How to sort out summer-dried hair

Had a bit too much of a good time over summer? If you spent your time off lounging in the sun, swimming in chlorinated pools or salty sea and generally shoving your hair back in a lazy bun and forgetting all about it during the UK's legendary, not-to-be-forgotten-for-years summer heatwave, chances are, it's been left a little worse for wear as a result. If this is you- don't fear, we're here to help you solve all of your summer-related hair issues and help you restore it back to its former beauty come autumn.

THE PROBLEM: Too many dips in the swimming pool

Chlorine is a chemical disinfectant added to the water of most swimming pools, to, y'know, keep things as hygienic as sharing a bath with multiple strangers can possibly be. As much fun as it might be to bob about on a lilo in Tenerife, living your best life, your hair isn't going to love you for it. Chlorine damages your hair when it comes into contact with it, by stripping the natural oils from your hair and leaving it dry and prone to all the horrible things in life, like frizz and knots. Your hair is more likely to have experienced chlorine damage this summer if it's colour treated, thin or fine, or previously damaged.

THE SOLUTION: Revitalising hair masks

Luckily, chlorine damage is only temporary if you know how to fix it, and there are plenty of treatments available for doing just that. Moisturising masks are great for giving your hair that hydration it badly needs. You can either buy them from your local drug store- there are plenty at a reasonable price- or make your own from coconut or argan oil. Simply apply your mask of choice twice a week after showering, leave on for twenty minutes, then wash off. Your hair'll be looking as sleek and shiny as before your pool-dipping in no time.

THE PROBLEM: SUN OVERLOAD

We're not going to tell you otherwise: when the whole point of going on holiday is to spend a week or so in the sun, there's no real avoiding it. But if you'll admit to maybe not wearing a hat when you could have done, or spending hours on the deckchair with your hair sizzling under the sun's rays, it might be fair to say that your hair has suffered from your actions. With prolonged exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can damage the outside cover of the hair strand, causing discoloration, dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, thinning and frizziness.

THE SOLUTION: Condition, condition, condition

You need a good moisturising conditioner for this- anything that contains argan oil is a good one, as well as honey, coconut oil, and shea butter. These ingredients are all natural, and so won't fall out with your hair once they're applied, and they're known for helping restore hair to its former glory by repairing and re-hydrating strands. Regularly conditioning the ends of your hair should help bring some life back to your locks. It may also be a good idea to visit your hairdresser's for a touch-up if you feel the sun has faded away some of your colour.

THE PROBLEM: Salt water + hair = a match made in hell

Salt water never usually gets a bad rep: after all, how bad can something that detoxes the skin, reduces swelling and treats wounds really be? But your innocent dip in the sea might not have been so innocent after all, as all that salt in the sea actually leeches water out of your hair, leaving it dry, parched, and brittle. Not a winning combination, we're sure you'll agree.

THE SOLUTION: Oil it (and avoid heat!)

Once the salt water damage has been done, the best solution is to grab your nearest oil- coconut, almond, argon, it doesn't matter which one, get applying it on your ends. If your hair feels really dry and brittle, apply a good helping of the oil and lather all over. Leave the oil in for at least half an hour before washing off and shampooing for good measure. The oils contain plenty of vitamins that will deposit in your hair, helping to re-nourish it and replace whatever has been lost from your frequent ocean dips. Try to avoid using any heat products on your hair, too, as they'll only dry your hair out even more.
 

Laura Shallcross