Living in Chicago has its perks—especially come summertime. From al fresco dining to festivals galore, even staying in the neighborhood can feel like a vacation this time of year. Margaritas and movies in the park aside, one thing we can definitely do without is the humidity. While it can do wonders for your skin, it’s a three-month nightmare for your hair. After all, locks that go limp the moment you leave your air-conditioned abode is nothing to get excited over.
So, to help you out, we tapped five savvy Chicago women for their tips on battling even the trickiest summer hair woes, including frizz-fighting products that can stand up to our sweltering temps. So, unless you plan on sporting a ponytail for the next three months, you’re going to want to bookmark this advice.
Azeeza Khan, Founder/Owner of Azeeza
Hair Type: Naturally coarse wave/curl combo. Extremely dry with rough ends.
Biggest Summer Hair Challenge: The brassiness from the sun and the pain of styling in the heat.
Saving Grace: “My current hair spirit animal is Tina Turner! The best part is, I can achieve this au natural look with a beach salt product from Mario Tricoci called Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Spray. I have a really thick mane and I also just recently chopped my tresses (my go-to is Rico at Mario Triocci), so the spray is really allowing my hair to spring up and get wild, a la Turner. I only use a small amount of heat on my bangs to polish off the look.”
“Another quick on-the-go tip that I love is the Heidi-style braid. It’s incredibly easy and I'm able to do it on wet hair, which is extremely important. On day two, it becomes an effortless, messy braided updo that can't be beat.”
Photo Courtesy of Melody Thuston
Melody Thuston, Media Relations Manager at Golin PR Agency
Hair Type: Short, color-treated, natural hair. Thuston manages to maintain healthy tresses with bi-weekly trimmings and regular deep conditioning treatments.
Biggest Summer Hair Challenge: Sporting color treated hair that’s also natural and short. The color requires a lot of maintenance due to the summer sun, and regular straightening (even more heat) causes dryness.
Saving Grace: “I have to make sure I'm moisturizing and not over-heating my hair. Whenever my hair is straight, I religiously put it into pin curls. When it's curly, I typically gel it down and put a scarf on—I never go to bed without a silk scarf or bonnet to avoid breakage. In terms of product, I really like Farouk Royal Treatment Pure Hydration shampoo and conditioner for dry and color treated hair—it’s magical!”
Photo Courtesy of Janet Mandell
Janet Mandell, Founder/Owner of Mia Bossi
Hair Type: Long and thick, yet voluminous and manageable. Despite having a natural wave, it’s easy to work with whether worn up or down.
Biggest Summer Hair Challenge: Maintaining a long-lasting style due to Chicago’s fickle summer weather.
Saving Grace: “I always try to style my hair according to the weather, so I conquer the humidity with loose beach waves. I love starting the day with tighter curls using the T3 Whirl Trio Interchangeable Tourmaline Styling Wand and Oribe Apres Spray. It eventually falls and creates a look that can last into the night.”
Photo Courtesy of Shannon O'Brien
Shannon O’Brien, Expert Makeup Artist
Hair Type: Thick, coarse, generally big.
Biggest Summer Hair Challenge: Beating the heat without wearing my hair in a monotonous bun every day.
Saving Grace: “While my hair is still damp, I take a couple pumps of Sachajuan Intensive Hair Oil and run it through my hair. Next, I center part my hair front-to-back like I’m making pigtails and braid the length of the hair on both sides. Then I tightly pull the braids back and pin them flat against the back of my head, making sure to tuck the ends under. The result is a pretty woven braid that looks complicated but is super-simple. I also am giving my hair a serious soak in the oil at the same time. When I take the braids out, I have an amazing wave to my hair that is silky-soft, not coarse and dry like usual."
Photo Courtesy of Amanda Puck
Amanda Puck, Director, Strategic Brand Development at Mariano’s/Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc.
Hair Type: A hefty amount of thin hair that is slightly wavy and dry.
Biggest Summer Hair Challenge: Frizz!
Saving Grace: “I love to do my hair consistently every day. Hot Rollers are my time-saver in the morning, as they cut down on the blow-dry/styling time. They are also the big heavyweights against frizz.”
“There are two products that I use religiously. I am an addict of Lush R&B Hair Moisturizer. I run it through my styled hair each morning to eliminate any remaining frizz while adding some glossy shine—it smells amazing, too. I also love TGIN’s Buttercream Daily Moisturizer, an all-natural frizz-fighter that’s made locally. I use it in the same way, more so in the summertime.”