Say goodbye to green hair, sweaty roots and frazzled ends with our ultimate summer hair guide
While summer brings sunny days, warm nights and a general feel-good factor, holidays can cause all kinds of problems for our hair. Greasy roots , frizzy lengths, brassy blonde and the dreaded green tinge of the pool – there’s a lot for your poor hair to contend with. Which is why we asked the experts how to navigate the chlorine-filled waters of summer hair hell. Over to the pros…
Put yourself in professional hands
They say that forewarned is forearmed, so get ahead of the hair game by booking yourself in for L’Oréal Professionnel’s Liss PowerMix treatment . Like a pre-holiday facial for your hair, it involves mixing one of five active ingredients into a conditioning base to create the formulation that’s best for you – from frizz-fighting ‘Smoothen’ to ‘Repair’, strengthening ‘Force’, hydrating ‘Nutri’ and the ‘Colour’ enhancer. Each one contains micellar technology to help the mask penetrate deeper into the hair before rinsing after five minutes.
And, when it comes to styling, we all know that a professional blow-dry is a girl’s best friend too.
Adding to their two London salons, John Frieda now have an atelier in the ultra-chic Nobu Ibiza Bay Hotel to bring the signature White Isle beachy Balearic Waves or Festival Braids to residents and non-residents alike, before they head to the parties of the nearest chiringuita.
Limp, flat, greasy – you’ve got a bad case of ‘hat hair’
As chic as your oversized floppy straw looks on, take it off at the end of the day and you may find sweaty roots clamped firmly to your scalp.
Of course, the best possible solution to limp hair is to wash the grease and sweat away – but picking the right products is essential. According to TRESemmé, more than 6.2 million British women rate having more volume as their main hair need. Their new PRO Collection Collagen + Fullness Shampoo and Thickening Balm, £4.99, contain peptide collagen – a source of protein and amino acids that helps repair the hair structure from the inside, to give you fuller-looking hair on the outside.
If you’re out and about and need an instant fix, sling Evo’s Hair Styling Powder, £23, into your beach bag. Ideal for fine hair that’s fallen flat, the ultra-fine powder can be massaged into your scalp to absorb oil and moisture – then add volume, texture and a natural-looking matte finish.
That said, you could always go with the (slightly sweaty) flow and simply style out those roots, says stylist Aaron Carlo , who’s worked with Caroline Flack, Davina McCall and Rita Ora:
“If you have long hair, you can use the oily roots to do a slicked-back look by using a wide tooth comb to rake it back, leaving the ends to flow down your back. Then just add a red lip. If your hair’s short, embrace the oily roots with a more tailored, androgynous look. Use a fine comb to create a side part and tuck both sides behind your ears. Contrast this boyish style with a great mascara and full-on lashes”.
Brassy or fading fast – you’ve hit a colour crisis
Individually, chlorine, sunshine and salt water can compromise that shiny, crystal clear colour you leave the salon with. Add them all together, and you’ve got a recipe for a dull, faded or brassy disaster. “Salt can make the hair more porous, meaning it absorbs water and loses its ‘grip’ on the colour pigments, causing it to become faded or brassy,” explains Jeffrey Elie of the Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay John Frieda salon .
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. So, be sure to apply Kérastase’s Soleil CC Crème, £25.11, at intervals throughout the day. Like its CC skincare equivalent, it protects the hair from UV damage, and contains oils to repair it when you apply it to dry or damp hair.
If all of the above went out the window the minute you bagged your sun lounger, there’s always Kevin Murphy’s new Colouring Angels collection, £21. While Sugared Angel cleverly roots out warm, orange tones and restores your lovely creamy, vanilla-beige lengths, Cool Angel knocks out redness and turns up the volume on cool ashy blonde.
When styling, Jeffrey recommends using Colour Wow Brass Banned Mousse, £16.50, on damp hair to counteract tones. Then keep your style as beachy and messy as possible with a salt spray to ensure any brassy remnants blend in to the natural undertones of your hair.
You’re less than 20 paces from your hotel room and you’re facing a serious frizz situation
It matters not whether your hair is straighter than a poker. The high levels of humidity associated with hotter climes means that as our naturally porous hair absorbs moisture from the air, each strand does a kind of U-turn as the molecules double back on themselves. This disrupts the smooth cuticle of the outer layer and voilà – your hair is a puffball.
