phytoI’m convinced that last summer’s days at the beach and the pool fried my hair, turning my deep brown color a tawny shade of orange. This year, I vowed to take a stand against the sun without turning into one of those moms who spends her days either inside the house or under the brim of a hat.

I surfed around the Internet and found that the best way to protect hair against the sun’s ultraviolet rays is to – duh! – apply sunscreen! But instead of gobbing goopy Banana Boat onto my locks, I can simply spritz them with protective beach spray. Brilliant! My favorite product is Phyto Plage L’Originale ($20 at www.beauty.com), a spray that blocks UVB rays and nourishes it with olive oil, castor oil, and calendula, willow and rosemary extracts. It can be used on wet or dry hair, so on the days that I’m headed for the beach or the pool, I soak my hair before leaving the hotel, toss it in my beach bag, then re-apply it every hour or so. Just be aware that it’s kind of greasy, so if you’re on your way to an important luncheon or, say, a beach wedding, you may want to skip this product and opt instead for something lighter.