Summer Hair: Spoken like a True Pro


Your mom’s advice is easy to come by. (Or your grandma’s, aunt’s, dad’s, boyfriend’s, girlfriend’s – insert appropriate character.)

“You shouldn’t wear that shirt, it’s too low cut.”
“Your hair looks better long, why did you chop it all off?”
“What are you thinking with those shoes? They’re taller than your little sister!”
“Don’t wear so much makeup, you look trashy.”

Opinions – especially from relatives and loved ones – are like…err…you know the phrase…everybody’s got one. But who’s got the right ones? While it seems you can always get advice from someone, somewhere, the advice that sticks with you is less abundant – especially when it comes to a subject that resurfaces around this time every year: how can I do ANYTHING with this disgusting mop of hair when I’m constantly sweating like a snow cone in Phoenix? (Or a Starbucks iced latte in Manhattan, to better set the scene for our NYers.) And, how can I have fun in the sun without having to worry that my hair will be unacceptable for my post-beach dinner/club outing?

Rather than relying on the oft-misguided, though well-intended, words from Mom or Grandma, BN consulted three experts to ask some specific questions on how to deal with the season before your Twitter update reads, “Can’t leave my apartment – hair crisis.”

BN: How dangerous is the sun on my hair…really?

Robert Ramos: The sun really dries hair out and fades color. If you are trying to maintain a deep shade of red, it will fade very fast and if blonde hair isn’t protected- it can turn brassy. It’s smart to protect hair with a chic sun hat.

L.A. stylist Robert Ramos

Robert Ramos is an L.A. stylist whose line of spray leave-in conditioners works wonders to protect hair from the damaging rays before setting foot outside. His celebrity clientele include the likes of Jessica Alba and Eva Mendes. He recently released a new Texture Cream for texturizing and molding hair – perhaps best for nights when you’ll be going out, but staying inside to preserve the chic style it will create for you.

Philip Pelusi: Sun can not only burn your scalp, it can actually damage the hair follicle and accelerate color fading. Protecting your scalp and hair in the hot summer sun is essential to maintaining healthy hair. Use a styling product that also contains SPF. In addition to color fading, the sun actually breaks down the protein of the hair causing it to weaken and dry. To prevent and repair this type of damage, protect hair while in the sun and deep condition at the same time. When sun exposed, whether your hair is wet or dry, apply a hydrating deep conditioner that also deposits sunscreen and leave it in the entire time you are in the sun. The heat will actually help the conditioner penetrate faster, leaving hair silky and shiny.

Philip Pelusi

Philip Pelusi is the owner of the Tela Design Studio in New York City where he has been recognized for his Volumetrics™ hair cutting technique and P2™ hair care line. Pelusi is a firm believer in the idea that hair care should be part of every woman’s everyday.

BN: I have wavy hair. How can I come out of a beach day without looking (and smelling) like a drowned, frizzy rat? And I don’t have time to shower!

Johnny Lavoy: A great way to freshen up wavy and curly hair is to make your own leave in conditioner. In a spray bottle, mix one part conditioner to four parts water and a drop or two of lavender oil. Spray it on dry or damp hair; it’s a great, inexpensive and easy way to freshen up your curls. I also suggest letting curly or wavy hair dry 100 percent before touching it. Playing with damp hair and disturbing the curl pattern will only give you frizz.

Ford Artist Johnny Lavoy

Artistic Director and founder of Moda-Rey Salon & Spa in West Hartford, Conn., Johnny Lavoy does hair and makeup for major names like Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole. His work can be seen all over the pages of your favorite glossy mags.

BN: I’m going to an outdoor wedding…in August…in Manhattan. My scalp sweats in November. Help!

Philip Pelusi: Summer weather brings more sweat and greasy limp hair. Keep hair cleaner from shampoo to shampoo with a color safe, non-stripping, oil reducing shampoo. The trick is to find one that works with the chemistry of the scalp and not one that strips natural moisture away. The right formula can actually keep oil from surfacing as quickly by keeping the scalp in ph balance. Select one that has built in sunscreens, color protectors and weightless moisturizers. Also, when exercising outside, a neat trick is to leave in deep conditioner on dry hair and then shampoo afterwards. This saves time and the heat from exercising helps the conditioner penetrate faster.

BN: What is the best cut for ease of summer styling, or am I ponytail-bound?

Johnny Lavoy: Regardless of your haircut, my best advice for summer styling is to work with your natural texture. Put away your flat irons and blow dryers for a season. Try using products that are formulated for your hair type. Volumizers work for fine straight hair (Phyto Volume), and curl enhancers for curly or wavy hair (Profound Beauty Curl Cream). Don’t fight Mother Nature.

I would suggest a haircut that is not too long – at the shoulder or just below it with some layers for movement creates a sexy look. Shorter cuts require more maintenance and often the use of heat tools like a flat iron – so go with a longer cut for easier styling, but not too long.

BN: I have pin straight hair. How can I add some volume and de-grease without a shower after a day at the beach?

Philip Pelusi: Using a beach hair styling product that doesn’t leave build-up is key. P2 Beachcomber is an all-organic, multipurpose styling and treatment product that creates clean texture with no dryness, dullness, or build-up.

Robert Ramos: Use a volumizer. Mine is alcohol free so it doesn’t dry hair out; it’s $31 and available at Also, use a dry shampoo. Give yourself a quick blow-dry and you’re set.

Johnny Lavoy: Orlando Pita’s Refresh dry shampoo is a great way to freshen up your flat, dirty hair. Its clean smell will not only combat grease but will give your hair that “just washed” volume. It comes in three tones, so no worries of it making your hair look chalky like some other similar products. He also makes a dry conditioner Renew that is great.

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