A trichologist’s top 5 holiday hair tips

Photo credit: Richard Phibbs for Harper's Bazaar

Photo credit: Richard Phibbs for Harper’s Bazaar

Hands up if your hair feels the holiday blues, too. We’ve all returned home from a sunny break at some point with colour fade, a flaky scalp or frazzled ends to contend with. But it’s not only the heat that compromises the condition of our hair on holiday, there’s the chlorinated pools and water quality changes in the showers, too.

To avoid these common issues, we asked professional trichologist Sally-Ann Tarver from The Cotswold Trichology Centre and Theradome GB to share her top tips for holiday hair survival. Try these this summer:

1) Manage the water quality when travelling

“Soft water areas will make your hair feel silky and soft, however if you have hair that doesn’t react well to being over-hydrated, soft water may render your hair a holiday nightmare. Pack volumising hair products to counterbalance the effect of soft water.

“In hard water conditions, however, hair can become dry, dehydrated and unmanageable when exposed to heat, sun, chlorine and sea salt. Make sure that you pack extra moisturising and hydrating hair products to keep your hair manageable.

“The ideal holiday kit to take away to cover both options is a deep conditioning shampoo and conditioner, hair oil and a lightweight or silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. You can then adjust it to the water quality when you arrive at your holiday destination.”

2) Protect your hair

“Apply a nutrient-rich hair oil in the morning before you head to the beach or to protect your hair from the sun, sea salt and chlorine, then wash it out when you return in the afternoon.

“I recommend Tabitha James Kraan’s Scented Organic Hair Oil; it contains natural oils that penetrate the hair cuticle rather than coating it and one pump is generally sufficient.”

3) Protect your scalp

“It is essential to wear a hat or cover your head in the sun. Not only does this help to prevent heatstroke, but it also prevents the sun from bleaching your hair and causing sunburn. Your head is the easiest part of the body to burn in the sun, especially if your hair isn’t very thick. Not only is it painful but your scalp will start to peel if you experience sunburn on your scalp, if this happens I recommend applying aloe vera gel to help soothe your scalp.

“If your scalp is still peeling after arriving home, try using coconut oil. Rub it in to the scalp and leave it on for an hour or more. When you wash your hair, the scale should just lift off. Shampoo your hair twice to remove the oil and clear your scalp of flakes. Combing through your conditioner before and during rinsing helps to remove flakes from your hair.”

4) Take your own hair dryer

“To avoid causing damage from a poor quality hairdryer, pack your own. If you are going to a destination that has 240-volt electric, all your appliances will work as they would at home. If you are going to a 120-volt country, buy a travel hairdryer with switchable voltage or your normal, powerful hair dryer will only work at half power.”

5. Leave the hair straighteners at home

“In humidity, keeping hair straight can be a challenging exercise in itself. As soon as you step out of your room into humid air it will begin to swell or kink again. Do your hair a favour and give it a holiday away from the intense heat by leaving your straighteners and other hot tools at home.”

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