Curly summer hair

If your hair is...curly
Your Good Fortune: Bold, vivacious ringlets come naturally to you. While some of us struggle to inject our hairstyle with a bit of an edge, you make rebellious cool look easy.

Your Challenge: Like teenagers and kudzu, curls can be willful and take on a life of their own if you don't set some boundaries.

Your Ideal Cut: A style that dusts the shoulders lets curly hair strike the perfect balance between wild and soft, explains hairstylist Sebastian Scolarici of New York City's Serge Normant at John Frieda salon, who masterminded the cuts on these pages. (If you want to move more toward the wild side, go shorter.) Layers should be very long—no shorter than six inches—except for a few in front to frame the face. Sebastian cut our model's hair dry so he could see how each snip affected the overall silhouette (a good idea with curly hair). "You don't want to thin out the curls; you just want to shape them around the ends," he said.

Steer Clear Of: Short layers. Especially if your hair is fine (like our model's), they will make your curls spring up too much (boing!) and disrupt the shape of your style. And if a stylist takes out a razor: Run. The result will likely be frizz and split ends. Even if your overall style is a little loose, your ends should be scrupulously neat. Swimsuit, Eres Paris.

Your go-to product: A rich, moisturizing styling cream.

Your salon checklist:
  • Cut dry
  • Shoulder-grazing length
  • Long layers
Your plan: Personalized product recommendations
Straight summer hair


If your hair is...fine and straight
Your Good Fortune: Frizz? What's frizz?

Your Challenge: Without teasing or hot rollers or upside-down blow-drying (you know the maneuver), your hair can feel like it's plastered to your head (and humidity doesn't help).

Your Ideal Cut: A bob that's angled slightly shorter in the back than in the front gives fine hair extra lift at the crown. Deep, sideswept bangs can also help create the illusion of heft (they're most flattering if you have a thin or oval face). Another advantage to a shorter cut: It's a lot easier to wash every day. If you have fine hair, you likely also have more hair follicles per square inch, which means more oil-causing sebaceous glands, which means roots that get greasy—and flat—without daily shampoos. And while you're at the salon getting a new cut, you might want to consider a few highlights around your face. "Bleach causes the hair to swell up a bit, so it looks fuller," says Sebastian.

Steer Clear Of: Too much length. "Once fine hair gets below the shoulders, it's almost impossible for it to hold any style," says Sebastian. And request layers only in moderation. A few long ones can add swing to your ends, but too many make fine hair look stringy. Dress, Temperley London.

Your go-to product: A lightweight volumizing spray.

Your salon checklist:
  • Slightly angled bob
  • Deep, sideswept bangs
  • Face-framing highlights
Your plan: Personalized product recommendations
Wavy summer hair

If your hair is...wavy
Your Good Fortune: You actually have the potential to wash and go...and look like you just stepped out of a beachside photo shoot. Your hair's natural state is tousled, sexy, chicly relaxed—and humidity only makes it more so.

Your Challenge: Wavy hair can be a bit inconsistent: bending beautifully in one area, falling flat in another. And while steamy weather encourages the natural twists in your hair, it may also add some frizz.

Your Ideal Cut: Layers of varying lengths (starting about halfway between your crown and ends) encourage the shape of the waves and make the hair look fuller—but not frizzy. In spots where waves are flagging, shorter layers will inject them with more bounce. If hair is thick, like our model's, your stylist can also thin it out a little at the very bottom—just the last inch or so.

Steer Clear Of: Razoring or serrated cutting (when a stylist slides the scissors down the hair shaft). Both can fray delicate waves and leave ends looking fried. And if you have finer hair, be wary of too many layers—you need enough weight to help your style hold its shape and resist poufing. Swimsuit, Lenny. Sunglasses, Daisy Fuentes. Necklace, Ten Thousand Things.

Your go-to product: A silicone serum.

Your salon checklist:
  • Layers from midlength to ends
  • Thinning, starting one inch from bottom
  • No razors or serrated cutting
Your plan: Personalized product recommendations
Thick summer hair


If your hair is...thick and straight(-ish)
Your Good Fortune: You have a lot of hair—thick, lush, and full.

Your Challenge: You have a lot of hair—heavy and probably a bit coarse. As the humidity rises, it tends to expand, usually into a triangular silhouette, widening at the bottom.

Your Ideal Cut: Length helps keep a mass of hair from becoming overinflated—but you don't have to grow your hair down your back: "A cut that falls at least to your collarbone has enough weight to give you the extra control you need," says Sebastian. You also want long layers, starting about four inches above your ends; they're key to keeping your hair from stacking into that pyramid shape. And Sebastian always uses thinning shears on the last two inches, to take some of the bulk out of this hair type.

Steer Clear Of: Blunt lines. They'll make your hair look, and feel, even heavier. "You don't want a cut that's perfectly even at the ends," says Sebastian. And while long layers are a must, short ones will make it more difficult to contain your hair's fullness—the last thing you need is a shag. Sheer top, Zimmermann. Earrings, C. Greene. For details see Shop Guide.

Your go-to product: A light-hold spray gel.

Your salon checklist:
  • Collarbone length (or a bit longer)
  • Layers starting four inches above ends
  • Thinning from the bottom 
Your plan: Personalized product recommendations