On a recent trip to Sicily I forwent my usual ritual of applying protective creams and sprays. I even dunked my head in the pool and let it air dry in the sun. After a good 2 years of being brunette I wanted, as quickly as possible, a lighter, brighter and blonder hair colour – and all without spending 3 hours and £300 in a hair salon. However, if you wish to keep your locks the same shade during the summer, you need to do the exact opposite of what I did. UV rays react with your hair structure in a similar way to bleach. They oxidize your hair’s melanin (pigment), lightening it. Chlorine, which is also an oxidizer, results in similar changes. And if you add the two together, you may just go a full shade lighter in a matter of days. Apply a water-resistant cream containing SPF to guard your hair from colour fade. My go-to is our Swimcap Cream, which hydrates your hair at the same time as protecting it.
Your Hair Can Burn
However, if you too want your hair to be significantly sun-kissed, there are a few things you should know. Your hair can burn, just like your skin – you just can’t feel it. Even though the sun’s rays are ‘natural’, they damage the bonds that hold your hair together. This can result in dryness, brittleness and subsequent breakage. It is therefore essential to use a pre-shampoo conditioner that restores elasticity, moisture and strength to the hair. When I was in Sicily, I used our pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, Elasticizer, EVERY day. I slept with it in, read a book on my balcony with it on and worked it into my hair before going to the gym. You don’t have to be quite as methodical as I was, but I certainly suggest you use it at least twice a week if you will be baking your hair in the sun.
No Lemon Juice Please!
Even for those wanting a lighter hue, a line must be drawn somewhere. Applying lemon juice is a definite no. It tangles your hair, and leaves it with a straw-like texture. Leaving your hair exposed, unprotected, in the sun for over 2 hours a day should also be avoided. And if your hair begins to feel parched, embark on the regime I described above. It is also important to point out that pool water can turn blonde hair green. This isn’t due to the presence chlorine. Pool water often contains traces of copper – and this can react with your hair protein. I have not experienced this personally (although watch this space…) but we have seen it in our Clinics – and the green tint is very hard to get rid of. If you are concerned, put your hair in a high bun, wear a swim cap, or apply our Swimcap Cream before getting into the pool.
Daily Colour Fade Defence
For daily sun protection from colour fade in the city, or simply when wandering about on holiday, use a protective conditioning spray. This will shield your hair from environmental damage. Also, try to choose one that has detangling properties and offers heat protection. We make one called Daily Damage Defence.