Summer can be a greasy, frizzy old time for hair. Before you lop it all off, here’s how to outsmart the heat
Frizz, fuzz, frazzle- whatever ‘f word’ you’re applying to hair right now, the summer hair struggle is most definitely real, whether you’re battling it into work on the bus or frolicking (read: blobbing) on the beach. Without a doubt there’s more sweat about, not to mention sun if we’re lucky, humidity and an onslaught of chlorine, saltwater and sand if you’re en vacances. All can pose their own delightful and unique hair horrors, and often mane mares last well beyond your blissful getaway.
Here’s your packing list for ultimate hair protection and polish…
A Swim Cap
Not of the rubber kind, but if that kind of thing floats your boat, go for it. A more chic and comfortable way to go about guarding hair from harsh chemicals and salt however comes in the form of Philip Kingsley Swim Cap cream , £15. Smooth it onto damp hair before diving into the pool or surf to limit UV and chlorine damage and protect both the colour and condition of your mop. The result is less breakage, brighter colour and quite probably healthier hair than when you started, which is quite something for those of us who’ve endured dreaded swimmer’s scarecrow hair.
The fact that you apply it wet is a bonus too, as hair that is already damp won’t absorb as many damaging elements. A couple of dips and you’ll come to the conclusion that Kingsley is indeed the king, end of.
It’s not just for your limbs; a little after sun can go a long way to restore life and moisture to parched strands. Switching from your normal shampoo to a softening formulation with a UV shield will help to counteract the ravages of summer and make roughened cuticles all slinky and glossy once more. Kérastase Soleil Bain Après Soleil shampoo , £14, followed by Kérastase Soleil Lait Richesse , £17.40, should sort out even the most brittle, sunbaked hair, thanks to fortifying ceramides, a nifty polymer that restores healthy texture and a UV filter to help to screen further damage. Do bear in mind that hair products don’t have SPF ratings, as it’s very difficult to distribute product onto every strand and thus the protective effect is difficult to measure. Using strengthening products that incorporate a UV filter will nevertheless up your chances of maintaining luscious hair and killer colour, whether yours is natural or not.
Sometimes what you really need is a thorough, purifying salt, sweat and grime extraction, and for that you need to go to the pros. Actually, you needn’t go anywhere at all- let the pros come to you in the form of hif© Intensive Detox Cleansing Conditioner , £20. ‘Hif’ stands for ‘hair is fabric’, and as such this hydrating yet hard hitting (in the gunk eliminating stakes) hair cleanser is designed to mimic delicate dry cleaning- it has superior powers of residue removal but will actually strengthen, soften and support hair that’s been tangled by the surf or teased a little too often with hairspray and heavy styling products. A rich iron content has the added benefit of spurring on hair growth, and the lack of detergents, cooling effect on the scalp and inclusion of moisture binding hyaluronic acid, more often found in skincare products, make this far from your average cleansing agent. Persil it ain’t.
Not a cocktail, but as good as when you’re melting in the midday heat. An invigorating cleansing conditioner as above is certainly refreshing to use at the end of a long hot day, but the addition of a bracing yet blissful cooling spray throughout is a game changer for hot heads and sizzled strands. Salon Science Aquacacteen Hydrasoothe™ Cooling Spray can be used as often as you like to calm irritation, add a shot of hydration to hair that feels as though it’s lost the will to wow, not to mention protect it from further summer hair stress.
Forget about using one for your brow or kitchen floor, sometimes we feel we require one to soak up hot weather hair grease. Follow the French (toujours in the beauty world) and give limp roots and sweaty scalps the once over with Klorane Nettle Sebo Regulating Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair , £8. A pharmacy classic over the pond, Klorane dry shampoos are renowned for their va va voom and efficiency- think volume, lighter, cleaner feeling roots and no overpowering fragrance or telltale white ‘halo’ effect (of particular relief to brunettes). If your crown is not so much oily as simply ‘meh’ and lacking body, try the classic Oat Milk version , £8, instead. It’s a styling product as much as it’s a lifesaver.
A Sugar Hit
Put the calippo down. Sugar may be a health villian, but when it comes to our hair it can act as a nonchalant texturiser- think piecey waves and roots with grip rather than Beverly Hills blowout. You might be more familiar with tousling ends with a salt spray, but give sugar a go too - I love Wella EIMI Sugar Lift, £10.20, for its cool yet non-crispy beach wave creating abilities. It seems to have less of a matte effect than the traditional salt sprays I’m used to, so it’s ideal for those that don’t wave to forgo shine for surfer girl style.
If your hair rises earlier in the day than you do on holiday, summer humidity is likely playing havoc with it. From pesky fuzz around the hairline to full on frizz, humidity can turn hair to candy floss in extreme cases, so protect polished styles and go armed with ‘Miami tested’ Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray , £39. It’s no bargain, I grant you, but it’s brilliant at bringing down an unwelcome bouffant, no matter what your hair type or style of preference, plus it’s ready loaded with vitamins and UV protection, making it a much better option for keeping hair in line in hot climates than drying, bog standard hairspray. It could also double as a fragrance if you really want to make it earn its keep- it smells as expensive as it actually is and the chic scent stays with you all day.
A given for any trip, but if you're concerned about losing your hair colour or long, silky ends to your holiday destination, there’s a new safeguarding service in town, and it goes by the name of Olaplex. An in-salon, two step phenomenon, backed up with a take home, once a week treatment, Olaplex fortifies hair bonds that can otherwise be broken and, frankly, ravaged by the chemical colouring process. The result is that you’ll end up with healthier, shinier hair post-colour than you likely ever had beforehand, and it’s especially miraculous if you’re opting for typically more damaging lightening colour treatments. Our editor-at-large Susannah Taylor has tried and loved it on her blonde hair , so if you give it a go send us a postcard and let us know how you get on...