How to Style Wet Hair This Summer
We all have this idea of how our hair should look when we’re at the beach or pool—perfectly imperfect with the right amount of texture, body, and sexy tousled strands. Then there’s how it really looks. All too often, our post-swim ’do falls flat of our expectations (literally), or looks fuzzy and frizzy. So, how do we get the image in our head to match the hair that’s on our head? Easy. Follow these pro tips for styling wet hair straight from the beach or pool.
Pack a leave-in conditioner
It’s right up there with sunscreen; don’t leave home without it. A leave-in conditioning spray is your strands’ saving grace this summer. Before a swim, saturate your hair with it, says Rev. Billy Simmons of Rev. Billy’s Chop Shop in Chicago. “The product prevents the chlorine or salt from getting into your hair,” he says. Then, immediately after a swim, blot hair dry with a towel (don’t rub; less friction means less frizz). Spritz on the conditioner and comb through. The conditioning ingredients will not only replenish hair after a swim in drying salt or chlorine water, but it will also help protect strands from the sun. By filling in tiny holes along the hair shaft and sealing down the cuticle layer, conditioner makes hair less vulnerable to environmental damage.
“This year it’s all about accessories,” says Devin Toth, stylist at Salon SCK in New York City. Seashell bobby pins are very of-the-moment. They may sound kitschy, but when placed in the right spot, they’re seaside chic, he says. Part your wet hair and tuck one side behind your ear; secure with a bobby pin. Colorful headbands and scarves are also super easy and right on trend, adds Simmons.
Wave it out
If you have naturally wavy hair, sea salt spray is great. It pumps up the texture of your hair, especially fine strands, and coaxes out tousled strands. Spritz it on damp hair, scrunch with your hands, and let hair dry in the sun.
Add gel to wet hair and comb straight back from your hairline for a slick look. Or, push it back with your fingers for a more natural feel. To set your hair, Toth suggests pining it with a few no-crease clips. “Once your hair is at least 50 percent dry, you can remove the clips and voilà,” he says. Volume exactly where you want it.
It’s a quick and effortless way to look styled. Simmons suggests a simple, three-stand braid down the center of your head. If you want a more polished look, keep it sleek and tight. For a more beachy-bohemian feel, loosen it up by pulling out little strands and tucking them in where the braid curves, says Simmons.