Being beautiful: Surviving a hair-raising heat wave

July 6, 2013 3:52:24 PM



The French Quarter is one of my favorite getaways. Perhaps it's the architecture and detail of European-style wrought iron balconies dressed with ferns, the sounds of live jazz from street musicians, or maybe just the beignets. Oh, and I love the flea markets, cobblestone streets and surprises around every corner.  


Last week I unplugged for a few days to soak up the flavor of the Vieux Carre, only to be reminded that it's hot as tarnation in the coolest spot around -- well, metaphoric coolness, that is. 


The mercury is rising everywhere, with record high temperatures wreaking havoc on the hair. The summer months are the most damaging because of the extra exposure to UV rays, humidity and heat. I recommend hats, and not just any old hat will do. It should be a "say something" hat.  


Coolibar is one of my best kept secrets. It's a genius company which provides hats and clothing with built-in sunblock technology for when we are outdoors. Keep in mind that visors shield your face from the direct sunlight, but they don't protect your hair. I'm always of the mindset to "go big or go home," so I would choose the wide-brimmed, brightly colored all-eyes-on-you summer hats. Of course, that's just my own personal style, and there is ample room for your style as well. 


A few more tips for surviving a hair-raising heat wave: After applying your daily sunblock, run your hands through your hair for extra protection. Dab a bit of sunscreen onto the scalp to prevent sunburn, whether the hair is combed to the side or parted in the center. Consider unplugging for the summer by opting for a natural, air-dried style instead of the heat devices such as the hair dryer.  


I love the return of anything glamorous, so feel free to have one of those "Jackie O" moments. Nothing is more current than wrapping the hair in a printed scarf. Remember that humidity and heat are culprits which create frizzy hair, precisely why you should heed this advice for frizz-free tresses.  


In the summertime, only use shampoos, conditioners and styling products with UV protection, and hydrate your hair with a weekly moisturizing mask. Schedule a trim every five weeks in July, August and September to remove split ends, and use a leave-in conditioner if only on the ends to treat thirsty, parched hair.  


Naturally curly, color-treated blonde, and fine hair are the most vulnerable at the beach, in the Big Easy or anywhere the sun's rays shine down, but if you give your hair some extra tender loving care, you can beat the heat beautifully.