Living in London, where the mid-60s is considered a ‘hot day’ during the peak of Summer, the prospect of a beach holiday thrills me to no end. And who doesn’t love basking in the sun and cooling off in the sea and pool? Summer just wouldn’t be as fun without these things.
However… even though it feels glorious at the time, if you throw all caution to the wind your hair is likely to be a mess come September – and dealing with this is no fun at all. Here are my tops tips to maintaining luscious locks from June through to August.
Skin Vs. Scalp
I cannot tell you how many people I speak to that have experienced scalp burn. While we are very conscious of protecting our skin, the poor scalp is so often neglected. However, your scalp is skin – and as such it can burn.
A sunburnt scalp can be highly unpleasant, with redness and soreness that is followed by large flakes approximately a week later. Apart from not looking very nice, a flaky scalp is known to cause and/or worsen hair shedding in certain individuals. Very seriously, leaving the scalp unprotected can also lead to cell changes and skin cancer. To help protect your scalp, apply your regular sunblock to your parting – or to any other areas that are exposed. Alternatively, you can wear a hat or sit under a cabana or umbrella. If you have already burnt your scalp, apply the same logic as if your arms or legs got sunburnt: keep it covered until the skin heals.
You are not able to feel it, but the sun can burn your strands. UV rays degrade and weaken the hair’s protein structure in a similar way to bleach; it is why hair becomes lighter. It is also why sun exposure can make the hair very dry and brittle and riddled with split ends. Salt and chlorinated water can add to this damage, making a truly tress-terrifying trio. The best way to guard your hair is with a water-resistant moisturizing cream containing UV filters. We make one called Swimcap Cream that was originally formulated for the US Olympic Swim Team. You simply dampen your hair and apply it from root to tip. As an added bonus, Swimcap Cream gives your hair a hydrating treatment at the same time as protecting it. In fact, many people comment that when they use it their hair is in better condition after summer than it was before.
Like all skin, the scalp can become dry if you are dehydrated. The solution to this is an easy one: stay hydrated! Water is best, but any (non-alcoholic) drink will do.
Put Down The Pinot
The good news is that dandruff tends to be less common in the summer. However, the bad news is that a common summer cooler, white wine, often triggers it in predisposed individuals. Being someone who loves a chilled glass of Gavi by the pool, I know this news may be annoying for some. There is more good news though! Spirits (i.e. vodka and gin) are scalp friendly if drunk in moderation. Cheers!
Your hair is made of protein, so it’s important to include sufficient quantities of it in your daily diet. There are so many delicious, fresh and nutritious protein rich foods available in the summer, so do take advantage! My favourite seasonal delights are lobster (rolls), barbequed scallops and shrimp, steamers and soft shell crab. All very lean, all low in mercury, and each one packs a hefty dose of all essential amino acids needed for hair growth.
Last week when I was in Portofino my hair resembled a birds-nest after jumping in the hotel’s pool and letting my hair air-dry. I was torn between quickly detangling so I could tackle the lunch buffet ASAP – and taking my time and risking losing out on the fattest langoustine. However, knowing how damaging this can be, I was patient. But most women I saw were not. And why would they be? Many are not aware that pulling through knots can cause a lot of breakage and thin the appearance of the ends. A great way to make things easier is to carry a travel-sized detangling spray in your beach bag, like our Daily Damage Defence. Start detangling at your ends and gently work your way up.