The Unexpected-but-Crucial Beauty Product You *Need* to Be Packing in Your Beach Bag

You'll be prettier for it.

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Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of having two French hairstylists named Etienne and Rishi coax my thicket into a romantic up-do for a fancy party I was attending that night. They, on the other hand, had the distinct displeasure, I'm sure, of working with my Summer Weekend hair: disturbingly slick at the roots after some ill-advised co-washing, simultaneously hedge-like at the (colored) ends after a few consecutive days of sunning myself on rooftops and bar patios, and all-around grody, if I may.

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Let's just say there was a lot of David Mallett Volume Powder dispensed that afternoon.

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After the cameras stopped rolling, one of them gave me a very specific set of instructions, which was perhaps a gentle way of telling me that my mid-lengths felt as if they'd been run through a dehydrator like so many apple slices. "Every time you're about to get in the pool," Etienne said not unkindly, "put some conditioner in."

I've not dipped a toe in une piscine for a month now, but I'm semi-flattered that my hair can be mistaken as the product of many laps swum and not just poor personal hygiene. Here's the rub: Even if you're more conscientious than me, you're still probably not pre-treating and protecting your hair against chlorine—you're still probably not chucking a bottle of Pantene in your beach bag alongside a pseudo-intellectual bestseller that will be thrown over for Hello! the minute the umbrella's open.

But you *should* be, because 1) my present could be your future, and 2) *my* future could be Slash but with a much less well-defined wave pattern. Prevention is key, people, so condition, condition, condition. Then, when you're done straddling swan inflatables, rinse off and apply even more. Don't be like me.

1. Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Conditioner, $6, amazon.com.

2. Matrix Total Results Moisture Me Rich Conditioner, $12, ulta.com.

3. David Mallett Conditioner No.1: L'hydration, $50, net-a-porter.com.

4. Five Wits Hydrating Conditioner, $36, blackstonesnyc.com.

5. R+Co Sunset Blvd Blonde Conditioner, $28, bluemercury.com.

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