22 Genius Hacks for Solving the Most Annoying Summer Hair Problems

From sweat to scalp sunburn to frizz, your biggest issues just got solved.

a blonde person showing their teeth
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you don't have time to dry your hair after you wash it...

1. Tie it in a chic double-knot bun. This might be hard to master with dry hair but it's really simple when your hair is wet and slick. Put your wet hair in a high pony and split the tail in two. Tie the pieces in a knot by crossing one section over the other and pulling it through. Repeat this one more time for the double knot. Tuck the ends under the bun, and secure with a few pins.


2.Try a low figure-8 bun. Secure your hair in a low pony, twist the tail, and loop it around your finger while holding the ends in the air. Next, wrap the tail around the elastic and slip it through the looped hair at the bottom. Secure it with pins to finish. You can also remove the bun when your hair dries for loose, pretty waves.


If you want beachy waves without the fuss...

3. Fix your hair in a loose braid in the back of your head. The looser the braid, the bigger the waves. A single braid will also offer more coverage for your scalp skin, preventing the sun from burning it if you're outside during the day. Then, if you're going out at night, unravel your braid to reveal sexy waves for date night.

a braid hairstyle

4. Twist your hair, pin it up, then take it down for super-loose waves. Split your hair down the middle, twist each section away from your face, and pin the ends to the top of your head in twists. When you're hair is dry, take your hair down, and separate the tendrils with your fingers. 

a twist hairstyle

5. Put your hair up in a damp towel for twisted waves. Spray a towel with water to dampen it, wrap it around your head, and then twist it up before sitting outside by the pool (or at the beach if your towel isn't gigantic). Then, remove the towel after it dries for tousled beach waves. Bonus: This will also protect your hair from too much sun exposure, which can alter your hair color. (Tip via Mark Hill.)

a spray bottle and a towel

6. Mimic the salty ocean mist with a DIY spray. Make your own salt spray at home with 20 ounces of seltzer water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Mixed them together and pour it into a spray bottle. From there, spritz into your hair, scrunch from ends to roots, and let it dry. If you need to touch up the waves later, wrap your hair around a curling wand for only a few seconds, and then immediately tug on the strands' ends to loosen.


To prevent your hair from chlorine or salt water damage...

7. Rinse your hair first with regular tap water before submerging it in the pool or ocean. Your porous hair strands will absorb the tap water, preventing the chemical-laden pool water from damaging your hair. You can also apply a leave-in conditioner to your hair for the same results before going to the beach or pool.


If you want sun-kissed highlights...

8. Pull your hair back so the pieces around your face will get the most sun. This will lighten the strands, drawing attention to and opening up your face up a bit. (Natural highlighting works best for blondes and light-to-medium brunettes.)


9. Squeeze lemon juice in your hair and comb it through. When lemon juice, a citric acid, mixes with the sun, it opens up the cuticle of your hair, lifts away the pigment, and leaves your strands a little lighter.

a person holding a lemon over their long blonde hair

If your bangs and fringe tend to get greasy from the sunscreen and sweat on your forehead...

10. Keep your hair away from your face in a French or Dutch braid (an inverted French braid). Weave your bangs into your plait as you braid your hair and then pin it back. (Learn how to do both braids here.)

a braid hairstyle

If your neck tends to get hot and sweaty...

11. Keep hair off your neck by pulling it into a high pony. You can also braid the tail for a chicer version. To make your braid look fuller and textured, do this: After you secure your tightly braided mane with a hair tie, gently tug the braid's pieces to loosen them a bit.

braid ponytail hairstyle

12. Create an updo by looping your hair around a headband if you have shorter hair. To do so, secure an elastic headband on top of your hair and tuck small sections of hair around the band until all your hair is looped and secured. This style can also double as a way to get waves.


13. Do double Dutch braids. Part your hair down the middle, create two Dutch braids, and then pin the ends up so they're not resting on your neck.

braid updo

If you want to keep your hair out of your face but you get headband headache...

14. Use a flexible wire scarf to keep your hair back. Grab a flexible wire scarf, adjust it to the size of your head, and mold it into the shape you want, like a bow or a rosette.


If you have frizzy hair...

15. Study the labels on your hair products. You'll want to look for hair products such as shampoos, conditioners, sprays, and masks with these important descriptors on the label: hydrating, anti-humidity, sulfate-free, UV protection, and alcohol-free.

Hair gets frizzy when super-dry hair absorbs the moisture in the air, which causes the strands to puff up and the cuticle to lift. If your hair is properly hydrated, however, it'll soak up less of the humidity in the air.

You'll also want to steer clear of products like hairsprays or mousse that contain high levels of alcohol, which sucks all the moisture out of your hair, and opt for sulfate-free shampoos, since they're less harsh. Also, remember to use a UV protectant spray, which will protect color-treated hair from the sun.

advice for beach beauty

16. Use a T-shirt instead of a beach towel to dry your wet hair. Terry-cloth towels pull too much moisture out of your hair, which makes it frizzy, but the smooth cotton of a shirt will remove the excess water and leave your hair frizz-free (or at least less frizzy).

hairstyling using a t-shirt

17. Embrace your frizz and make it work with your hairstyle. Pull your hair back in a messy bun or braid, and loosen some of the flyways around your face for a messy style that looks intentional.


If your hair turns green from pool chlorine...

18. Rinse your hair with baking soda when washing your hair after swimming in a pool. Mix a bit of baking soda with enough water to make a paste and rub it over your hair. Then, rinse the baking soda out and continue washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo.

baking soda

If your hair gets dry and brittle from the elements...

19. Apply conditioner to the ends of your hair to about mid-shaft before sitting outside and swimming. Not only is conditioner great for moisturizing your hair, but the heat from outdoors will help lock in extra moisture.

blonde hair conditioning

20. Use a super-hydrating mask if you have color-treated hair. Marie Robinson, the colorist responsible for turning Michelle Williams platinum blonde, swears by Osyrium Colorist Cure to help maintain your color and shine. Put it on dry hair, leave it on for 10 minutes, shampoo, and rinse. This helps keeps your hair color vibrant and your strands soft, not straw-like, which they can tend to feel like in the summer.

colorist cure

If your scalp tends to burn...

21. Pour sunscreen in a spray bottle and dilute it just a bit with water. Then, spritz the mixture on your scalp to evenly distribute it.


22. Try powder sunscreen to prevent your roots from getting too oily from sun lotion. The Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush from ColorScience comes with a brush end for easy application. You can also use the powder sunscreen on your face to prevent shine.

powder sunscreen

Brooke Shunatona

Brooke Shunatona is a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com.