Loose, authentic beach waves are the ultimate summer beauty staple, but those sun-drenched weekends can take a long-term toll on your lengths, leaving them parched and frayed for months after. Fortunately, it takes just a few steps to prep and rehab your hair, letting you indulge in guilt-free texture all season long.
According to Chelsey Pickthorn, the cool-girl colorist to models like Julia Cumming and Kris Gottschalk, a few basic measures make all the difference. First, a liberal spritz of UV-protectant spray before setting foot on the sand will shield and condition strands; Davines’s Su Hair Milk is a lightweight SPF cream that does the trick, even for curls doused in the sea. “I love a little saltwater in my hair, and the milk helps keep it textured but moisturized for a few extra days,” she says. For those with colored hair, which is easily warped by the surf and sun, Pickthorn suggests wrapping your lengths up into a scarf to keep them out of the water entirely.
Post-beach, all that salt and sand can rack up damage in a matter of hours. A detoxifying shampoo to stimulate the scalp and remove buildup is key—and time is of the essence. “It’s the salt that’s going to create a bit of agitation,” Pickthorn says. “I recommend shampooing and rinsing as soon as you possibly can—but if you want to keep the texture, rinse and condition, rather than shampoo.”
Finish with a nourishing mask to re-infuse ends with lost moisture, bundling them into a shower cap for five to 10 minutes—and consider a bond-building treatment like Olaplex to reseal the cuticle and repair what’s damaged once summer fades away.