Don’t Let The Summer Heat Ruin Your Hair: How I Keep My Locks Looking Great

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Written by Emma Clarke

Updated: May 2, 2024

Summer Hair In Content
Emma Clarke // Timeless Hairstyles

As someone who has to endure the temperate climate of the UK for most of the year, I love nothing more than to escape to a hot country when I get the chance. My idea of bliss is sitting on a beach, reading a book and sipping on a cocktail, with the sound of waves lapping on the shore in the background. 

The one downside to the hot weather, however, is having to maintain my hair. I am lucky enough to have quite well-behaved tresses for the most part, but it is fine and can fall victim to humidity in certain climates. 

Just last year, when I visited Thailand, the closeness of the air made my hair frizzy and unruly – so much so, I resigned to pinning it back in a bun most days, just to get it away from my face. The situation was made worse by the fact that my hair still had bleach in it, from when I went blonde the summer before. The intense heat and UV rays seemed to be attracted to my highlights, making parts of my hair dry and prone to breakages.

Then there’s the sea salt if I go swimming in the sea. While there are many benefits to taking a dip in open water, the salt can build up in my hair and make it hard to style – or even wash. I often find I have to do at least three rounds of shampoo to get rid of the residue.

Another issue I have when stepping out into the sun is that my parting often burns. While my skin (for the most part) goes a nice golden brown after a few days of tanning, my hairline without fail crisps up and starts to flake by the end of my trip – and let me tell you, getting sunburn on your scalp isn’t any fun at all!

Over the years, I have tried and tested various products to keep my hair healthy while on holiday. Here are some of the best hair care items I buy every year.

My top summer hair care products

#1. Malibu SPF 50 Scalp Protector

    This lightweight scalp SPF is dreamy. Not only does it smell good enough to eat, it prevents your scalp from burning in the sun. Despite its appearance in the bottle, it also doesn’t make your hair greasy – and what’s more, it’s very cheap!

    #2. Olaplex Bond Maintenance Shampoo 

      I find this shampoo great in the summertime, and it helps prevent breakages. As my hair is fine, I also tend to opt for a lightweight shampoo that won’t leave a residue once I’ve dried my locks.

      #3. Ouai Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray

        Some people are divided on these products, but I adore them – and they smell absolutely sensational! Sometimes when you’re on holiday and just lazing by the pool or on the beach, you don’t want to style your hair. This sort of beach spray gives a nice textured look to your hair with minimal effort.

        #5. Hello Klean Conditioner

          Okay, so this product is new to me, but I am already obsessed. The bottle is chic and looks great in any bathroom, but the conditioner is also really hydrating and leaves your hair feeling great and looking super shiny.

          What the experts recommend

          Just as UV rays from the sun can damage our skin, they can also damage our hair. “When you apply SPF to your face, you should think about your hair too,” the team at Aitch SE24 explains, “Try a leave-in conditioner with UV protection, such as Unite’s 7 Seconds.”

          They also warn that bleached hair is especially at risk: “The hair is already compromised due to the chemical lightening process, and the sun’s rays can lift the hair more. 

          “Although it’s tempting to use products that promise to enhance your color in the sun, you should avoid using these ‘go blonder’ sprays or the old lemon juice trick, as they will not only grip to the hair, they will lighten the hair further but in an uncontrolled way.”

          Those with darker dyed hair are also at risk of discolouration in the sun. “Your color may fade in the heat, so you may wish to wear a hat to prevent this from happening, or use a UV hair mist, or something from Davines’ Alchemic or Glaze range. Alternatively, Wella Colour Fresh masks work a treat when it comes to maintaining color.”

          The team also recommends putting your hair in a protective style, like braids, for example. “They not only keep your hair out of your face, they mean you avoid styling your hair with straighteners or curlers, and applying more heat,” they say.

          That said, you should avoid anything too tight, such as a bun or a slick back ponytail, as this can have the opposite effect and cause the hair to snap. 

          If you’re someone who suffers in humid climates, they recommend having a Keratin smoothing treatment before you head off on your hols. “There are many anti-frizz products out there, but this is really effective. It reduces frizz, decreases volume and very slightly relaxes a natural wave or curl. It also reduces the need for heat styling, which is an added win.”

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