We all love the sun and sitting on a lounger for a few days to get an impressive tan, topping up on sun cream every now and again to keep us from turning into a tomato, but how often do you think about the effect of UV on your hair? We all take care of our skin differently in the warmer months and change up our makeup and outfits because of the seasonal change, but it can be hard to know what to do to protect your hair. We understand this challenge and have put together this ultimate hair protection guide to keep your hair looking glossy and healthy over this summer season.
Avoid too many chemicals
The sun puts your hair under enough stress as it is, go easy on your locks and don’t put them under added pressure. Avoid chemical hair treatments that will be tough on your hair and cause damage to the hair structure as it will struggle to recover with the added stress caused by UV rays. Opt for shampoos and conditioners which have been designed to be kind to your hair, like the Paul Mitchell Instant Moisture Daily Shampoo and the Moist Repair Cleansing Conditioner from KMS.
If you’re wanting to change things up for the summer months and go for a new colour, then the ideal time to dye your hair is just before the weather begins to warm up. If you’re headed somewhere hot, then get your highlights done a week or two before you leave to give the colour time to settle into your hair, or go a sunkissed blonde as the sun begins to peep out and bring the summer heat with it.
Go wild with the conditioner
The sun will dry out your hair, so treat it to some extra hydration with a moisture-rich conditioner. Hair masks, leave-in conditioner and hair serums are another way to give your hair the moisture it’s craving, but more on them a little further down.
Before you start spending and extra 20 minutes in the shower to let your hair absorb all of the nutrients from the conditioner, ensure that you’re using the right product for your hair type. If you have dry hair, look for ingredients like coconut butter and hydrating oils, while those with oily hair types may want to opt for a conditioner which will add volume or body.
Go easy on the shampoo
Just like sun exposure, shampooing your hair too often will dry out your hair and scalp, so only wash your hair when you really need to. Avoid that awkward day two hair with a dry-wash by using your favourite summer-scented dry shampoo. Some dry shampoos even have UV protection incorporated into their ingredients list so you can protect your hair from the sun while rocking a seriously volumised look. We love the Tigi Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Dry Shampoo for big volume, while the Fudge Dry Shampoo is perfect for darker hair tones with transparent dust technology that hides the tell-tale white roots you can get with other dry shampoos.
When you do come to wash your hair, massage the shampoo into your roots rather than the ends of your hair, this way you won’t dry out parts of your hair unnecessarily. Don’t worry about cleaning the ends of your hair, the shampoo will run down the strands naturally as you massage the product into your hair, so they will be cleansed without the danger of drying out.
A dip in the pool…
We all love a splash around in the ocean and a refreshing swim in the pool on a hot summer’s day, but be sure to take care of your hair so you can continue enjoying your holiday after you’ve cooled down. As we mentioned before, leave-in conditioners (we love the KMS Moist Repair Leave-in Conditioner) and/or a shower cap will be your best friend when it comes to protecting your hair from the potentially harmful chemicals in the water.
Before you get in the pool, you may be tempted to wash your hair, but try to resist as this will strip your hair of all natural oils that help to protect it from the chemicals. After your cooling swim, hop into the shower and use a clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of any lingering chemicals and limit the harmful effects of things like chlorine, this Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three is a great option to consider.
Less heat, better hair
Avoid heat as much as possible, or rather, avoid any unnecessary heat if possible. The sun is already giving your beautiful locks a hard time by drying out all of the natural oils in your scalp and therefore making your hair feel dry and brittle. Pairing this with the added stress of heat styling can cause serious damage to your hair.
Dodge avoidable damage by exploring heat-less styling options like rollers or sleeping in plaits. If you really must get your straighteners out, then turn down the heat and use plenty of heat-protecting spray. Buy a new bottle of protection spray before you head abroad so you’re not caught without; if you’re looking for a good protection spray, our stylists recommend the ghd Heat Protect Spray and the Redken Heat Styling Iron Shape 11.
It might feel like a faff while you’re on holiday, but your hair will thank you and will be in a much healthier state once you get home.
Trim the tips
The ends of your hair need a chop every now and again to keep the split ends at bay, but during the summer months they may become more obvious as your hair dries out in the sun. Consider getting a trim more often to keep your locks looking healthy and strong, or relax in a salon for an hour while a stylist gives you locks a new lease of life.
There’s no need to chop off a lot if you’ve been growing it out for mermaid-length hair in your beach snaps, just specify to your stylist to take a small amount off the ends and you may be surprised by how healthy your hair will look as you leave the salon. Book yourself a little trim at your local Supercuts salon to get your hair looking holiday-ready before you jet off for the sun.
Care for your colour
Care for your coloured hair by taking extra care to keep it protected this summer. The harsh summer rays will dry out your hair and can even cause the colour to fade faster, so make use of some UV protecting products to keep your coloured hair bright and healthy. Consider products like the Kérastase Soleil Micro-Voile Protecteur to protect your hair or Kérastase Bain Apres-Soleil for when your hair is in dire need of some tlc after a day in the hot sun.
A must with lighter colours is to take care in the pool – chlorine is not a friend to bleached hair, and we don’t need reminding of the embarrassing green tinge that can appear if we aren’t careful! Leave-in conditioners and shower/swimming caps will dramatically reduce your chances of turning green in the pool this summer. We put together a guide specifically for bottle blondes caring for their hair this summer, which you can check out here (link to be update once both guides are live).
Try and increase the amount of water you’re consuming this season and you’ll see your skin and hair thanking you for it. Without this step, all of the other tips in this list are redundant – you wouldn’t build a house without foundations and you certainly wouldn’t apply makeup without primer, so increase your water intake this summer to keep your hair looking healthy.
Water isn’t the only friend to your luscious locks, fruit and veg are also great natural sources of nutrients for your hair. Keep your hair strong by consuming iron-rich foods like spinach and limes or oranges for Vitamin C. Add some avocado and carrots into your diet for more balanced Vitamin E and Vitamin A levels that will help keep oil levels balanced and encourage your hair to grow strong and healthy.
Treat your hair to some serious care and attention with a deep condition, hair mask and/or moisturising serum each night and wake up with hydrated locks. We’ve already mentioned that using more conditioner than normal is a good way to add some moisture to your parched hair, but overnight treatments are an additional step you can take if you feel your hair is really struggling. Apply an overnight treatment and wrap your hair to protect your bedding while you sleep. When you wake up, you’ll be left with beautifully glossy and healthy hair. Our stylists love the Nioxin Deep Repair Hair Mask to encourage hair recovery and the Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturising Treatment Mask for deeply hydrated locks. If you’re looking for an alternative intensive treatment to a hair mask, the Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Protective Treatment is an oil that will treat your hair and leave it shining when you wake up the next morning.
This tip also helps combat frizz so you can create great hairstyles and not have to worry about pesky fly-aways ruining the look. If you want some serious me-time then book into the local salon for a deep conditioning treatment and relax as your hair is renourished.
Are you headed somewhere hot and sunny for your holiday?
Make sure you have a summer hair care routine in place before you go by adding these steps into your current routine. If you have a specific question about caring for your hair in the hotter summer months, get in touch with our professional stylists and they’ll help to make sure your hair is in it’s healthiest condition.
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