When summer comes, it brings with it the chance give your hair a break. Hair dryer and curling irons are put to one side and it's easy to opt for a more natural sun-streaked look rather than race to retouch darkening roots. Unfortunately, though, it isn't that simple: not everything about the summer is good for your hair. Indeed, as you relax into your summer holidays – sun, sea, sand... – you put your locks at risk of attack from a horde of enemies that combine to dry and devitalize hair and leach away colour, volume and natural shine.
The sun, enemy number one
That longed-for sunshine is one of the main culprits: ultraviolet rays alter the elastic properties of hair and cause discolouration. Ultraviolet radiation sucks the moisture from the hair fibre, which may come as a blessing to those with greasy hair but is a disaster for dry and treated hair. If that means you, you should take care to choose hair products that include sunscreens to provide nourishing and conditioning agents and compensate for this dehydration. There are many options available in shampoos, conditioners, sprays and masks.
On the beach, salt
Sea water is excellent for the scalp, but can play havoc with your hair. Pantene Pro-V expert, Rafael Artero, describes the action of salt on the hair as like a sponge absorbing moisture. What's more, after a swim in the sea, salt can crystallize within the hair fibre and break the internal structure, raising the cuticle and altering colour. The result will be that the hair becomes harsher, less manageable and brittle. To combat this effect, remember to rinse your hair thoroughly with fresh water after bathing
At the pool, chlorine
Most of us notice the drying effect chlorine has on our skin, but may not have realised how it also affects the scalp, and ravages dyed hair. Colour problems are caused when chlorine settles in the hair cuticle and produces a chemical reaction with the dye. This oxidises the cuticle, the colour fades and the hair becomes brittle. Once again, it's important to shower with fresh water after bathing and apply appropriate moisturising and protective products
In the city, pollution
Don't forget that even when you aren't on holiday, your hair has to combat the dust and dirt of the city. In the summer it will tend to get dirty faster, and lose its shine quicker. Try using a deep cleansing shampoo and washing twice: once to remove dirt and then again to give a deep shine.