This Summer, Don’t Let the Heat Put a Stop to Your Hot Hair Color

Published in: Hair

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The heat is on! Okay, not really. It’s been epically cold here in the Bay Area, but that’s not stopping me from looking forward to summer. A few days ago the weather dude said it might even get cold enough to snow here this week, and when you’re a California weather wimp like me, that’s all the motivation you need to indulge in a bout of summery escapist daydreaming. Never mind the fact that it’s barely 50 degrees outside. If I pretend hard enough, it’ll seem like summer. πŸ™‚

What I wouldn’t give for shorts and flip-flop weather right now… Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could drop everything, change our plans and take an immediate tropical vacation today? I’d be happy to share my sunscreen with you (gotta protect that skin, yo!) and, I should warn you, I will nag you about wearing your sunglasses. I’ve already got a bag packed and ready to go with our sunny day hair essentials — a tube of leave-in conditioner and sun protectant spray. And don’t make me bug you about wearing that hat of yours, young lady, especially if you’ve got highlights/color.

My hair and I learned that lesson the hard way on one of our first trips to visit El Hub’s family in Hawaii. I spent most of the time in the water, either surfing in the ocean or swimming in the pool, and by the end of the trip, the golden highlights I’d gotten a few weeks earlier looked lackluster, brassy and basically bad. My mane looked like straight up haaay!

When I got back to the Bay Area, my stylist gave me a good dose of tough hair love as well as some tips for the future to protect my hair color in the heat.

First, she suggested spritzing hair with a sun protectant spray before heading outside, and wearing hats whenever possible. Next, before swimming in either a pool or the ocean, she recommended wetting hair thoroughly with fresh water to let the strands absorb as much clean H2O as possible, as saltwater and chlorinated water can mess with hair color, too.

Lastly, she suggested keeping a bottle of leave-in-conditioner in your beach bag to apply to hair right after surfing or swimming as a quick way to restore moisture and provide hair with a little TLC.


Yes, summer still feels about a billion miles away, but at least that gives us time to prepare, prepare, prepare! πŸ™‚

What are some of your favorite tips and tricks to keep your color fresh and protect it in the heat and sun?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. indoorkitty says:

    I wanna know what lippie are you sporting there? Because dayum it looks hawt!

    I swear by coco-conditioning. I’ve been as sick as a dog for the past week but my hair is looking fab as the one day I was walking around, I heated up a little bit of raw coconut oil and rubbed it into the ends. I left it on for half the day and washed it out that night. I look like I’ve had a blow out whereas sniffles I haven’t left the house in a few days!

  2. Nina says:

    i <33333 your hair!

    my current hair goal is to grow my hair long enough so i can use the barrel curler!

    • Karen says:

      I can’t live… if living is without my barrel curler, LOL! How’s the grow out process going? Are you almost there?

      • Nina says:

        wellllll …. from the chin length bob of thanksgiving, its now almost to my shoulders. the layers are kinda wonky but ive resolved to ignore them until it reaches a length when i can get a proper cut.

        its getting there> πŸ˜€

        • Karen says:

          Ooh, so it’s at THAT stage. I totally know what you’re talking about. At least you made it through the phase when the hair starts hitting the back of your neck. When I tried to grow out my bob it took a couple of tries because I’d freak out when I could feel it touching my shirt, my neck, etc., then I’d chop it all off again! DROVE ME NUTS!

          • Nina says:

            yepyep – THAT stage!

            i have pretty extreme layers at the back right now, so the sides are okay but the back is just insane – flippin’ out in all directions.

            im ignoring it. and if it reaches a point where its so insane i have to tie my hair back, i will. πŸ˜€


      • indoorkitty says:

        PBI – can you name names? I wanna know what barrel curler you’re using Karen! Please and thank you!!!

