Jul 16, 2008

Holiday Care For Your Tresses

More damage can be done to the hair during a two-week holiday in the sun than the damage 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. Wear a hat or a 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. Sunscreen gels are available for the hair and these offer a good deal of protection. 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.

Before you leave

Any hair colouring you are planning should be done at least one week prior to your holiday. This will allow the color 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 week before departure to allow your hair to settle. Remember to pack all your holiday hair needs — your favorite shampoos, conditioners and styling products. And pack a selection of scarves and hair accessories. Soft, bendy rollers 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. 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 flyaway and unmanageable. Calm the hair 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.

— The writer is a hair expert and runs Peaches Salon and Spa in Bengaluru