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3 At-Home DIY Products To Help Sun-Fried Summer Hair

Asian Woman in the sun
Image by MARKO / Stocksy
June 11, 2021

Keeping hair hydrated can feel like a year-round, full-time job. In the winter, strands are subjected to dry air and chilly temps. But in the summer? Well, UV damage, pollution, and increased washing does a number too—arguably more! But how you care for your hair in the summer may look slightly different from how you care for it in the winter.

Yes, just like your skin, your hair needs seasonally appropriate hair care. To start, be mindful of your scalp and sunburns by investing in a scalp SPF (our favorites). Then you can help manage humidity-induced frizz with some classic staples (be it of the at-home variety or via clean styling products). As for caring for your hair post outdoor escapades? Well, that requires a healthy dose of TLC...and antioxidants...and moisture...and probably some fatty acids, too.  

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Here, our favorite at-home ingredients to help heal sun-fried, summer hair almost instantly. And you're in luck: Many of these are common kitchen staples: 


Green tea rinses

Sun damage causes free radicals and oxidative stress for the hair and scalp, much like it does for the rest of the body. So it's oh-so-important to coat strands with antioxidants to help protect them from the effects. And after the sun, antioxidants can help bring back some vibrancy to dull, damaged hair

There are actually several ways to feed your hair antioxidants (Botanical oils! Masks! Hair serums!), but according to hair expert and board-certified dermatologist Raechele Cochran Gathers, M.D., a green tea rinse is one of the most effective. 

Green tea is chock-full of polyphenols and flavonoids. As we noted, these antioxidants can help neutralize free radical damage on the scalp and hair, which can mean better hair retention (read: no shedding), reduced premature graying, and even shiner strands. Check out this DIY green tea rinse—it's so easy, and we recommend doing it about once a week. 


Aloe vera scalp treatment

The beloved skin savior does wonders for your hair and scalp, too. Aloe vera is often used on sun-drenched bodies to help hydrate, soothe, and alleviate tenderness caused by UV exposure. Well, don't forget to take the gel just a bit north to your hair and scalp (lest you forget: Your scalp is skin, too). The benefits come from the plant's potent anti-inflammatory properties1 and notably high water content.   

To create your own mask, follow our simple aloe vera mask instructions here: Essentially you just need to apply fresh gel to your strands, let it sit for 20 minutes, and rinse. Easy, no?

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Avocado mask

Some of the best hair treatments around are so effective because they contain fatty acids. Fatty acids help nurture and condition stressed-out hair with the nutrient-dense lipids the cuticle needs. And where can you get those in real life? Avocados! 

"Avocados are extremely rich in oleic acid and monounsaturated fats. In fact, avocado oil is one of few oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft and moisturize your hair rather than sitting on top and coating your hair," says Muhga Eltigani, founder of NaturAll Club about avocado and avocado oil. "These fats also strengthen the hair shaft and help prevent breakage." 

You can simply mash up a bit of avocado (like you might for toast) and run it through your hair. If your roots are on the limp side, simply coat the strands midshaft down. If you want a bit more complex number, try this avocado-olive oil-and-honey number—it's a deep-conditioning workhorse.

The takeaway. 

After a long day in the sun, your hair needs just as much love as your skin does. Luckily, finding a product to help your strands isn't that hard—many of which can be located right in your kitchen. 

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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.