Holiday season is here, which means it's time to get excited about sightseeing, sunbathing and discovering new destinations.

Even if you're not jetting off to a holiday hotspot like Mykonos or Mexico, the arrival of warmer weather is cause for celebration, but if you're not careful during summer the elements can play havoc with your hair.

"While the sun doesn't burn your hair like it would your skin, it can really dry it out and make it quite brittle," says Siobhan Baynes, senior director at Paul Edmonds London.

"Just as you wouldn't sunbathe without wearing sunblock, if you don't protect your hair it's going to lose a lot of moisture."

Add salt water, chlorine, humidity, heat styling and long-haul flights into the mix and you've got a recipe for frazzled and faded locks.

Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways you can prevent your tresses from succumbing to summer hair syndrome.

Whether you're travelling to sunnier climes or staycationing closer to home, here's how to maintain your hair health during summer…


Bright sunshine and high temperatures are bad news for your hair, particularly if it tends to be dry.

"If you're blonde or your hair has been bleached it can end up with quite a lot of breakage on the top of their hair, because that's predominantly where the sun hits," says Siobhan.

"You have to be careful with coloured hair too, because the elements can oxidise colour. If you're blonde or a brunette the sun can lift your hair colour and make it a little bit warmer or more brassy."

For anyone who's thinning on top, there's also the risk of burning your scalp, which is why Siobhan suggests wearing a hat whenever you're in the sun for a prolonged period, whatever the length of your hair. 

"If you've got long hair and you're wearing a hat, you could clip your hair up to keep it covered," she suggests, for example with a low bun.

"If you've got the ends of your hair exposed to the sun, that's the oldest and driest part of your hair so it's going to dry it out more."

Siobhan recommends applying a leave-in conditioner formulated with sun protection before going out on a sunny day: "That's going to stop UV rays penetrating the hair and protect the hair colour as well. You can put it on dry hair - the oil coats the hair and acts as a barrier."

A moisturising product can also help to prevent frizz in humid weather.

"Putting a mask or serum on and leaving that in throughout the day can really help," Siobhan says.

"Curly, afro or coarse textured hair is naturally the driest type of hair, so you need to really coat that. You could use a heavier mask instead of a curl cream, or you could use both to double up the moisture."


While sea salt sprays can be used in moderation to create beachy waves, drenching your hair in the ocean is a different story.

"Salt water is like a sulfate, which is an ingredient of shampoo, so it basically sucks out moisture from your hair and it can make it quite dry," Siobhan explains.

"If your hair's already damaged or bleached then you go in salt water you can get breakage through the ends. It could also potentially strip a vibrant colour like red and leave it more pinky."

A great product to combat this is Kerastase Soleil Creme UV Sublime, this magic creme helps fill the holes in the hair that salt would otherwise to go in and dry out, apply on damp hair comb through and tie up all day.

A dip in the sea on a bright day can be particularly harmful: "The sun reflects off water, so you are more likely to damage your hair if you are around water in the pool or sea, or on a boat."

If you really want to keep your locks in optimal condition it's best to avoid the sea altogether, but if you do go swimming make sure to rinse your hair as soon as you get out.

"When you get back to your hotel in the evening you're better off washing any salt water out straight away," Siobhan continues. 

"But don't brush it before you wash it because if you try and brush hair that's been in salt water it's going to overstretch and snap."

Don’t brush it before you wash it


Given that chlorine is used in swimming pools to kill germs it's no surprise that this chemical isn't kind to your hair.

"People who go swimming a lot, their hair has a particular texture," Siobhan says.

"We all know chlorine can make blonde hair turn green and even dark hair can actually go a little bit khaki, which is why if you've been in the pool I always say rinse it as soon as you."

If your hair does pick up a green tinge, there's an unusual product that can bring you back to blonde: ketchup.

"Because it contains tomato, which is a natural red, it neutralises green. I can vouch for that because it worked when my hair went green when I was in Turkey," says Siobhan, who has long blonde hair.

"I washed my hair once to open the cuticle then I just squeezed the ketchup on my hand and whacked it all over. I left it on in the shower then I rinsed it out."

I washed my hair once to open the cuticle


A quick flight within Europe might not affect your hair, but long-haul journeys can be very drying, especially if you're a frequent flyer.

"With the air conditioning on a plane there's no natural air running through a confined space," Siobhan says.

"Plus, if you're going to a hot country you'll get off the plane and your hair is then suddenly exposed to warm air, so that can make it frizzy."

She likes to use long flights as an opportunity for a hydrating hair treatment: "I put a lot of oil in before I get on the plane then clip it up, because I feel like that way it's less likely to then start to puff up."


Is your summer diary full of swanky social events? That's another reason to take extra care of your hair.

"I think people style their hair more in the summer because there are a lot more events, there are festivals, parties, weddings," says Siobhan.

"And in summer you've got the heat outside then you've got the air con inside, so it's two things that are drying the hair out. You have to be a bit mindful of that by using heat protection spray and moisturising shampoo and conditioner."

Soak up the sun

You can still have fun in the sun without damaging your hair, as long as you take steps to protect your delicate strands from harsh weather and chemicals.

Remember to slather on a UV-blocking serum (or grab a hat), rinse your hair as soon as you've been for a swim and use moisturising products when washing or styling to keep damage to a minimum.

Heading off on hols? Get vacation-ready with a cool new cut or colour at Paul Edmonds London.