  3. Julie says:

    So two things: 1., I’m a swimmer, and i swear by the rinsing-your-hair-with-fresh-water trick, it’s saved many a dye job, so GOOD CALL on that! 2., Karen, I’m in need of a new mascara in a BAD WAY (my diorshow’s all dried up, sad panda!), what’s your fav?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie,

      Oh cool. Do you swim just for fun, or do you do it competitively?

      About the mascara… what’s your price range? And what kind of lash look are you looking for?

      • Julie says:

        Well hey! I’m actually a swim teacher, teaching little peanuts 2-6… and I frickin love it, especially since now it’s not ruining my hair anymore… Any tips for removing chlorine from skin, cuz that shiz don’t come off! Anyways, I’m looking for mascara in the 15-25 range, with lotsa darkening/volume powers, as I’m a pale/thin lashed kinda girl… Let me know what you think! πŸ™‚

  4. Tracy says:

    So – what are some good sun protectants for the hair? Sort of like sunscreen for the hair?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Yup, that’s what they are. They usually have UV filters to protect color. I’ll wear them if I’m going to be in a situation where I can’t wear a hat, like when I’m surfing.

      • Tracy says:

        Thanks – but what are some good brands? I’ve tried to find something like this before. Any recommendations?

        • Karen says:

          Several lines make them. I’ve tried and liked Fekkai’s Summer Bandana, Oscar Blandi Sun Shield and Paul Mitchell Color Protect Locking Spray.

          Shiseido also makes one that I’ve been wanting to try called Refreshing Sun Protection Spray SPF 16 that you can use on skin, scalp and hair.

    • Andrea says:

      Pureology also makes one that I’ve heard is really good! It comes in a tall green bottle..

  5. Kim says:

    I’m notoriously awful to my hair by blowing it dry everyday (so as not to look like the wet rat, mentioned previously). πŸ™‚ Luckily up here in the frigid north, we don’t get a lot of beach time and we’re on a lake, so no salt water havoc. I love the leave-in conditioner tip, though, and will definitely do that. It’s funny that you did this post because yesterday when I was complaining about being so dry I needed to soak in a vat of oil, I was also thinking “or maybe just take off a week and go to Hawaii”. πŸ™‚

  6. girl says:

    Urgh summer seems so far away…its cold in Montreal…

  7. Tracy says:

    Your hair is just gorgeous!!!
    Tracy recently posted … Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

  8. Vijaya says:

    I wash rarely (once or twice a week). My hair color is usually semi-permanent though. I’m not sure that’ll necessarily help with regular dye.
    Vijaya recently posted … Urban Decays 15-Year Anniversary Glide-On Pencil Set

  9. Jamie says:

    Your hair looks AH-MAZING in these photos! Always use conditioner such a lifesaver! Heat protectant when putting heat on hair and use deep conditioner every couple of months depending. Such good stuff and will completely save your hair I promise!

  10. Tiffany says:

    love your hair and all your different shades πŸ™‚

  11. Meghan says:

    Love your hair! You are so gorgeous! πŸ™‚
    Meghan recently posted … Drugstore Foundation Review- Loreal True Match

  12. Phyrra says:

    I knew the tip to wet hair with fresh water before getting into a pool or salt water, but I hadn’t thought about the leave in conditioner! Fantastic idea!
    Phyrra recently posted … Italian Ice

  13. Dasha says:

    I could have so used these tips last weekend! It’s in the high 70’s/low 80’s here in Palm Beach so I spent all day out at the beach/pool last weekend and my hair is just now recovering after two days of double conditioning followed by a leave in conditioner. πŸ™

  14. Karrie says:

    i like your pink sunglasses! <3

  15. Viree says:

    Karen, i love your hair!! what barrel curler do you use?
    On another note, this doesn’t have anything to do with this post but I don’t know where else to ask.. soo here on ur blog.. where there is a banner with lots of lil’ pics and it says subscribe today.. there is a picture of ur lips and I LOVE the color!! what is it?? THANKS SO MUCH

    Oh and I’m also a crazy cat lady πŸ™‚ I have a 6 year old kitty named Molly who’s such a diva. She asked me to send Tabs a purr.

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