Summer hair: Battle the after-effects of too much sun

Arm yourself with an arsenal of products to fight frazzled hair this summer, says Emma Akbareian

It's easy to get carried away in summer as sun, sea and sand (not to mention sangria) are an essential part of most holidays. While it's nice to think that you can emerge from a day by the sea with artfully tousled tresses – part Beyonce's H&M billboard, part Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch glory days – the reality is something quite different; split ends, tangles and a burnt scalp are just some of the after-effects of too much fun in the sun.

The harmful effects of sun-exposure on the skin are widely known, but its effects on the hair are less easily identified. Haircare expert Philip Kingsley explains the science: “The sun breaks down the protein structure of the hair [disulphide bonds], and also draws moisture from the hair cells. The combination of these roughens the hair's cuticle [outer layer] and gives the impression of drier, coarser and frizzier hair.”

Applying oil to the hair in the heat of the day might seem like a strange concept – not to mention a recipe for greasy locks – but treatment oils are fast becoming the new heroes of hair care, and are particularly important in the summer. Show Beauty is a new name in luxury haircare, and its lightweight Pure Treatment Oil contains anti-oxidant and nutrient properties to strengthen and repair hair. Kerastase ambassador Luke Hersheson advises coating hair in the oil day and night: “The added benefit of using oil is that it doubles as a styling product, hair becomes so much easier and more manageable.” Leaving the hairdryer, straightening iron and curling wand on the other side of customs may seem a daunting prospect but there's little need to risk excess baggage just to tote a heat-spewing electrical appliance to an even hotter clime. After all, adapted voltage and holiday humidity conspire to leave you merely flustered and frizzy. Instead, adopt a minimal approach, and apply a spritz of Unite's Beach Day spray to damp hair to achieve natural-looking windswept waves.

Finally, heed stylist Trevor Sorbie's advice: “On holiday, always use a UV protector on your hair before going out in the sun. There are lots of products on the market that are lightweight and easy to use, and will prevent the heat damaging your hair and prevent colour fade.”

Redken's Take Cover is a multitasking hair and scalp protector with SPF25 – allowing you to save money in the long run by avoiding an emergency trip to the salon on landing. You're getting a holiday after all: your hair deserves a treat, too.

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