Our top tips for healthy holiday hair

While a well-deserved break is great for our health and wellbeing, we all know that holidays can wreak havoc with our hair. Whether you’re looking to protect your costly colour treatment, prevent a luminous lime rinse, or simply avoid dry, straw-like locks on your return, read on to discover our secrets to healthy holiday hair.

1. Stay sun-safe

Exposing our hair to the sun doesn’t lead to the same health risks as unprotected skin, butUV rays can damage hair cuticles leading to brittle, dull-looking locks. In fact, as natural sun-kissed highlights suggest, these rays work in a similar way to bleach, degrading our hair’s protein structure and leaving it more vulnerable to breakages and split ends. Those who regularly frequent the salon should be especially vigilant in the sun; not only is colour-treated hair particularly vulnerable to breakage, but UV rays can also bring out brassy tones.

As with our skin, often a physical block is the most effective form of sun protection: seek shade where you can and cover hair with a beach hat or scarf. If you would rather go hat-free in the heat, we love Hair in the Sunfrom Sachajuan (£20.00, 125ml). Enriched with UV-absorbing sea algae, this lightweight cream also helps to perfect hair, smoothing flyaways and tackling frizz. Perfect for finer hair-types, we also love the Bain Apres-Soleil shampoo (£15.00, 250ml) from Kerastase. With broad spectrum sun protection and strengthening ceramides, this shampoo leaves hair feeling both clean and nourished.

For more SPF wisdom, discover our top mineral sunscreens here >>

2. Pool protection

While chlorine is often blamed for turning hair an unpleasant shade of green, the traces of metal in a swimming pool purification system are the real culprits of this hair SOS. Chief among these metals is copper which is used as an algicide, preventing green slime from forming on the pool. For this reason, the sea – with it’s high mineral content – can also add a green hue to our hair.

While saturating the hair with water in the shower before entering the pool can do much to mitigate the problem, for unparalleled protection, we recommend Swimcap (£17.00, 75ml) from Philip Kingsley. Originally developed for the US synchronised swimming team, this rich, leave-in cream is designed to combat both dryness and discolouration by forming a waterproof shield over the hair. It also contains UV filters making it a multitasking holiday hero.

Read Liz’s top tips for treating green swimming pool hair here >>

3. Safe styling

When hair is at its most vulnerable, it’s important to tweak our styling practices to limit the damage done while we’re away. Where possible, avoid heat styling and let hair air-dry. If frizz becomes unmanageable, we recommend investing in a good heat protectant – such as Living Proof Blowout (£23, 148ml) – before applying any heat to the hair.

We love to tie the hair up and away from the face in a chic, summer ponytail. While a simple silk pocket square will do the trick, we love these handy, 100% silk SILKE Hair Ties (£26, 6 ties): they don’t leave a tell-tale kink behind and the silk glides beautifully against the hair preventing unnecessary damage. Available also in a selection of elegant neutrals, we think these Frida-Kahlo-inspired jewel tones are perfect for a summer break.

4. Repair, rinse, repeat

While away, we like to take the time to show hair a little extra TLC with a restorative hair treatment. For a DIY fix, try our homemade hair conditioner. With omega-3 and vitamin E rich flaxseed oil, this simple to prepare spray encourages hair growth and shine. The apple cider vinegar works to cleanse hair of accumulated product build up and also works as a natural detangler.

For an effortless pampering solution, we also love these handy, travel-friendly sachets from Ouai (£25, 8 sachets). Rich in shea butter and rice bran oil, this mask spins silk from straw in a matter of minutes.

Loved this? Read more from our hair SOS series here:

Hair SOS: How to have healthy hair free from split ends

Hair SOS: How to best care for coloured hair