Flat irons, blow-dryers, and other hot tools should always be used in moderation. Heat damage, be it a few split ends or a straight-up fried mess, is inevitable. But come summertime, we’ve got to worry about that, in addition to the poofiness that occurs when attempting to maintain a hairstyle that requires daily touch-ups amidst the sweltering heat.
The obvious solution would be to simply not use them, but we also shouldn’t have to sacrifice those styles that are traditionally achieved with hot tools, either. So where does the compromise lie? According to celebrity hairstylist Cash Lawless, whose clientele includes Evan Rachel Wood, Karrueche Tran, and Camila Coelho, keeping your hair on point without heat will require a shift in how you cleanse and work in your styling products.
Target Your Cleansing
Once you decide to break your dependence on hot tools, the type of shampoos and conditioners you use will become way more important. Although we can categorize our hair into larger patterns and textures, the truth is each one of our manes is unique in porosity, density of wave pattern, and growth pattern. And how they react to the environment and certain challenges will vary, too.
“The common struggle is knowing which issue is creating that look or feel you don’t like, and then finding the right product, and using that right product in the right way to solve that challenge or issue,” says Lawless. For instance, “shampoos can be too stripping or conditioners too heavy.” Your best bet—regardless of texture or curl pattern—is to identify your hair’s biggest challenge and find a cleanser/conditioner combo that directly combats that.
For instance, if you have super-fine hair, look for a clarifying cleanser that removes oil that may be weighing the hair down. “SEVEN’s Borato Volume shampoo and conditioner, for instance, leaves what the hair needs to be healthy, while removing unnecessary oils,” says Lawless. “This is honestly why I love SEVEN haircare’s collections. Each shampoo and conditioner is formulated to solve specific hair challenges, whether it be flatness, breakage, or color fading.”
Dry With Cold Air
It may not feel comfortable and take a little longer, but using your blow-dryer on a low, cool setting is actually way healthier for your strands. According to Lawless, this decreases frizz, in addition to sealing the cuticle, so you don’t have to worry about static of your ends fraying.
“I typically tell girls with thicker, frizzy hair to use warm air on the bottom half of the head, and cold air on top. But for serious frizz control, you will need more than cold air. Use cold air on the ends with some SEVEN Gazar Diamond serum for a really smooth, sealed cuticle,” he says.
You can also accelerate the drying process by wrapping your hair in a moisture-wicking towel, such as the DevaTowel or Aquis, after your shampoo sesh.
Texture Without the Tools
If you want to create curls or waves, how you use stylers and leave-ins will vary, according to your natural texture. For hair that’s fine or straight, a dry shampoo or sea salt spray is the best way to add body without weighing the hair down. Lawless says, “use dry shampoo at the roots. Brush it out, put some mousse on the midshaft to ends, and put it up in a top knot for an hour or two. Take it down, and you’ll have wavy, tousled, voluminous hair.”
For thick, coarser textures, he recommends using a cream-based product, cocktailed with an oil for extra definition and shine. A leave-in can also create a very soft hold, while giving definition. Any of these products can be dispersed throughout by finger-raking or brushing through gently with a Denman brush. Another technique that Lawless loves to use on longer hair is “the chop.”
“After using a Denman brush to pull through your cream-based styling product (I like SEVEN Satara Style cream), lean to one side and gently karate chop the midshaft of the hair. The hair will begin to separate into a really nice piecey texture. Then use your fingers to define the hair around the hairline.”
But overall, the key to maintaining a style that’s usually achieved with day-to-day heat styling is to have as little disruption as possible. Don’t tug or break up your waves or curls before they are completely dry and be sure to keep it protected at night with either a silk/satin headwrap or by using bobby pins or rollers to maintain a textured shape.