Summer Hair

Summer Hair. For some this is a chance to look beachy, dreamy and delightful.  I’ve read about girls in magazines and how they love summer because their hair looks so “textured” and “full of life” and blah blah blah.

What summer hair should look like…

StyleBlueprint girls, Liza, Elizabeth and Heidi, however, all have wavy hair, susceptible to all the pitfalls of summer weather. Summer becomes a Survivor game with our hair, trying our best to compete while maintaining our dignity. I have yet to win the immunity necklace on this game.

Even on Hell Island, this Survivor sweetie still has a cute ponytail.

Previously, summer has been the season when I’ve given in to the elements for three to four months and have been completely dominated by my frizzy, big, curly — did I mention big — hair. But, I’m a big girl now, and have decided it’s time I learned how to do my own hair, come Hell, humidity or high water. Elizabeth and Holly have jumped on the band wagon with me. (Misery loves company, right?!)

We called the professionals to give us options for hair management for the next few months. Like a good clothes stylist, they boil it down into a few good options that you can do yourself and always look good.

In Louisville, I (Heidi) went to Colleen Ford, owner of Icons Salon. My StyleBlueprint cohorts in Nashville, Elizabeth and Liza, went to Paige Simmons, Alison Krauss’s makeup and hair stylist, as well as owner of Paige Simmons Salon. Both stylists were asked to give a few options for summer hair.

Before we launched into the complete transformation of my big wig, Colleen gave me some excellent tips about hair in general during the summer. I took notes for everyone because I see you missed this class.

Key Points: A Foundation for Good Hair in the Summer

  • Everyone needs a good cut, every 6-10 weeks. Even if it is just a baby trim, it is necessary to keep the hair healthy. She said hair will literally “cut itself” by breaking off or splitting up the shaft.
  • Protect hair from chlorine. Be sure to wash it or at least rinse it after you swim. She recommends keeping a spray bottle of conditioner mixed with water on hand and spritzing your hair during your pool time. Chlorine is a metallic salt that destroys your hair.
  • Protect your hair from the sun. This is as easy as using the excess sunscreen from your body application, and rubbing on the outside layer of your hair. If your hair is color-treated, this is especially important. Consider all the money you spend coloring your hair. The sun kills all of that. But, the best protection is wearing a hat.
  • Products are “personal” so figure out which ones work for your type of hair and use them. If you use heat on your hair, you need a thermal protector. Drier hair needs some sort of hydration or oil at the ends. Frizzy hair needs a de-frizzing creme or lotion. Ask your hairdresser to put together a cocktail sampler of what you need so that you can try a few products at home before you buy all the big bottles.


On to the hair show:

Here are some great summer options for your hair. The blow-out, the curly, the bun, the fancy ponytail and braids.

The Blow-Out:

Yes, you can do this at home and yes, it does take time. The trick? USE MORE THAN ONE BRUSH. Get a few and they act like hot rollers all over your head. But the real key is product. Make sure you work the product through your hair while it’s wet before you start drying.




And so it begins…


The good and evil hair personalities


While it is nice to get a blow-out, it is not feasible to do every day. I need to learn how to manage my big hair. Those girls with the carefree-looking ringlets are not just letting their hair air-dry before walking out the door. They are managing that action with product or careful plotting. Colleen recommended doing pin curls or twisting any curls that do not behave. And never, ever blow dry your curls. That is the direct route to frizz.

So what can you do if you need to have great hair at night, but you are spending your day next to the pool, at the beach or in a stinkin’ hot car. Elizabeth twisted up sections, leaving it until right before you need to leave.

Lots of twists, secured by little clips. At the end of the day, let them all out for pretty waves.

Bun–Messy, Sleek, Curly, Straight

This is your go-to style for the summer. I wear one five days a week, usually with curly hair. All that is involved is a rubber band and maybe a couple of bobby pins if you are feeling adventurous. Start with a ponytail, wrap around once or twice and then on the third time, don’t pull the hair all the way through. And now you have a hairdo.



A sleeker bun: twist it TIGHT before you place in bun. Then, further twist into the bun and secure.

Fancy Ponytail

Don’t you always see those girls with perfect ponytails that look just “right.” My ponytail always seems to look, um… wrong. Or just completely haphazard all the time. The girls who have the “right” ponytails are actually putting a little effort into creating them. Like the ringlets mentioned above, a perfect ponytail doesn’t just “happen” on its own. Here’s how you make yours “happen.” Take your hair and backcomb (think about your mom’s high school yearbook picture) the top section of your hair. Smooth that portion out. Now take the front and sides and start your ponytail. Then put the backcombed section in. Mix it all together and make the ponytail happy. What makes it look even better is wrapping a little piece of hair around your ponytail holder and securing with a bobby pin.

Another option along this line is the Half-Ponytail

Braids: You can pull them off, even after 30. Keep them loose, or you will end up looking like a little Gretel from the Swiss Alps.

Paige Simmons talks Liza through how to do braids.


OK, this is really meant for the beach or those hot weekend days where you just need your hair off your back. We purposefully messed my hair up to show a humidity filled day. These “half” braids are easier for women over 30 to pull off than the full braid.


Another braid option involves pulling all hair to one side and then braiding a little bit and securing. You can add clips to the back if you have flyaways. Notice the end was wrapped back up so that it isn’t as long.


Another braid option: start braid near temple and then pull back into a ponytail or bun..


We will always love our headbands and hair accessories too, but these hairdos are a first step on the road to a real style. We would love to hear what you do or what products you recommend to combat the summer hair plague.