Our love hate (mostly hate) relationship with summer hair

It makes me laugh every year at this time when my clients ask, “Erica, does hair grow faster in the summer because I feel like I need to come in more often now that it’s hot?” Maybe there is something to that…like somehow the body reacts to the heat and accelerates the growth process, but maybe it’s just that in the sticky, humid heat of the summer, my guys feel like their hair is in their way, any little bit of extra length bothers them and they feel the need to get it off their ears, out of their eyes, away from their necks. I thought it was appropriate to talk “summer hair” today, as it’s been a topic of discussion non-stop since we reached 90 degrees last week in the city.

Some things that will help you get the best men’s hair for summer aka flow:

Shampoo LESS.

If you are shampooing once a day, shampoo once every other day. If you are shampooing once every two days, shampoo once every four days. Shampoo LESS. The old saying less is more definitely applies here. The only thing I can tell you is that shampoo is the devil. It strips the hair of necessary natural oils and makes frizzy, curly hair even frizzier, even curlier. My clients will tell you that I refer hair product application to “putting the dirtiness back into the hair.” It’s that dirtiness that makes the hair look so good. Like “morning after you’ve been out partying Saturday night” hair. Let’s just refer it it as “Sunday hair.” Sunday hair always looks better than Saturday night hair because Saturday night hair is washed and much too clean. Sunday hair got sweaty and a little dirty and overnight those things combined with the hair’s natural oils and made magic on Sunday morning. Listen to me, trust me here, shampoo is not your friend, especially in the summer. Salt water, is your friend this summer. Shampoo, not so much.

Don’t aggressively towel dry your hair.

When I say this I mean don’t get out of the shower and use that big body towel to dry your hair like a madman. I know you all do it. You all get out from under the water and rub that towel into your hair like its your job. Stop, BLOT and then put the towel down and let it air dry. I want you to dry your hair out of the shower, but I don’t want you to dry it so aggressively that you make it frizzy, break up any curl you might have and or wonder why you can’t get your cowlick to lay down or your curls to form into anything other than fuzz. What I do want you to do is BLOT. CALMLY. I tell my clients to use a hand towel to dry their hair because the small size is one you can control. Don’t use the big bath towel that’s already soaking wet from drying off your body first. You can get all the water out of your hair by blotting it dry- hold the right side while you blot the left and then hold the left side while you blot the right. Front to back, back to front. Calmly, quietly dry the hair into the position you’ll ultimately wear it. Think about the end result you want to achieve while you are drying it because good hairstyles start here, with your drying method. Calm drying leads to frizz free summer hair. Not up for discussion.

Apply product to DRY hair. 

In the hot, humid summer months, I understand that having to do anything other than shower is considered a chore. But, sorry guys, if you want to have any luck controlling your hair even a little bit you’ll listen to my instructions here. DRY YOUR  HAIR BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT PUTTING PRODUCT INTO IT.  Each time, everytime. A dry head of hair is crucial. Dry hair is the foundation of a great style. Well wait, a great haircut is the true foundation, but a dry, great haircut is the perfect foundation for product. Most of the products we use today are water-based, which is great when it comes to getting it out of your hair in the shower but a nightmare with regard to wet hair because in wet hair, water-based products simply dilute and cannot do their required job. A dry head of hair on the other hand, can accept the product and allow the product to work efficiently and effectively. Applying product in dry hair cuts frizz, makes the hair moldable, provides a barrier between the humid summer air and your hair. Try it once and you’ll NEVER go back to applying it wet. I had a client in my chair tell me today, “Erica, I finally gave in and applied the product to my hair when it was dry. I came out of the bathroom and my wife said Tom, what did you do differently today because your hair looks great.” He proceeds to tell me he and his wife then got into a fight because when he told her I was the one who taught him to put the product into dry hair she said, “So you’ve been going to her for years and she has been telling you this for years and you waited this long to actually listen to her? You’re hair could have been looking this good all these years if you had just listened to her?!? What the hell is a matter with you?” I can’t make this shit up. This really happened. So next time you even think of applying that product to wet hair because you’re rushing or lazy or feeling rebellious, remember this blog and DRY.

Get a GREAT haircut.

The key to successful summer hair or at least attempting somewhat decent summer hair starts with the haircut- the texture, the shape, the balance between sides and back length to top length. It all matters. It is the difference between a good hair day and a bad hair day, especially on those hot summer days (and nights) coming up. I have client’s with long summer hair and short summer hair, curly summer hair and poker straight summer hair. All of my clients have (on most days!) great summer hair because the shapes are right and well thought out. Your stylist needs a plan for your hair for the seasons and summer is the most important because it’s the toughest one of the four. All hair can be stylish, modern and controllable even on the those 100% humidity days if the haircut is done right. Trust me, it all begins with the cut.

Any questions regarding summer hair…shoot me a line or a comment. Otherwise, good luck and good hair. The hottest months are yet to come, so be prepared, know what to do, and in the worst case, throw on a hat til it subsides:)