How to protect your hair during the holidays | Sunday Observer

How to protect your hair during the holidays

More damage can be done to the hair during holidays in the sun than the rest of the year. Almost every aspect of a holiday in the sun can wreak havoc on your hair. The ultraviolet rays or radiation (UVRs) from sunlight that can cause damage to the skin also has an adverse effect on hair, depleting it of natural oils and removing moisture. White hair is particularly susceptible to the effects of the sun because it has lost its natural pigmentation which would normally help to filter out harmful UVRs to certain extent.

Exposure to strong winds can whip treated hair into a tangle, causing breakage and split ends, while chlorinated and salt water cause colour to fade, and treated hair to weaken and dry out substantially faster than untreated hair. Chlorine can also cause gray hair to take a greenish tinge.

Sun and Wind Protection

This can be done by wearing a hat or a scarf and using aspecially formulated products. On windy days keep long hair tied back to prevent tangles. Long hair can also be plaited when it is wet and the plait left in all day which offers some protection. When evening comes, you undo the plaits, you will have a cascade of rippling curls. If your hair does get tangled by the wind, untangle it using a wide tooth comb.

Holiday Care

Generally speaking, you should wash your hair at least once a day if you have been in the swimming pool or on the beach, to get rid of salt, Chlorine and sand build up. Even if you do not shampoo your hair every time, always rinse the salt or chlorinated water thoroughly from hair after a swim, using plenty of fresh clean water.

Natural Highlights

Exposure to the sun will fade your hair colour and make it appear lightened, which many people like. But remember this is a drying action, so you will need to replace lost moisture with conditioner.

Pre-trip action

Any colouring you are planning should be done at least one week prior to your holidays. This will allow time for the colour to soften and for you to apply intensive conditioning on any dry ends. If you want to have a perm, do it at least three weeks before departure to allow the hair to settle and for you to learn how to manage your new style. You can also have your hair trimmed before you go but do not try a radical style as you won’t want to worry about coping with a new look. It is advisable not to have your hair cut overseas, wait until you are back home and visit your regular stylist.

On the Beach

Exposed to sun, salt or chlorinated water, your hair will require a little extra care. Here are a few top tips;

· Tie hair at the nape of the neck rather than piling it on top of your head. This protects ends from over exposure to the sun.

· Reapply hair protection (conditioner etc.) during the day as often as you would use body protection.

· Use scarfs to cover your hair from the sun.

Back Home

Your holiday is over while a tan fades quickly, the negative effects it has had on your hair may be noticeable for some time to come. Here are some easy ways to combat the more common problems;

·Use a nourishing shampoo or conditioning treatments to remove deposits of dirt and build-up of holiday styling products. Remember to stop using these, until your hair is back in good condition.

· Applying an intensive deep-conditioning treatment that includes a scalp treatment to re-hydrate skin will help.

· Do a trim to get rid of over-dry or split ends.