The sun, sand and surf can wreck havoc on your hair and without the right tools, products or know-how, you can often do lots of damage to those precious strands during the summer months. We speak to New York-based hair stylist Ward Stegerhoek, who recently styled the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, about products, styling and expert tips.
The best way to style your hair for the beach or in the summer is by first applying product that contains SPF, says Ward. "Humidity blocking products like the No Frizz line or Straight from Living Proof work best with hair on the beach and in the summer heat. They're better than any silicone product on the market because they fight both causes of frizz, friction and humidity, without leaving hair greasy." The best style for protection is plaits or braids. Ward suggests a hairstyle that keeps hair contained and out of the sun, as harmful UV rays are the more damaging to your hair than the salty ocean or sand. "Ultimately a hairstyle with a headscarf, bandana, or hat is best to keep hair directly out of the sun."
"Swimming in the sea with hair free doesn't damage hair much," says Ward. "It's the drying in the sun afterwards you want to be careful of. Swimming with a ponytail can potentially get into a big knot. Sand also doesn't really damage hair unless you comb or brush hair right after a swim, so it’s best to rinse sand out completely before combing through your hair."
And to achieve those sun-kissed highlights that every bikini model always seems to have? "Mix half a lemon or lime and half vodka in a highball glass. Then pour mixture over your hair until hair is completely wet and sit in the sun," says Ward. "This is one of my favorite tricks—I've been using it on supermodels for years. The vodka and citrus brightens the hair to achieve a color with that's lighter towards the ends of the hair. You’ll get a kind of surfer blonde look." According to Ward, this trick works best for medium to blond hair and some hair may be ready in half an hour and some might need a second or third glass. "I suggest bringing a little mirror with you so you can rinse out when the desired lightening has been achieved," says Ward. Beauties, remember wet hair in general looks darker then when dry, so don't get overzealous with your cocktail!