5 Hacks For Beating Summer Hair Damage


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Summer snuck up on us fast, and while we’re psyched to go on vacay and enjoy BBQs under the sun, we know our hair is gonna get hella dry if we don’t take the right steps to protect it. Although bright blue (chlorine-filled) swimming pools, sea water, and beating sunshine might be our definition of summer, it’s our hair’s worst enemy. So we spoke to the Creative Director of the award-winning Maria Dowling salon, Maria Dowling, to get her top hair hacks for perfecting and protecting our locks, whether we’re staycationing or jetting off to an exotic destination.

“It doesn’t matter whether your holiday involves tanning on a beach in Bali or walking through the sunny French Alps, your hair condition is still going to feel the effects of sun damage if you don’t protect it,” Maria told us. “Equally as important is the condition of your hair before you go. If it isn’t in tip-top condition when you step off the plane, it certainly isn’t going to get any better when you return.” Okay, now we’re listening. Here’re Maria’s top five hair tips for flawless holiday hair before and during your trip.

1. Only wash when necessary

“Depending on whether your holiday is a relaxed beach break or a more formal city vacation, it will obviously impact how often you wash your hair. It isn’t necessary to shampoo your hair every day as it removes the natural oils that hair needs to stay healthy. Too much shampooing can strip the hair and lead to brittle locks, so try and reduce the amount you wash it when you’re away. If you have an oily scalp and feel you can’t go a day without shampooing, then just concentrate on washing the scalp area – when you rinse, the shampoo will clean the rest of the hair sufficiently. If you have a fringe or feel that the front of the hair is too oily, then simply wet the ‘T-zone’ at the front and shampoo this area only.” Maria explained. We love using the Oribe Mystify Restyling Spray, which nourishes, smoothes, and revives day-old hair, while also protecting it from thermal damage. And don’t forget about our best friend, dry shampoo; check out our fav dry shampoos here.

 2. Wet hair before swimming

Believe it or not, keeping your hair dry when swimming isn’t necessarily going to protect it – well that’s not entirely true. Actually what you should do is wet your hair before you go in the water to help protect it. “Imagine a sponge, if it’s wet, it’s going to absorb far less water than when it’s dry. It’s the same with your hair – when wet it will slow down the absorption of chlorine or salt, thereby minimizing the damage it may cause.” Maria said.

When you leave the sea or the swimming pool, it’s important to rinse out any chemicals to avoid any further damage. We love a natural rinse with apple cider vinegar, as does Maria, who explained that it “has a natural pH level close to human hair, so by rinsing with it you’ll help bring your scalp and hair to its ideal acidity. It’s also key for avoiding green hair syndrome.” Our fav tip? Maria says “If your blonde locks have already gone green and all else fails, cover the hair with tomato ketchup to bring it back to blonde – it really does work!”

3. Repair color damage with Olaplex

For colored hair, the miracle treatment everyone raves about is ultra conditioning formula, Olaplex. “It’s an amazing hair strengthener and rebuilds damaged hair by reconnecting the broken bonds, restoring it to its natural state. Since using Olaplex in the salon we’ve really noticed a big difference in the condition of our clients’ hair. Not only is it far stronger, but when Olaplex is also used at home, it helps maintain the color and reduces fade time.” Maria explained. She also suggests starting the Olaplex program a few weeks before you travel; first when you visit the salon, then your third treatment at home once a week. By the time you travel your hair will be ready and waiting to fight any hair damage that comes its way.

4. Invest in a shower filter

Depending on where you live, your shower water can have a strong effect on your hair and skin. Maria tells us “It can contain minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, silica, and iron, which may dry out the hair and lead to scalp build up. By investing in a shower filter at home like Pure Blue, it can really help with dryness, hair loss, and an irritated scalp. Filtering out toxins in the water will also help maintain the vibrancy of your color.”

“Not only is it kind to the hair but will impact the skin too. One of our colorists, who has really dry skin, can tell immediately when she needs to change her shower filter, as her skin starts to feel dry again.” Maria said.

 5. Cover, cover, cover

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We know it’s a bit of a cliché, but covering your hair really is the best option for protecting it from the sun’s harsh rays. Wearing a hat, bandana or headscarf is the perfect stylish solution, but if you’d rather go au naturel then apply a leave-in conditioner or mask, and braid or tie up your hair. Maria suggests, “If your hair is long and you want something to take you from beach to bar, apply a conditioning treatment, twist your hair into a loose topknot and wear up for the day. Remove the tie when the sun goes down, and you should have gorgeous deconstructed beach waves.” Give the heated hair tools a holiday too and leave the straighteners at home. Holidays are all about relaxed vibes and chilled looks, right? Our latest discovery for styling holiday hair without the heat is Oribe’s Flash Form Finish Spray Wax, which tames flyaways and gives insane texture and hold to add definition to beachy waves, plus it smells like vacay – obsessed!

Check out our three super easy DIY hair rescue masks here, to keep your hair sleek all summer.