De-stress Your Tresses
If you do wind up with summer-fried hair, you'll need to intensively hydrate and/or strengthen it. Once a week, use a deep-conditioning treatment. Natalie Gurley, the Director of Color Education for the Atlanta-based Van Michael Salons, suggests a protein conditioner if your hair is damaged and a super-moisturizing one if it's dry. Got both issues? "Mix them together, or apply the protein treatment first and then the moisturizing one—that's what I do," she says. If you don't have a deep conditioner, says Cona, use your regular product and just leave it on longer; you can even keep it in overnight (protect your pillow with a towel).
For extremely brittle hair, Padilla loves Africa's Best Organics Hair Mayonnaise ($3.99, at Walgreens). He mixes in a raw egg for good measure. Another natural solution that's especially good for African-American hair is coconut or almond oil, says Cona. It penetrates the follicle and adds shine.
And of course, a good haircut will rid you of split and dry ends permanently.
Get Rid of the Green
It's not easy being green, especially if you're a blonde who likes to swim. The real culprit isn't chlorine, it's copper sulfate, a pool additive that kills algae, says Gurley. (But the chlorine doesn't help, since it makes the hair more porous and absorbent.) Depending on how green you've gone, here's what to do:
- Lather up with a chelating shampoo, designed to bond with and remove the minerals in your hair. Try Joico K-Pak Professional Chelating Shampoo ($10.99 at SleekHair.com).
- Add a tablespoon of baking soda to clarifying shampoo. Baking soda acts as an exfoliant, says Marcy Cona.
- Pour on a 50/50 water-vinegar solution into your hair, then shampoo. Rinse your hair well because vinegar can lighten your mane, too.
- Add a little Windex to your shampoo, says Padilla. These treatments can be harsh, so use them only on green sections, not the whole head. And if all else fails, go to a professional. "The stylist can do a deep clarifying treatment, or at worst, cut the green with red, which will leave your hair sort of beige," say Gurley. "But leave that to a good colorist. Don't try this at home!