Now that you can finally feel the sun’s rays peeping through the clouds, you’re probably preparing for full-on summer mode — digging out your favorite dresses, short shorts, and sandals. Also, on the list of things to do as you transition to the summer season is switching up your hairstyle. Whether you’re adding highlights or snipping off split ends, this is a popular time to make a change. But top stylists warn that there are serious no-nos that few people are aware of when it comes to summer hairstyles. To help prevent you from selecting a style you’ll regret, we chatted with pros who revealed the worst cuts and colors to get before summertime.
Whether you’ve rocked bangs before or always wanted to, hairstylists agree that summer is not the time to test the waters. “You’ll spend the hot months with them stuck to your face and hating them,” warns celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons. Instead, he suggests opting for light layers that frame the front of your face, so that you can at least pin them back to get your hair out of the way — which is especially handy when it’s extra humid outside.
If you have a less-is-more mentality that carries over to your hairstyle, be wary about utilizing this perspective when considering a drastic crop in the summertime. “You have to be careful here: If you cut your hair so short that you can never tie it back into a ponytail or wear it up, it will be perpetually on your neck, creating a ‘hair sweater,’ which is not so great when it’s hot and sweaty,” says Fitzsimons. Instead, his recommendation is keeping your locks long for summer. “You can texturize and pull it into a high ponytail, plus it’s a low-maintenance style that looks high fashion.”
Lots of layers
Layers can be gorgeous, but less is more, especially in the summer when humidity and high temps can leave your hair frizzier than normal. “If your hair has too many layers, it can become uncontrollable with the shorter layers prone to more frizz,” says Eliut Rivera, founder of Eliut Salon in New York City. If you want layers in the summer, he suggests keeping them long, as this will add weight to the hair, giving it more shape and bounce.
“Unless you happen to be someone with pin-straight hair, you should avoid going shoulder-length for the summer because the heat and humidity will inflate your hair, giving you a triangular look,” says Mincho Pacheco, master stylist at Oscar Blandi in New York City. One way he suggests fixing this if you already have a shoulder-length cut is to try a keratin or smoothing treatment.
Razor cutting on curls
For any hair type that’s more prone to frizz (which includes curly and textured types), Fitzsimons recommends against using thinning shears or razors for cuts. “It’ll automatically make the hair frizzier, but especially in summer months when we’re all prone to more frizz,” he says. To avoid this, he suggests making an appointment with a stylist who is comfortable with your hair type and will give you the best cut.
If you’re not naturally a redhead or used to coloring it in a reddish hue, Naté Bova of Warren-Tricomi Salon in New York City warns against trying out this color in the summertime. “The sun will fade your color fast,” he says. “Red color molecules are larger than others so it’s already difficult to keep without the added elements of the sun and beach.” If you’ve already gone red, consider purchasing products that are formulated to protect red color molecules, such as Pureology Reviving Red Shampoo and Conditioner ($32) and Bumble and Bumble Bb. Color Gloss in Universal Red ($34).
Depending on where you live, the air might be extremely dry in the summertime. This can cause your tresses to break and split. Other common culprits of dryness include saltwater and chlorine. To protect them, there are plenty of conditioning sprays and hair masks, but experts warn to use them sparingly in. “Over conditioning can make your hair greasy in the heat,” says Bova. Consider something lightweight such as Rene Furterer’s Solaire Protective Summer Oil ($26), which fights against UV rays, as well as salt and chlorine damage.