You've picked a location, booked your flights and even braved bikini shopping: when it comes to your holiday checklist, ensuring that your hair is properly prepped and protected for warmer climes can sometimes fall off the radar once pre-holiday panic mode has fully set in.
You wouldn't take to the beach or poolside without applying adequate sun protection, after all, so it's crucial to apply the same principle to your hair (particularly if you're a not-so natural blonde). From the swimming cap dilemma to getting the lowdown on whether blonde hair really turns green thanks to chlorine, we put our most pressing (and practical) summer hair care queries to Jo Hansford, colour expert and founder of Jo Hansford salon...
Can I go swimming with newly dyed hair?
As a rule of thumb, I’d always recommend that you cover dyed hair because the chlorine found in swimming pools will lift colour. Also, lots of people rinse their hair in water after going swimming, but you need to thoroughly shampoo and condition hair to wash off the chlorine.
Is there an ideal time to get your hair dyed before going on holiday?
When it comes to an ideal time for colouring your hair before a holiday, if you get your hair dyed regularly, e.g. every four weeks for root touch-ups, then I’d recommend that you get your hair coloured two weeks before your holiday. That means you’ll be due for an appointment to get your colour redone when you’re back from holiday – and that’s when you want it to look it’s best – post holiday.
Can exposure to the sun really lighten or change your hair colour?
Extreme sun can lighten hair and by that, I mean the kind of sun exposure you’d experience on a summer holiday – and even natural colour can lift, not just dyed hair.
Can sea water damage your hair, too?
Another thing people aren’t aware of is that swimming in salt water is just as bad for your hair as swimming in a pool. The salt water can also lift colour and, as such, I’d recommend hair is thoroughly washed (not just rinsed!) if you want to avoid this post swim.
Should you pack a different shampoo and conditioner formulated for 'holiday hair' - or is that just a marketing ploy?
How often you'll need to wash your hair differs from person to person: it could be impacted by your hair type (how oily your hair tends to get naturally) and personal preference (how textured you like your hair, and whether you like the sea salt beachy look). The same thing goes for your shampoo and conditioner - it's a personal preference. Most importantly, I'd recommend a deeply nourishing hair masque such as the Jo Hansford Colour Care Intensive Masque, £28.50, to quench holiday hair with an infusion of moisturising and strengthening ingredients. You can use it daily while on holiday in place of your conditioner, and return to using it once a week as a treatment when you’re back.
Can chlorine turn blonde hair green?
Yes, chlorine can turn hair green if your hair is coloured blonde or you have blonde highlights. To keep blondes bright use shampoos and conditioners specially crafted for blonde hair, which tend to include violet pigments which brighten and help maintain colour. If you’ve suffered unwanted side effects from chlorine the best thing to do is to visit your hairdresser for a consultation, to get some advice on how to return your colour back to normal.
Do I really have to wear a swimming cap?
If you want to keep your hair in good condition, yes. It does depend on whether you’re swimming above the water or under the water, but covering your hair will ensure it’s less impacted by chlorine and salt water.
Does hair become more likely to break or split in hot weather?
Not necessarily. If your hair is already dry, it will get drier. It’s a case of protecting your hair year-round, and just like when you go on holiday or during the summer months you take extra steps to protect your skin, the same should apply to your hair. Choose good quality, high performance shampoos and conditioners to use year-round, such as the Jo Hansford Expert Colour Care Collection, from £16, which is paraben free and designed to enhance both colour-treated and natural hair.