging into the scalp.
3. Cover the hair with a shower cap and wrap a warm towel on top. The heat creates deeper penetration.
4. Let sit for 15 minutes and rinse.
Originally published June 2014. Updated August 2017.