More damage can be done to the hair during a two-week holiday in the sun than is accrued during the rest of the year. The ultraviolet rays or radiation (UVRs) from sunlight that can cause damage to the skin can also have an adverse effect on the hair, depleting the natural oils and removing moisture. Strong winds whip unprotected hair into a tangle, causing breakage and split ends. Chlorinated and salt water cause colour fading and result in drooping perms. Hair that is permed or coloured is weakened by chemicals and loses moisture at a faster rate than untreated hair. White hair is particularly susceptible to the effects of the sun because it has lost its natural pigmentation (melanin), which to some degree helps to filter out harmful UVRs.
Out In The Mid-Day Sun:
Protecting the hair from the sun's harmful rays makes as much sense as protecting the skin. Wear a hat or scarf on the beach or use a sun-protective spray to shield the hair from the sun's harmful rays. After a swim, rinse the salt or chlorinated water thoroughly from the hair using plenty of fresh, clean water. If fresh water is not available take some with you in an empty soft drinks bottle or use bottled water. Sunscreen gels are available for the hair and these offers a good deal of protection. Comb the gel through your hair and leave on all day. Remember to reapply the gel after swimming. Alternatively, use a leave-in conditioner, choosing one that protects the hair against UVRs. On windy or blustery days keep long hair tied back to prevent tangles. Long hair can also be braided when it is wet and the braid left in all day. When evening comes and you undo the braids you will have a cascade of rippling, pre - Raphaelite curls. If your hair does get tangled by the wind, untangle it gently by using a wide-toothed comb and work from the ends of the hair up towards the roots. Keep your head and hair protected even when you are away from the beach. Wear a sun hat when shopping or sightseeing, especially in the middle of the day. When the sun sets, shampoo and condition your hair and, if possible, let it dry naturally. Leave heat styling for those special nights out.
During the winter, and particularly on a winter break, your hair will be exposed to damaging conditions such as harsh biting winds and the drying effects of low temperatures and central heating. Central heating draws moisture from the hair and scalp, causing static. Extreme cold makes the hair brittle and dry, and wet weather spells disaster for a style, making curly hair frizzy and straight hair limp. These effects can be counteracted with a few simple measures. To reduce the drying effects of central heating, place large bowls of water near the radiators or use humidifiers. Use a more intensive conditioner on your hair in the winter to combat dryness caused by cold. In damp weather apply a mousse, gel or hairspray; they are invaluable for keeping a style in place and giving some degree of protection.
- Any hair colouring you are planning should be done at least one week prior to your holiday. This will allow the colour to "soften" and allow time for some intensive conditioning on any dry ends.
- If you want to have a perm before your holiday, book the appointment at least three weeks before departure to allow your hair to settle. You will also have the opportunity to learn how best to manage your new style and help overcome any dryness.
- Remember to pack all your holiday hair needs - your favourite shampoos, conditioners and styling products. And pack a selection of scarves and hair accessories. You will have more time to experiment on holiday.
- If possible, take a travel dryer with dual voltage, and remember to pack an adaptor.
- Battery - powered stylers are a good alternative to heated ones - they are also kinder to the hair.
- Have a trim before you go, but not a new style, as you won't want to worry about coping with a new look. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to have your hair cut abroad. Wait until you are back home and can visit your regular stylist.
- Permed hair needs extra protection from the drying effects of sun, salt, chlorine and wind. Use plenty of conditioner and always rinse your hair after swimming. Curl revitalizers help by putting moisture back and keeping curls bouncy.
- After swimming rinse the hair in clean, clear water and comb through with a wide-toothed comb. Use a sun-protection gel with a UVR filter for maximum care.
- To keep the hair in place, clasp it into a pretty clip (barrette). Colourful accessories are great for the beach; take a selection to mix and match with your swimwear.
- Slick short hair back with gel to keep it under control. Leave the gel in all day, then rinse out and style your hair in the evening.
- It is often a good idea to plait or braid hair when you are out in the sea and sun all day. Pinning fresh or silk flowers in the braids will soften and add allure to this practical style.
- The sun's rays are intensified by reflection from the snow, so hair needs extra protection in the form of a hair sunscreen.
- Wind, blasts of snow, and sunshine are a damaging combination for hair, so wear a hat whenever possible.
- In freezing temperatures hair picks up static electricity, making it fly away and unmanageable.
- Calm the static by spraying your brush with hairspray before brushing your hair.
- With sudden temperature changes - from icy-cold slopes to a warm hotel - and constantly changing headgear your hair may need daily shampooing. Use a mild shampoo and light conditioner.