You've got your holiday skin routine covered; you fake instead of bake, you regularly reapply SPF and you care 'n' repair with decent after-sun. But what about your hair - and your scalp? Where your parting exposes your scalp to the sun - at the highest point on your body - it can burn more easily than the rest of your skin and that's not all, your hair can burn too. So to avoid peeling partings, annoying colour changes and dry, brittle strands try these tips.
To avoid scalp burn and peeling along your parting
The best way to protect your scalp is to cover it with a hat, scarf or protective hairstyle. A slicked-up topknot or sleeked-back ponytail should conceal exposed areas of scalp but when wearing your hair up make sure you carefully apply sunscreen to your hairline, neck and ears.
If, however, you want to wear your hair down and parted or in braids, which expose skin, you'll need to apply SPF - as you would to your face. Try targeted sun protection for hair and scalp like the Redken Color Extend Sun Take Cover SPF25, which is a mousse formula, and if you're concerned with thinning hair (which leaves your scalp at higher risk) we recommend the Nioxin Scalp Treatment SPF15. You don't need a hair-specific SPF, but if you use your face or body sunscreen just make sure it's a clear formula, such as the once-a-day P20 SPF which is lightweight and non-greasy.
To avoid burning your hair colour
Yes, chemically coloured hair can burn in the sun leaving blondes more yellow and brunettes to turn orange. Eek! If you've had your colour freshly done, ask your colourist for take-home glosses to keep your tones true.
Alternatively, whether your hair is dyed or not, you can prevent colour change with a fade-fighting shampoo and conditioner (we love the Wella SP Color Save with Microlight 3D Complex Shampoo, Conditioner and Mask) and a UV filter like the Redken Color Extend Sun Take Cover SPF25 (as above), L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise EverPure Colour Care Protective Mist UV Filter, or the Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil. Apply these leave-in products from roots to tips.
To avoid swimming pool discolouration
While chlorine in pools is often thought to turn locks green, it can actually be caused by the copper traces in swimming pool water, which oxidise leaving a green tinge on hair hues. To prevent this, wet your hair immediately before and after swimming (with shower water) so your locks don't absorb as much pool water. The UV filtering products listed above can also act as a seal and protect the metals from penetrating the hair cuticles.
If you took protection too late, you can treat green tinges with a home hair hack: Tomato ketchup! Simply apply some good old Heinz or even a tomato puree and leave it on as you would a hair mask, which should release the copper compounds and restore your former shades.
To avoid dry, dehydrated strands
Just as you feel physically dehydrated after frolicking in the sunshine, so does your hair. High, dry temperatures zap strands of moisture and can make them feel brittle and vulnerable to breakage. Having a good trim before your holiday will help prime hair for sun stress, as will taking SPF protection (as above), but there are ways to replenish lost moisture too.
Damaged hair lacks protein whereas dry hair simply lacks moisture, so unless it's previously frazzled you just need to give it a big old drink. Try the bargainous Aussie Beach Mate 3 Minute Miracle, which will help with texture, tangles and restore some silkiness to your strands. Another post-sun saviour is the Aveda Sun Care After-Sun Hair Masque which is pumped with antioxidants to fight free radical damage.
By Bridget March
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