Believe it or not, it’s already May, which means that the weather is heating up and summer is around the corner! Thoughts of the beach, fun day trips, and backyard bashes are starting to fill our minds, but in the frenzy of our excitement, we can’t forget something super important: hair care! The more active we are, the more our hair needs protection and love, so follow these simple tips to keep your locks looking as brilliant as summer itself.

1. Keep heat styling to a minimum. Summer styles are notoriously relaxed and casual, easily achievable with little to no heat. For some of us, just letting our hair air dry gives us loose, beachy waves—literally no effort is involved! Braiding or twisting your damp hair at night or using a sea salt spray are other great ways to get no-heat waves perfect for any occasion. Heat styling coupled with scorching temperatures outside can really dry out hair (especially extensions), so keep it easy and natural! Plus, on a really hot day, the added heat of using hot tools can get uncomfortable and you’ll probably end up pulling your hair back anyway!

2. Sun protection. Unfortunately, as the sun’s UV rays beat down on you, they don’t magically avoid your head. They can dry out your hair and burn your scalp—something no one wants to deal with! Luckily, many hair care companies sell special sun protection products that combat this issue with just a few easy spritzes. Use a “hair sunscreen” product before going out in the sun, reapply it periodically during the day, and keep your hair and scalp healthy and happy! And don’t forget about your favorite hat—it’s style and protection rolled into one!

3. Hydration, hydration, hydration. Inside and out, hydration is crucial. As the sweltering atmosphere tries to draw all the moisture out of your locks, using hydrating treatments and serums really helps combat this. If you have extensions in, your ends are extra susceptible to dryness, so this step is very important in maintaining the life and look of your extensions. To keep your natural hair from drying out, make sure you drink lots of water! Hydrating from the inside is good for your hair, skin, and overall health, so there’s really no downside!

4. Watch out for salty or chlorinated water. We get it. It’s the summer and the invitations to pool parties and weekend beach trips seemingly never end. Don’t let your extensions keep you from having fun—we’ll never pass up a fun summer soirée, either. Just be careful when taking a dip in a pool or the ocean. Chlorinated and salty waters can damage hair, especially extensions, causing hair to be dry and brittle. If you soak hair in cold, fresh water or use a leave-in conditioner before getting in, it will already be saturated and thus soak up less chlorine or salt. After you get out, make sure to wash hair as soon as possible.

Don’t fret—keeping your hair looking and feeling fabulous during the summer is easy! (Definitely easier than planning all of those summer activities!)