Get Your Strands Summer-Ready

May is almost upon us, which means summer just around the corner! We know you can't wait to frolic around the pool or the beach--but first, make sure you invest in some heavy-duty hair protection. We all know that sun, chlorine and saltwater can wreak havoc on your skin, but summertime's fearsome threesome can also dehydrate your 'do and leave your highlights looking brassy, hot mess. Here, we compiled a roundup of sun-shielding hair products and styling options that'll keep your tresses looking healthy, nourished and glossy, all summer long.
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 30, 2010

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May is here, which means summer just around the corner! We know you can’t wait to frolic around the pool or the beach—but first, make sure you invest in some heavy-duty hair protection. We all know that sun, chlorine and saltwater can wreak havoc on your skin, but summertime’s fearsome threesome can also dehydrate your ’do and leave your highlights looking brassy, hot mess. Pro tip: Before hitting the beach, apply a leave-in conditioner to wet hair, and slick it back in a bun. The leave-in will shield your hair from damaging rays, and the heat from the sun will actually help the conditioner penetrate into your strands more deeply.

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Before spending a day at the beach or by the pool, make sure you spritz damp hair with a sunscreen-spiked leave-in conditioner. Ouidad Sun Shield Sun & Sport Leave-In Spray ($20) is blended with special UV filters to seal in moisture and nourish dry tresses.

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The less hair exposed to the sun’s damaging rays, the better! If you’re planning to spend the day outside, pin the back of your hair up into a messy chignon—your tresses will be protected, and you’ll look chic!

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Wearing cornrows, braids, or a ‘do with a deep part? Don’t neglect your scalp; it can easily get sunburned. Before leaving the house, spritz a gentle scalp sunscreen like Baby Blanket Tender Scalps Scalp Sunscreen Spray for Babies ($5.95) along your parts, massaging it in with your fingers.

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Another great way to shield your hair from the sun is to rock cornrows. It’s a super-sleek look, and it prevents relaxed or highlighted hair from breakage due to prolonged exposure to UV rays.

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Salt water and chlorine can wreak havoc on relaxed hair, turning it weird colors and drying it out (hello, split ends!). Apply a protective coat to your hair before jumping in the pool or ocean. Try Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme ($47)—this waterproof serum keeps chlorine and saltwater from permeating through hair, adding moisture and essential nutrients.

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A super-easy way to shield hair from the sun is to throw on a wide-brimmed hat. Take a cue from Beyonce’s Coachella look, and throw on a cool fedora!

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After a day outside, always wash out all remnants of saltwater and chlorine by using an after-sun shampoo. Barex Sun Essential Hair & Body Shampoo ($23) leaves hair squeaky-clean, and helps keep your haircolor from fading or turning brassy.

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Heat-damaged hair is particularly susceptible to sun damage. Before hitting the beach, take a break from the blowdryer and flatiron and rock wash-and-go hair, instead.

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After sun-worshipping all day, replenish moisture by applying a nourishing mask, like Redken Color Extend Sun After-Sun Mask ($14.25). This genius deep conditioner hydrates and detangles sun-sizzled strands, leaving it looking glossier and more vibrant than ever.

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