Summer saviours: The holiday hair how-to guide
Beachy waves sound good but, in reality, holiday hair is usually a less glossy affair. Susie Cormack Bruce reveals how not to let the sun go to your head.
I can still remember my first ever holiday hair care lesson. I was 10 years old and on holiday in sunny Spain. Each day I’d sit on my lounger and watch, mesmerised, as a 50-something German lady went through an elaborate poolside routine of brushing, spraying, combing and oiling the ends of her waist length hair before sweeping it all into a towel and then, with a quick twist, transform that towel into a turban worthy of Joan Collins in her Dynasty days. It took her about 15 minutes, start to finish, every single morning and while her supersized sunglasses and turbaned look did receive startled stares for most of the day, by night it was her gorgeous, shiny waterfall of a mane that got the attention. As I sat twirling my crispy sunburnt curls I swore, when I grew up, I’d be just as meticulous.
So that’s why I’m now about to embark on operation holiday hair repair and prepare in anticipation of the battering my hair will endure while abroad. First up will be a trip to the hairdresser for a quick trim followed by a hydrating in-salon treatment. For a truly bespoke treatment you can’t beat Kerastase’s Fusio-Dose. This haircare innovation allows stylists to custom blend treatments to target both a primary concern (i.e. lack of nourishment) and a secondary issue (i.e. loss of radiance). It’s also instant, meaning no extended stay at the basin. If a salon visit isn’t an option, try using a creamy masque such as Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask, £7.65, or Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Hair Pak, £26, once a week to boost moisture levels and keep hair hydrated. These masques can also double up as a super charged conditioner on the holiday itself.
On the packing front, alongside my hat will be a reliable UV protector product. There are plenty to choose from, but Phyto PhytoPlage’s Protective Sun Veil, £15, is summer’s hottest. A sister product to Phyto's legendary glossy oil, this limited edition spray offers high sun protection in the form of an invisible, non-oily hair veil. A definite don’t-leave-home-without for chemically coloured hair as hot sun equals instant, often dramatic, fading.
I’ll be leaving my usual shampoo at home and opting for a specialist shampoo such as Aveda’s Sun Care Hair and Body Cleanser, £18, or Wella SP After Sun Shampoo, £15, both formulated to remove chlorine, sea salt and sunscreen without stripping hair of moisture.
Finally, multi-tasking oils such as Darphin’s The Revitalising Oil, £25, can be useful holiday companions, especially for skin glossing and dealing with frizz and split ends. Just don’t be tempted to use oils to soothe sunburnt skin or scalps as you may hinder healing by simply ‘sealing’ in the heat. Not a smart move or look.