Hair Care 101 - Sun & Swim Edition

April 02, 2014

As summer approaches (she says hopefully) so do some hair hardships: sun, salt and chlorine can all wreak havoc on our hair. At best it can make your hair temporarily dry and frizzy, at worst it can permanently damage your lovely locks.

What can I do to avoid this? I hear you cry... Well, I am going to tell you some tips and tricks I have used on my last two summer holidays and on the odd hot day we get here in the UK!

You can watch my video on this here. Or carry on reading below:

Cover up is Best

If you do nothing else then try to do this - shield and protect your hair from the sun by wearing a hat or some other protection on your hair. When I was on holiday I would wear a hat whenever possible as it would protect my hair, shield my eyes and prevent sun damage to my face (and neck when I wore my big floppy one!)

Yes, I know tanned skin looks beautiful and I used to be a tan-a-holic when I used to live in Cyprus but we all know the dangers of too much exposure to the sun's rays, especially at the hottest points of the day. 

The same applies to your hair - the sun ray's will damage your hair and keeping it covered up is by far the most effective way of avoiding this.

Braid up

I wore my hair in a braid or plait for most of the holiday. This stopped my hair getting blown around in the wind and tangled up, it also made it nice and easy to wear a hat. The less tangled your hair is the less it will break and shed when you brush it through at the end of the day... simple yet effective.

Give it a rest

I don't mean to be a kill joy here BUT I try to avoid washing my hair too often at home so the same applies when I am on holiday. The most I can get away with (without feeling guilty about being too fussy, or left out of the splashing, water slide fun, etc) is about every other day although I normally go longer at home.

That's me getting a huge bucket of cold water emptied on me from a great height to entertain my daughter!
I try to keep my hair dry and out of the water every other day. On the days that I do let my hair get wet I will also wash it the same day to get the chlorine and salt out as soon as possible.

Oil up

Most natural oils have some kind of SPF to them, I've read up on some of the best ones and they are all a bit exotic and expensive (carrot seed oil, red raspberry oil, etc) and I cannot actually vouch for them as I have never personally used them.

When I go on holiday I take coconut oil with me as my body moisturiser and that has a small amount of SPF to it, about 10 I believe. I use this in my hair - if I know I am going in the water that day then I will oil my hair.

Ideally I fully oil my hair - I coat it from root to tip in oil and saturate it so that no water will get in. I apply a lot of oil to my hair and then pull it back into a tight, braided bun.

If I do not want to fully oil my hair that day for whatever reason then I apply a small amount to act like a kind of heat protectant. 

Any of these oils will do but coconut oil would be my preference.

Some of the oil will come off in the water but not much, obviously oil and water don't mix and most of the oil stays locked in your hair. Trust me - this is my tried and trusted hair defence method.

Restore Moisture

You've done everything you can to prevent your hair getting damaged, now you need to condition it and restore moisture. 

Oiling your hair should work in two ways - protect from the sun and condition your hair. 

After washing your hair I strongly suggest a leave in conditioner of some sort. You can buy lots of great oil treatments, you could use a few drops of pure Argan or Grapeseed oil or you could use my favourite leave in treatment - Aloe Vera gel.

Just take a penny sized amount (for shoulder length hair) and rub it between your hands before evenly distributing through the mid to end sections of your hair. I avoid my roots just in case it makes it too heavy, it's too hard to judge while it is wet.

Aloe Vera gel is moisturising and helps seal your hair, battling that dry and frizzy look you can have after too much time in the sun. You should have some Aloe with you anyway while on holiday so you can use this to moisturise after a day of sun exposure.

Once your hair is dry you could add another tiny smidge to your hands and smooth it over your roots and down the lengths as an additional anti-frizz trick. Just smooth it on with flat palms from top to bottom and it'll smooth out the dryness without weighing it down.

That's it from me, I hope you find these tips helpful. I follow each and every one of these while I am away on holiday and it has helped keep my hair in brilliant condition. 

Do you have any ideas to share? Please do let us know in the comments section!
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  1. Here's hoping we have a summer good enough to worry about hair care in the sun! Nice post Rach, I'm a big fan of aloe vera gel too x

    1. Fingers crossed eh?! I love Aloe, one of my fav natural finds. Thanks Annie :-) xx

  2. I love this aloe vera gel idea! My hair gets unbelievably frizzy on holiday xx

    1. I use it after every hair wash but forgot this morning and noticed a HUGE difference! I was a frizz ball today!! oops! ;-) I'd defo suggest trying it :-) xx

  3. I agree with this and that is why various types of hair care products are available now a days. I too have recently came across a site who is providing various types of hair care products.


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