The recipe for a great holiday – sun, sea and sand – is also the perfect recipe for ruining the condition of your hair. Just like skin, hair will burn if exposed to strong sunshine. But, unlike skin, it can’t signal it’s suffering; by the time you notice the damage, it will be too late. So to avoid a case of the sun-baked frizzies, it’s vital to treat your hair with the same consideration as you do your skin.
- Give hair a head start. Make an intensive conditioning treatment once a week part of your regime, especially in the run-up to a holiday.
- For hair to be soft and easy to style, it must retain moisture. This is especially difficult in summer heat. All hair types are vulnerable to damage, but some more so than others. So if your hair is chemically processed – permed or coloured – it will lose moisture faster rate than untreated hair. Similarly, black hair – which is more porous and so prone to drying out – needs maximum protection. Long hair – especially beyond shoulder-length – is also fragile because the hair ends are that much older. Give the ends an intensive moisturising treatment whenever you wash your hair.
- Optimum protection is a hat, rather than a visor which exposes the delicate parting area and roots. Don’t forget to tuck up the vulnerable ends under the hat.
- You can also give hair a veil of specially designed sunscreen. (Try J.H. Lazartigue’s Protective Hair Milk or Protective Hair Cream, or any of the summer hair ranges by Sebastian, Kérastase, etc.) Less expensive ranges are also bringing out hair protection lotions intended to be left on the hair: look for Parsol MCX – a UV filter – on the label.
- Apply hair protection as often as sun lotion.
- Chlorine is disastrous for lightened hair. It’s another form of bleach – and not one your colourist would recommend. Claudia Schiffer says her hair once went green after swimming in chlorinated water, although the chances of that happening are fairly remote. However, hair that gets wet – in a pool or seawater – should be washed again fast.
- Avoid the double threat of chlorine plus strong sunlight; try not to swim during prime sun hours.
- Forget the old tip about putting fresh lemon juice on your hair to bleach it in the sun. (Or – in supermodel Eva Herzigova’s case – neat vodka!) It may work, but, in tandem with the sun’s rays, it can be extremely drying and may leave your scalp light-sensitive and temporarily sore.
- Coarse hair should be treated with a leave-in conditioner or serum to fight the frizzies.
BOTANICAL HAIR BEAUTY SECRETS
- A rinse of mint tea after conditioning helps oily hair shine, without being greasy.
- For dandruff control, massage a cupful of fresh apple juice from hair roots through to ends. Follow conditioning with a rinse of two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, diluted in a cup of water. Expect to see results after two or three applications.
- The enzymes and proteins in natural yoghurt soften and purify, making a low-cost hair pack.
- According to Philip Berkowitz, creator of the Philip B. haircare and treatment range, oregano makes a brilliant hair detangler: mix half a cup of chopped fresh oregano leaves with a teaspoonful of pure vanilla extract and one cup of water; place over a low heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain to filter out particles. Once cooled, pour into a spray bottle and spray directly onto hair, saturating the strands and scalp. This keeps for three days in the fridge.
- Eggs are renowned for making hair shine. Hair guru Philip Kingsley suggests a basic egg shampoo: take two eggs, crack them in a bowl, fill the empty shells with olive oil, pour into the eggs and mix. Massage into hair and scalp; rinse thoroughly.
- Believe it or not, an ancient Himalayan remedy for stress-induced dry scalp problems is to mix a finely-chopped chilli pepper with three teaspoons of olive oil, heat gently, then massage into the scalp for five minutes. Rinse well.