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Celebrity hair stylist Mark DeBolt reveals how to protect your locks from sun and sea damage

Summer months can wreak havoc on hair. 

As we spend more time outdoors soaking up the warm weather and swimming in the ocean or pool, we can dry out our ends, leave hair stressed and frizzy, or even get a scalp sunburn. 

Mark DeBolt, Co-Founder of Mark Ryan Salon and Celebrity Colorist, shares his top tips for protecting your mane from the sun and sea.

Mark DeBolt, Co-Founder of Mark Ryan Salon and Celebrity Colorist, shares his top tips to protecting your hair from the sun and sea

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‘The hot summer sun can break down artificial dyes and cause colored hair to fade, lighten or become a “rusty” or “brassy” tone after sun exposure,’ said Mark

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‘The hot summer sun can break down artificial dyes and cause colored hair to fade, lighten or become a “rusty” or “brassy” tone after sun exposure,’ said Mark.

To preserve your shade, the celebrity stylist suggests hair products that offer sun protection and always recommends a UV protectant spray for sun-worshipping clients.  

‘One of my favorites is R+CO sun catcher, and for a drugstore brand, I love Sun Bum scalp and hair SPF 30.’ 

While products are effective, ‘the best way to protect your hair is with a hat,’ says the trusted colorist of icons such as Naomi Watts, Rebecca Taylor, and Vanessa Ferlito.

For a day at the beach, Mark suggests having a Bianca Jagger fashion moment with a beautiful wide-brimmed hat, à la Emmy Rossum, another one of his clients.

For a day at the beach, Mark suggests having a Bianca Jagger fashion moment with a beautiful wide-brimmed hat, à la Emmy Rossum, another one of his clients.

For a day at the beach, Mark suggests having a Bianca Jagger fashion moment with a beautiful wide-brimmed hat, à la Emmy Rossum, another one of his clients.

To preserve your shade, the celebrity stylist suggests hair products that offer sun protection and always recommends a UV protectant spray for sun-worshipping clients

To preserve your shade, the celebrity stylist suggests hair products that offer sun protection and always recommends a UV protectant spray for sun-worshipping clients

Bianca Jagger hat moment

Wear a hat like Naomi Watts on the beach

While products are effective, ‘the best way to protect your hair is with a hat,’ says the trusted colorist of icons such as Naomi Watts, Rebecca Taylor, and Vanessa Ferlito

‘For a wedding or formal occasion, set your style with a hairspray that contains a UV protectant like R+CO Outerspace or Vicious.’

Heat and humidity is the catalyst for frizzy or uncooperative locks because moisture in the air causes hair to swell.

To help combat this, the Mark Ryan Salon suggests Color Wow’s Dream Coat. 

The award-winning gluten-free product acts like a mini Keratin treatment that transforms all hair types.

‘Dream Coat is a magic styling product that repels water and rejects humidity. We have never worked with something so effective,’ shares Mark.

‘Anti-humidity sprays are great too — Love Moon Landing by R+ Co — great finisher to add texture and prevent frizz. ‘ 

Embrace your natural hair

Set your style with hairspray

‘For a wedding or formal occasion, set your style with a hairspray that contains a UV protectant like R+CO Outerspace or Vicious.’

Dyson AirWRap

T3 Hot Rollers

Left: Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler-For Multiple Hair Types and Styles, $549.99; ulta.com. Right: T3 – Volumizing Hot Rollers LUXE | Premium Hair Curler Set for Long Lasting Volume, Body & Shine, $119; amazon.com

Shu Uemura

Milbon Plarmia

Left: Shu Uemura  Urban Moisture Deep Hydration Treatment Mask for Dry Hair, $69; sephora.com.  Right: Milbon Plarmia Moisture Balancing Scalp Treatment, milbon-usa.com

A popular smoothing service the Mark Ryan Salon offers is the PuraLuxe treatment.

