We all know that the summer can be tough on our skin, combining the drying effects of sun damage with sweat, sticky sun cream and layers of self-tan to thoroughly throw our skin off balance. Most of us have invested in some decent SPF sun cream, or at least chosen a protective moisturiser, and found a fake tan that doesn’t give us hives. However, many of us are probably not doing everything we could to protect our hair, which can also suffer in the sun. Add in the heat and UV-exposure with sweat, hairspray, straightening and the holiday trifecta of sun, sea and sand, and you’re looking at some seriously frizzy, lifeless summer locks. After all, our hair is 10% water: when we’re out in the sun too long that water evaporates, leaving our hair dry and brittle and prone to breaking, split ends and faded colour. Yikes!
However, there’s plenty out there you can use to protect your hair, ranging from really simple DIY precautions to high-end rescue potions. The easiest place to start is with your everyday hair care routine. Look again at the shampoo and conditioner you use. When you sweat you probably wash your hair more, and sun is very drying, so you need to switch your shampoo for something gentle and opt for a more moisturising conditioner than usual. The very best ones will have something like aloe vera or coconut oils in for nourishment, and keratin and panthenol to rebuild the proteins in your hair. Shampoo your hair in cool or warm water rather than hot: it’s gentler on your scalp and slows down sebum production so your hair doesn’t produce too much oil.
If you’re swimming in the sea or in chlorinated water, it’s vital you protect your hair: choose a rescue spray designed for swimming, or if you’re caught unawares substitute a heat-protect oil for styling or even a good dollop of conditioner, work it through your hair from root to tip, and then pull your hair up in a tight bun to prevent water from soaking in and washing the goodness away. Not the sexiest style, but if you put it in right before you take the plunge it’ll protect your hair, keeping it supple and shiny for the beach party afterwards.
You can buy elixirs with exotic oils such as Argan or Moroccan to nourish damaged hair. However, we’ve found that simpler sources such as olive and coconut oil can be just as effective at half the price, so splash out on a hair mask with a simple oil base and no nasty silicates or parabens. Applied in the evenings after you give your hair a dose of sun, they can rescue you from next-day frizz and breakage when you brush. Above all, look after yourself in the sun: drink plenty of water, protect your skin with sun-cream and take regular shade breaks. Don’t drink and tan- you’ll risk dehydration. A wide-brimmed hat can protect your hair and the delicate skin of your face while providing cool shade and minimising the risk of sun stroke.
The author is a beauty blogger in the online retail industry who writes about budget beauty for the under-30s.
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.