How to Achieve Silky Soft Hair and Summer Looks


Stylist Osva Zuniga of Kansas City’s Skyline Downtown Salon shares seasonal hair care tips.

Skyline Downtown Salon’s Expert Stylist Osva Zuniga

The popular master stylist at Skyline Downtown Salon known as Oz had a disastrous start when, at age five, he cut his four-year-old sister’s ponytail off. Fast forward several years and Osva Zuniga landed an apprenticeship with the prestigious Josè Ebér in the Dallas area. Zuniga says, “That’s where I gained all my skills and knowledge of how to create beautiful hair.”

We asked Oz for tips for dealing with summertime hair woes. His answers include easy styling ideas, favorite products and even a deep conditioning recipe to make at home, along with his famous wit.

High moisture levels in humid air can cause straight hair to frizz, carefully designed curls to drop and textured locks to become untamable and bushy. You can keep a hat with you at all times or defeat the Midwest’s warm, damp air in other ways.

The most important thing to know is that dry, dehydrated hair is porous and absorbs moisture very quickly. On a humid day, deep condition to restore and nourish your damaged hair. Two products we use consistently at the salon are Oribe’s Signature Moisture Masque, a great soak for deep hydration, and Bumble & Bumble Deep Conditioner, which contains silk and panthenol (a form of vitamin B5) and turns burned-out hair into super soft tresses after the first use.

I recommend using this DIY deep-conditioner once a week, especially during summer when your hair is affected by sun, chlorine and humidity. Combine a half-cup of olive oil and a half-cup of water in a microwavable bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds. Massage the warm mixture into your scalp and hair, concentrating on drier ends. Wrap your hair in a warm towel or pin it up and cover with a shower cap. After 30 minutes, rinse your hair with cold water, then shampoo and rinse. Silky, soft hair is your reward.

Girls, I can’t say this enough: Stop shampooing your hair! Most shampoos contain harsh, drying sulfates that are extremely damaging for curly hair (ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, etc.). These common detergents found in shampoos make curly hair frizzy and uncooperative.

Also, before your graceful swan dive into the pool this summer, give your hair a good soak of tap water. Wet hair soaks up fewer chemicals than dry hair. Avoid shampooing your hair prior to swimming. This strips your hair of its natural oils that create a barrier against the chemically treated water in most swimming pools.

For a quick fix, try Oribe’s Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray. This finishing spray shields your hair from frizz on the sultriest of days and nights, protecting your blowouts and perfect curls.

Now that you have glossy, healthy locks, it’s time to show off with an easy summer ‘do. One of my favorite looks is the fishtail braid, a sexier version of the braid you wore in grade school. (See sidebar for instructions.) For that popular “just off the beach” wavy look, the secret is sea salt spray. Make it yourself with a spray bottle, several tablespoons of sea salt and water. Spritz your hair with the mixture, scrunch it and let it air dry. Sea salt enhances the natural wave in your hair.

And if you have your mom’s scarves from the ’60s or ’70s, consider yourself lucky. Thanks to Dolce and Gabbana, they’re back in vogue. Capture that vintage, ready-for-the-Riviera look by pinning your hair up, folding the scarf into a wide band or triangle and tying it around your head ending with the knot at the back of your neck. Leave your hairline visible, which will keep it from looking too severe and add a bit of height. Add huge sunglasses and be prepared to get asked for your autograph.

Here’s how to do a conditioner wash. Distribute conditioner on your entire scalp and massage with the tips of your fingers, not your fingernails. This rubbing action and friction will loosen dirt, product residue, and dandruff, which can then be rinsed away.

Thoroughly rinse your scalp afterwards, still massaging with your fingertips as you do so. Depending on how dry your scalp is, you can conditioner wash, once a week, twice a week, or every day.

Here’s a fabulous coconut oil conditioner you can make at home.

Coconut oil is what Indian women use to make their hair glossy and is very commonly used in that part of the world for a hair treatment. Argan oil is great for dry hair; you can even use it as a light leave-in conditioner for split ends. Baobab oil, from Africa, is extremely moisturizing for hair and contains essential vitamins.

What you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of argan oil
  • 1 teaspoon of baobab oil
  • 2 drops of sweet orange essential oil
  • 2 drops of bergamot essential oil

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Put this in a clean jar and use on a weekly basis. Dampen your hair, just enough for the conditioner to be easily absorbed. Apply it at the roots and through your hair.

This conditioner is extremely moisturizing so you don’t need to put a lot on the ends, especially if you have fine hair.

Leave it on for about 30 minutes to an hour or so for super-deep conditioning.