How to Summer-ize Your Hairstyle

When the mercury starts to rise, take a few preventative measures to keep your hair looking fresh.

Finding the right haircut is hard enough as is, but warm weather poses a new set of problems even if you like your current style. The humidity and heat can leave your scalp sweaty and your hair frizzed-out, and rolling up to your morning meeting like that doesn't exactly shout "take me seriously."

So just like you summer-ize your wardrobe once the temperatures rise, you'll also want to make a few tweaks to your hair to keep you looking cool even in the most heated situations.

Trim Down

As a general rule of thumb, you want to go a little shorter in the summer no matter what your usual style is. Less hair up top means less insulation on your head, so you stay that much cooler.

When you're sitting in the barber's chair, ask for two things:

  1. A closer crop on the back and sides. By doing this, but leaving the top mostly alone, you'll retain your current style but feel a little cooler. It'll also help keep the back of your neck from getting all sweaty.
  2. Some overall thinning out. If you have thick hair, your barber can use shears to take off some of that weight, which will leave you feeling lighter.

Go Hard with Hydrating

We know: when you're dealing with sweat and humidity all summer, it may seem counterintuitive to add more moisture to your styling routine. But all that heat, sun, salt water, and pool time really do a number on your hair, leaving you with dried-out strands.

To counteract that, rehydrate with a thoroughly moisturizing conditioner (or just start using any kind of conditioner, if you don't already) when you hit the showers. It's especially important if you're in the water often or spend a lot of time in the sun.

Update Your Product(s)

Heavier waxes and pomades won’t hold up well in the heat. So unless you’re cool with dealing with a total meltdown mid-day, you need to lighten your grooming routine up. Your two best options are:

  1. A lighter weight cream, like Baxter's Grooming Lotion or Malin + Goetz's Styling Cream. These will give you a little less hold, so you might have to finish with a little hair spray to lock things in. But they're nice and light and won't leave your hair feeling sticky by lunch like melted pomade would.
  2. A firm hold gel, like Malin + Goetz's version. The modern varieties are lightweight and will keep your coif in place without making you resemble a hedgehog.

Go Low Maintenance

If you’re completely over the idea of having to deal with a high maintenance mane in the midst of humidity and heat you’ve got two options: a buzz or a bun.

The former is your chance to say "screw it." You can channel your inner Bruce Willis or Vin Diesel and go fully bald, or ask for a number 2 on top with a slight fade on the sides for a buzz cut that still has a little bit of style built in.

If you don't want to go short but still don’t want to deal with constant trims and summer styling, consider this your opportunity to grow things out. Yes, the man bun is polarizing, and it does require a fair bit of patience – you need long-ish hair to begin with if you want to attempt this in the next few months. But if you're open to the idea, summer is a good time to give it a try, since all you have to do is loosely tie everything back for a rakishly messy hairstyle. Just make sure to add a lightweight styling cream beforehand to keep frizz in check.

Whichever route you go down, and no matter how well you prepare your strands, sometimes the heat and humidity still win out. Consider those days a worthy excuse to call in sick and hit the pool.

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