Can you believe it? After what seemed like a never-ending New York winter, about it the summer solstice is officially in effect. Yet with all of the joys that the season brings — new clothes, hair longer days, weekends in the Hamptons, barbecues with friends, to name a few — unfortunately come several stresses (environmental or otherwise) that threaten tresses; namely, sunlight, chlorine and salt water. In order to properly care for your hair during the summer months, there are certain tips and tricks that I swear by. Here are a few of my summer hair survival secrets:

summer 2011 hair slick ponytail straight giambattista valli fashion paris beauty1. If you’re going to invest in one hair care product during the summer, it should be a hair mask. Masks can be applied as frequently as you see fit (though, as a general rule, once a week should be sufficient). I recommend Kérastase’s Masque UV Défense Active from the brand’s Soleil product line. This mask, which should be applied at least once a week, replenishes and strengthens sun-exposed hair, leaving it softer and more radiant. Apply it to clean, towel-dried hair and leave it in for five minutes before rinsing it out.summer 2011 hair scarf headscarf missoni fashion milan beauty

2. Summer is oftentimes synonymous with humidity, which consequently brings the word “frizz” to mind. In order to combat the climate, I advise growing your layers out long — especially if you have thick, curly hair. This is because choppy, short and/or heavily layered styles are far more susceptible to frizzing up in the midst of muggy weather.

summer 2011 hair wavy curly textured michael kors fashion new york beauty3. While longer layers are an ally in the fight against frizz, it is also best to go with the elements (as opposed to against them) and embrace your hair’s natural texture, instead of putting it through the stress of constant blowdrying and straightening. Scrunch it up if you’re at the beach (as the salty atmosphere is conducive to creating languid waves), or put it up it in a casual ponytail or messy topknot and you’re good to go — no tools necessary!

4. If you’re planning a beach day, slick wet hair back with conditioner — leave-in or otherwise — before heading out. The conditioner will protect your hair from the especially intense heat, sun and wind that beat down on you after several hours spent in the sand.summer 2011 hair hat panama fedora dsquared2 dsquared fashion milan beauty

5. When all else fails, cover it up! Braids, scarves, swim caps and hats are all excellent options. A summer hat will shield you from the sun’s damaging rays and the harsh chlorine found in swimming pools, while also being on-trend (you’ll really know it’s summer when the ubiquitous fedora, the perennial favorite among the celeb set, will be making its triumphant return). Panama hats, straw hats and the aforementioned fedora are all viable options.

By Jamie Mazzei