What an amazing summer it has been so far. We catch up with award-winning hairstylist and Avlon UK Ambassador Michelle Thompson to find out how best to protect our hair whilst basking in the sun
The UK is enjoying unprecedented levels of sunshine, and it’s a welcome change to the usual tepid and unpredictable weather that has come to characterise British summertime. While that’s all well and good, it’s worth noting that you will need to up the ante when it comes to your hair regimen as the sun can wreak havoc with our tresses. Prolonged exposure to the sun, UVA and UVB rays can damage the cuticle, resulting in dry and brittle strands. Avlon Ambassador and award-winning hairstylist Michelle Thompson says: “When your hair has prolonged exposure to the sun, you will more likely see signs of dryness, discoloration, and your hair will become brittle.” However, with meticulous care and attention to what you put onto your hair, and how you style it, you can still have healthy hair, even during a heatwave. We sat down with Michelle who imparted her wisdom, offering us these fail safe gems on how to protect your hair effectively.
1. Sun protect your precious strands
Just like our skin needs protection from the sun, so does your hair. Ensure you coat your strands with products that create a barrier from harmful UV rays. Michelle adds: “If you are exposed to the sun ensure you use products that contain ingredients that will protect the hair from UV rays. Keracare Leave-In Conditioner (£6.90) contains UV sunscreens that protect the hair from the rays as well as gives hair protection to the surface of the hair whilst blow drying.”
2. Cool off the colour.
If your hair is colour treated, you will need to apply regular deep conditioning to prevent it from becoming damaged, as the sun withdraws moisture from the hair, and colour already compromises the health of your strands. Michelle advises holding off on colour altogether during the summer, stating: “During the summer months try to avoid colouring your hair with lighteners or bleach. If you can time it correctly, lighten your hair a month or two before the summer, your hair naturally lightens in the sun but if you overdo it during the summer months your hair can become excessively dry and brittle causing the hair to break.” To rescue your strands from the sun apply KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque, £15.40 a rich, intensive treatment that contains fruit extracts to repair damage and reinforce weakened areas. Apply once a fortnight to clean hair, and leave a plastic cap on for 15-30 minutes for best results. You will also need to play close attention to your coloured strands that are extra vulnerable to sun damage, so schedule in appointments for regular trims, and add moisture by applying KeraCare Leave-In Conditioner.
3. Keep braids to a minimum
Braids are one of the most popular summer hairstyles, and understandably so. Practical, versatile, and able to withstand the onslaught of sun, sea and sand – it’s the go-to style that shows no sign in waning in popularity. But it’s easy to fall prey to idle hair practices when your hair is in braids, extensions or any similar protective style. Michelle says, “If you’re planning on wearing braids over the summer period, try not to wear braids longer than you should, I recommend between 6-8 weeks.” She continues: “Also, don’t forget to hydrate your hair and moisturise your scalp; protective styles are great, but it shouldn’t be at the detriment of the health of your hair.” To keep your scalp clean and hydrated, cleanse with KeraCare Honey Shea CoWash (£8.80), add sheen to the hair by applying KeraCare Oil Sheen (£6.90), and use KeraCare Essential Oil (£11.20) to moisture both the hair and scalp.
4. Cover up
Wear beautiful printed scarves, oversized hats and other accessories to cover your hair and protect it from UV rays. Hats also help to keep your hair moisturised, and protects from exposure to the wind, which can cause tangles and damage.
5. Swap a traditional cleanse for a co-wash
Traditional cleansers have a tendency to extract moisture from the hair, particularly during hot, sweltering weather. Minimise the chances of damage and dryness by using a CoWash, which is a gentler and more effective way of cleansing during the summer. KeraCare Honey Shea Wash (£8.80) is a gorgeously scented, sulphate-free cleansing conditioner that is comprised of natural ingredients including honey, shea butter, Amla, neem and castor oil. Apply to hair, and massage gently throughout the hair and scalp. This sud-free formula will help you detangle strands and remove build-up, and it will also cleanse thoroughly without stripping the hair of its natural oils.
6. Reduce the heat, embrace the curls
When the temperature rises, try not to rely on hairdryers and heated styling tools unless it’s essential, and even then, try to use as lower setting as possible. Excessive heat from hairdryers will almost certainly weaken your hair, so air dry instead to minimise damage. If you wear your hair in a straighter style like a relaxer or Texture Release, try swapping things up from time-to-time, apply thick braids to your hair overnight and unravel in the morning, for a looser, more natural look during the summer. If you wear your hair natural, add mini twists during the day to protect your strands. KeraCare Detangling Mist (£7.60) is a handy, hair saviour that can be stashed in your handbag, and you can use throughout the day to hydrate curls and coils.
KeraCare products are available to buy from lookfantastic.com