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How to Improve Damaged Hair: Post-Summer Tips and Tricks

BY Alyssa Montemurro

Woman with curly hair holding bottles in front of her face

Summer may be your favorite time of the year. But let’s be honest, it can really do a number on your tresses.

Between all of the chlorinated dips in the pool and hours of sun exposure at the beach, it’s no wonder that your strands are often left dry, dull, and damaged by the time fall rolls around. And it’s even more so if your mane has gone through chemical treatments like hair dye, bleaching, and perming. Similar to a nasty sunburn or an awkward tan line, these hair blunders are anything but fun to deal with.

That’s why we recently caught up with our team of haircare experts to get the scoop on how to nurse post-summer hair back to life. From seasonal product swaps to the most nourishing at-home hair treatments, here’s everything you need to know about how to improve damaged hair

Switch to a Hydrating Formula

How to repair damaged hair: bottles of shampoo and conditioner with its contents spilling

While hydration is essential to maintaining healthy hair year-round, it’s especially crucial in the months immediately following summer. That’s when our strands tend to be at their driest and most vulnerable.

To ensure your ‘do isn’t left parched and brittle before the colder months set in, we recommend upgrading your haircare routine. Top options include an ultra-hydrating, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, like our fully customizable Function of Beauty hair products.

Our custom shampoo and conditioner duo is free of harsh, drying chemicals like sulfates and parabens. On top of that, you also have the option to add damage-fighting hair goals to your formula. Think “deep condition,” “replenish hair,” “strengthen,” and “fix split ends” to help your hair stay soft and shiny throughout the seasons.

Incorporate a Deep Conditioning Treatment

Conditioner in a jar

Certain hair types, like people with natural hair or color-treated locks, run the risk of dry hair. But an extra boost of hydration in the form of deep conditioning treatments will help your hair look and feel less straw-like.

That’s why you should reach for a deep conditioning mask at least once a week. A high-quality hair mask helps moisturize your fibers from the inside out by restoring their moisture levels and natural oils lost over the summer. We all know how a deep conditioner also makes detangling easier (a wide-tooth comb helps!) to lessen the knots and split ends leading to brittle hair.

For a mask that hydrates well and helps you reach your specific hair goals, try our custom hair mask. Japanese sake extract, argan oil, jojoba ester oil, and other ingredients help hydrate, nourish, and revitalize your mane over time. For best results, apply it to wet hair after shampooing and conditioning.

Pro Tip: For extra-dry tresses, follow up with a leave-in treatment after you’ve stepped out of the shower. Our custom leave-in conditioner can be used on dry or damp hair to help keep frizzy hair at bay.

Consider Growing Out Your Hair Color

While we’re all for switching up your hair color at the start of a new season, there’s no denying that chemical processing (think harsh substances like ammonia and peroxide) does further damage. This is especially so when the hair cuticles are already weakened from prolonged sun exposure. So, how do you repair damaged hair in this scenario?

We advise you to press pause on your coloring process for a few months. Or, at the very least, pick a darker shade that doesn’t require stripping your hair of its natural color. This will save your fibers from any added stress and damage. The small sacrifice also ensures your mane is in prime coloring shape come next summer when you decide to lighten it again.

Pro Tip: If your locks are severely damaged, consider protein treatments to replenish the keratin levels in your hair shafts.

Use a Heat Protectant

Cute summer hairstyles always seem to call for a blow-dryer, curling iron, flat iron — you name it. But what all these hot tools have in common is the damage they inflict on your poor tresses.

To tone down the heat damage, always apply a heat protectant before blow-drying, curling, or straightening your mane. A good option would be Function of Beauty’s custom hair serum that’s proven to:

  • Reduce frizz by 70%
  • Increase shine by 26 times more than untreated hair
  • Improve detangling by 75%
  • Thermally protect hair from damage up to 400 degrees

Unlike heavy hair oils, our lightweight serum doesn’t weigh down your mane or leave behind an oily residue. (Talk about product buildup!) All you have to do is remember to put it on the next time you reach for your heating tools.

Let Your Hair Down

If you’re anything like us, you probably spent most of your summer tying your hair up in a ponytail, perfecting your top knot, or trying countless braid styles. We get it — it’s hot, and the last thing you want is your hair sticking to you when it’s 100% humidity outside.

Now that the temperatures are starting to drop, though, we suggest letting your hair down a bit more frequently. Sure, ponytails are undoubtedly useful and convenient in your day-to-day routine. But they can sometimes cause friction and pull at the hair follicles depending on how tight and how often you pull your mane back.

Ponytails and buns can also cause breakage and undermine your hair growth goals. This is especially true if your strands are already weak or if you’re using the wrong type of hair ties.

By letting your hair down a bit more after summer, you’ll not only be giving your roots and scalp a break from all of the tension but also allowing your hair to relax a bit.

Tone Up

How to repair damaged hair: purple shampoo and lemons

Is your blonde color or subtle ombre starting to take on an orange tint? Don’t worry — it’s not just you. Factors like heat-styling, frequent swimming, and too much sun exposure can contribute to those dull, brassy undertones that tend to surface at the end of summer.

Instead of rushing off to your hairstylist for another expensive coloring session, try our “reduce brassiness” hair goal when you take our hair quiz. This hair goal transforms your Function of Beauty formula into the perfect purple toning shampoo. The non-dyeing purple toning pigments help neutralize the brassy tones that like to take over your hair around this time of year. Using our purple shampoo then helps return your color to its preferred cool, vibrant status.

Best of all, our purple shampoo works instantly to enhance your hair color, highlights, or ombre. It also works overtime to help protect your hue from fading, so you can spend less time and money at the salon and more time living your best life.

Cut Your Losses

Trimming scissors

Even with the right products and treatments, sometimes reversing the damage caused by months of neglect just isn’t possible. In that case, it’s best to cut your losses instead of focusing on how to repair damaged hair. But if you aren’t ready for a full haircut, try trimming your ends or “hair dusting” (a technique in which you don’t get rid of any hair length, only the damaged hair tips).

Snipping off the dead or damaged ends will help your locks grow stronger by limiting the number of split ends. Plus, you’ll be ridding your mane of any flyaways and frizz to boost the appearance of healthy hair.

Bid Adieu to Damaged Hair

Post-summer damaged hair does take a lot of effort to recover from the fallout. But the endeavor is well worth it. From growing out your hair color to diligently applying heat protectant, these changes to your haircare ritual mean life or death for your strands, literally.

But of course, at the heart of it, the right products matter just as much as any routine tweak. Still, your damaged hair of flyaways and split ends may not manifest the same way as your BFF whose curly hair is struggling with dryness and breakage.

That’s why Function of Beauty offers 100% made-for-you haircare formulations when you take our hair quiz. Our hair goals allow you to customize products the way you see fit. Because let’s be real, everyone’s hair is different and deserves to be uniquely treated.