‘It contains amino acids and essential oils to de-frizz and straighten unruly textures, combats summer frizz,’ explains Mark.

‘PuraLuxe is a truly natural type of smoothing service. The process takes about 3 hours and transforms hair texture and fights frizz.’ 

A popular smoothing service the Mark Ryan Salon offers is the PuraLuxe treatment. 'It contains amino acids and essential oils to de-frizz and straighten unruly textures, combats summer frizz,' explains Mark

A popular smoothing service the Mark Ryan Salon offers is the PuraLuxe treatment. ‘It contains amino acids and essential oils to de-frizz and straighten unruly textures, combats summer frizz,’ explains Mark

The varying elements of summer can make hair dry and brittle, and the repetitive use of hot tools doesn’t help.

‘While using heat protectants before thermal styling is a must, foregoing heat styling is ultimately the best move,’ advises Mark.

‘We are recommending that clients lean into their natural texture. One example includes wearing your hair to bed in braids— this adds really cool, beachy texture without the heat. 

‘Hot rollers are having a major moment right now— they are less aggressive and give the hair that big, bouncy, 90’s supermodel style. 

‘Less heat is better— forego curling irons or flat irons for healthier thermal styling tools like rollers or a normal blow dryer.’

The expert favor’s T3’s hot roller set, or Dyson’s AirWrap.

Haircare is self-care. 

There are plenty of things you can do at home on a daily or weekly basis to get salon-quality results.

‘Summer hair masking is all about moisture, moisture, moisture,’ shares the New York-based stylist.

‘Three of our favorites are Urban Moisture from Shu Uemura and Plarmia by Milbon for blondes.

‘Christoph Robin Lavender Oil is the absolute best treatment to put through your hair before a day in the sun.’

'While using heat protectants before thermal styling is a must, foregoing heat styling is ultimately the best move,' advises Mark

‘While using heat protectants before thermal styling is a must, foregoing heat styling is ultimately the best move,’ advises Mark

Sea: 

Salt water and sun exposure can dehydrate hair leaving the ends feeling dry. 

Before diving in, Mark suggests pre-dampening hair, applying a leave-in conditioner and wrapping strands in a bun. 

‘By pre-dampening and applying product, your hair is less likely to absorb water— hair retains water like a sponge, and if it is full of water/product, it will not absorb more water.’ 

Salt water and sun exposure can dehydrate hair leaving the ends feeling dry. To prevent ocean water havoc, Mark suggests pre-dampening your hair, applying a leave-in conditioner and wrapping your hair in a bun

Salt water and sun exposure can dehydrate hair leaving the ends feeling dry. To prevent ocean water havoc, Mark suggests pre-dampening your hair, applying a leave-in conditioner and wrapping your hair in a bun

They say blondes have more fun but that’s not the case when a day in a chlorinated pool leads to icky locks. 

‘Chlorine in pool water will discolor blonde hair, at best dulling the color and at worst, imparting a green tone. 

‘The best thing to do after swimming is to clarify your hair and use a chelating product. 

‘I recommend the crystal treatments from Malibu to my clients. I love the small packets of crystals that you can apply after shampooing.’

But any color-treated hair is at risk under the hot sun and in the ocean, particularly highlighted hair. 

'Chlorine in pool water will discolor blonde hair, at best dulling the color and at worst, imparting a green tone'

‘Chlorine in pool water will discolor blonde hair, at best dulling the color and at worst, imparting a green tone’

‘After a day at the beach, shampoo your locks and apply a nourishing hair mask. 

‘Use a wide-toothed comb to gently distribute the mask from root to tip and process for 5 minutes. Rinse and apply a leave-in conditioner or styling balm.’

Women with hair extensions also have to be mindful of their mane.    

‘To avoid this discoloration, avoid sunscreen products that contain Avobenzone and Octocrylene. 

‘Mineral-based sunscreen products usually do not discolor extensions.’

The Mark Ryan Salon is located at 135 west 20th Street in New York City

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