“Frizziness is one of the biggest things our clients complain of,” says Jeffrey. His top tip is to spray Colour Wow Dream Coat, £24, through damp hair to seal the cuticle smooth and act like a water-repellent raincoat to stop frizz in its tracks.
Sleep in a Silke London head wrap, £45, and rather than absorbing moisture as your pillowcase does, it’ll help distribute the hair’s natural oils down the lengths to keep them smooth and hydrated overnight.
If you really want to travel light during the day, slip a Ouai Anti-Frizz Sheet, £20 for 15, between the pages of your book, so you can surreptitiously glide away frizz while relaxing beneath your parasol.
“When it comes to the evening, you can always conceal any lingering frizzing by braiding long hair into a plait, leaving a few beachy wisps to escape,” said Jeffrey. “If you have short hair, remember to pack plenty of grips and slides, so you can twist and pin different sections to create an easy, frizz-smoothing style”.
S.O.S – your hair just turned a grimy shade of green
A few dips in the hotel pool and by day three of your holiday, your once beautiful blonde hair is far from what it used to be. “The green shade isn’t actually caused by chlorine, but by copper sulphate, which is put in the pool to kill algae,” says trichologist, Anabel Kingsley. "The idea of using tomato ketchup isn’t necessarily a myth, as red and green are opposites on the colour spectrum, so the tomato neutralises the copper sulphate's colour. Just be warned – it doesn’t always work!”
A more foolproof option would be to apply Philip Kingsley’s Swimcap, £15, like a day-long mask to damp hair before going in the sun, sea or pool in order to shield it from damage and prevent that tell-tale green tinge. Getting ready for evening cocktails? Simply rinse it out and wash as usual with John Frieda Beach Blonde Purifying Shampoo, £5.99, for a deep cleanse that helps restore softness to hair.
Help! Your hair crackles it’s so dry
All of the aforementioned damage caused by the sun, sea and the pool can cause hair to become dry, frazzled and crispy – which means hydrating products should be your number one port of call. A bargain and light enough to be washbag friendly, L’Oréal Paris’ new Dream Lengths Heat Mask, £5.99, involves applying a hydrating balm to damp hair, then putting the accompanying tissue cap over the top. As you massage the cap against the scalp, it releases heat to help the nourishing ingredients of the balm penetrate deeper and more efficiently into the hair.
If your hair is coloured or exceptionally dry from the rigours of your blow-drying schedule, Bleach London’s syringe-like Deep Treatment in Nourish, £7, is the solution. Containing coconut and pomegranate oils, it’s so intensely nourishing that you need only mix a small amount into the hotel’s conditioner to turbocharge its hydrating properties.
You can always make the most of any added texture by creating a two-minute beachy tousle. Ideal for hair of any length, the classic Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray has teamed up with super cool swimwear brand, Solid & Striped to create two limited edition fragrances, coconutty Malibu Beach and lily of the valley, Montauk Dunes, £23. Simply spray into damp or dry hair, twist, scrunch and air dry for perfect surfer girl waves.
Itchy, scratchy and flaky – your scalp isn’t happy at all
“While we often focus on the quality of our hair, our scalp is often the thing that suffers most,” says stylist Cheryl Munoz of the Daniel Galvin Kensington salon. “What with sebum, sweat, dirt and product particles building up on the sensitive skin between the follicles – added irritation and inflammation brought on by increased sun exposure can lead to an uncomfortably dry, itchy sensation that compromises the long-term health and growth of your hair”.
Formulated for afro and curly hair, Flora & Curl’s Moroccan Lava Curl Refresh Clay Wash, £22.50, is a great addition for anyone suffering from summertime scalp issues. While the clay absorbs built-up impurities, mint oils stimulate the scalp to promote hair growth, leaving banana and coconut to condition and detangle lengths.
Use it in conjunction with Tropic’s Scalp Massager Brush, £8, for a few minutes each time you wash – and apply some pure aloe vera to your scalp for 30 minutes before rinsing to soothe away irritation.
To pack, or not to pack?
If you find yourself packing everything and the kitchen sink, there are certain rules of thumb when modifying your holiday hair routine, says Jeffrey.
Leave at home:
Tongs, straighteners or hairdryers – they’ll only exacerbate dryness. Air drying will save time and your hair;
Save space for:
A hydrating mask;
A Tangle Teezer, £11, to combat salty knots;
A purifying shampoo to reduce chemical and salt build-up;
Accessories such as headscarves, bands and grips. Holidays are a great time to experiment with the more playful side of your style.