Summer holidays mean sunbathing, drinking cocktails in the middle of the day, and without a doubt, a whole load of swimming. Whether you prefer taking a dip in the sea, or are more of a pool-side dweller, it's crucial to consider the health of your hair. From harsh salt water to strong chlorine and other chemicals, going swimming can often alter the feel and appearance of your hair. So how is it best to protect your hair? Should you invest in special sprays and creams? And should you wash hair after swimming every time, or is it best to leave it alone more?
Well, in terms of washing hair, it seems as though it's a good idea to wash your hair after every day of swimming. This is so that chemicals such as chlorine aren't able to stay within your hair to wreak havoc. Even if you are unable to wash the hair using shampoo and conditioner, try to at least rinse with fresh water, so that chlorine or salt water doesn't sit and dry the hair out for longer than it has already been able to.
Ideally, however, you will have brought with you a special targeting shampoo to protect hair and cleanse away any damaging chemicals which may try to linger. Opt for a clarifying shampoo, which effectively cleanses the hair and scalp and aids in chlorine removal. Morrocanoil does a great one that still keeps hair feeling hydrated and soft. Alternatively, the Kerastase Apres Soleil Shampoo is specifically designed in order to remove build up of sea salt and chlorine, and contains nourishing coconut water to inject some shine back into locks.
So we've established you should wash your hair after each day swimming in the ocean or the pool, but what else can you do to keep hair happy and healthy when it is under potential threat?
Well, after shampooing, it's important to boost the hair's moisture levels after it has been out in the sun and submerged in the water. My advice would be to switch out your regular conditioner for a super rich mask, and use it as you would your normal conditioner (apply, then wash out immediately or leave on for up to a couple of minutes). Brilliant hair care brand Davines now sells a selection of amazing hair masks in sachet form, making them perfect for travel. My pick would be the Renaissance Circle Mask, which is described as being perfect for "hopeless hair" that needs "extreme repair."
After washing and applying conditioner, it's best to let hair dry naturally so as not to bombard it with more heat. Apply a frizz-targeting leave-in conditioning spray, like the one by Briogeo, and sit back and relax.
The next day, prior to more swimming, it's worth using a protective, nourishing spray or cream in hair before hitting the beach. The Sachajuan Hair In The Sun cream contains a long-lasting UV filter to keep hair sun-safe, as well as an "ocean silk technology" for silky soft locks. Philip Kingsley also do a great option named Swimcap, which protects against sun, sea, chlorine, and was originally formulated for the US Olympic synchronized swim team. Fancy.