South Africa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and every year thousands of tourists visit Cape Town, Durban and the Eastern Cape to enjoy some quality time near the sea.
We all know that you have to take precautions to protect your skin from sunburn, but did you know that you should take a few extra steps to protect your hair, too? Prolonged exposure to the sun, salty sea water and high humidity put your hair at risk of becoming dry, dehydrated and brittle; and if you colour your hair, you may even find that your colour fades faster.
This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid the beach altogether – all you need to do is add a few simple steps to your daily routine to protect your hair from the sun and sea water this holiday.
Wet your hair before your swim
Salt water has a dehydrating effect on the skin and hair. Before you head into the sea for a swim, wet your hair thoroughly with fresh water. By saturating your hair with fresh water, you limit the amount of sea water it can absorb, thereby limiting its abilities to dehydrate your hair.
Wash your hair after every swim
We’re not saying you should over-wash your hair, but if you’re swimming every day, you need to wash your hair every day. It’s important to wash out salty sea water as salt can be very dehydrating. Use a gentle shampoo to wash your hair after your swim, preferably as soon as you can after swimming. If you can’t wash your hair right away, at least rinse it with some fresh water to tie you over until you can get to the shower.
Inoar Botanic Shampoo (R385.00) and Conditioner (R385.00) is an all-in-one plant-based botanical hair care duo suitable for the whole family. Ultra-gentle yet hard-working, the shampoo is suitable for frequent use and is a fantastic sulphate-free option post-swimming. With castor oil and macadamia oils, this duo conditions, detangles, protects and restores moisture and shine, while increasing resistance to breakage.
Protect your hair from UV rays
Whenever possible, wear a heat or headscarf when spending time outdoors, as this offers physical protection from the sun’s UV rays. When it’s not possible, spritz your hair with a protective spray. We recommend Hask Keratin Protein 5-In-1 Leave-In Spray (R200.00). It smoothes and controls frizz, provides thermal protection, hydrates, softens and detangles to prevent breakage and boost shine.
Use a detangling product
When hair is exposed to sea water, the cuticle on the outside layer of the hair swells. Paired with a sea breeze, this may leave your hair tangled and knotted. We recommend applying a detangling product before attempting to comb the knots out. Tip: Never use a brush, as its bristles may break fragile hair – rather invest in a wide-tooth comb. For curly hair, we recommend Nilotiqa Detangling Cream (R119.95). Its unique formula, which contains shea butter and coconut oil, replenishes hair’s lost moisture, hydrating and detangling it. For straight hair, we recommend Marc Anthony Grow Long Strengthening Leave-In Conditioner (R200.00). It contains a caffeine, ginseng and vitamin E formula to promote longer, stronger, healthier hair with shine and helps to detangle locks while repairing split-ends and breakage.
Use colour-protecting products
If you colour your hair, you’ll need to invest in a range of colour-protecting haircare products to help preserve your hair colour. We recommend the Kérastase Chroma Absolu range. The ultimate colour care solution for all types of colored hair, it strengthens hair by providing restorative care and nourishment for colour-treated hair, preventing colour fading, featuring anti-frizz properties and resulting in healthy, shiny hair. Bain Chroma Respect (R490.00) is a hydrating, protective, bounce-boosting shampoo for maximum colour-stay power and brilliant shine. Follow with Fondant Cica Chroma (R620.00), an anti-porosity strengthening conditioner for stronger strands, maximum hydration, and longer-lasting colour.
For an added boost, use the Masque Chroma Filler (R750.00) once a week (this deep-filling mask offers better protection and nourishment, and less porosity) and Soin Acide Chroma Gloss (R525.00), a resurfacing rinse formula for long-lasting colour and great hair health.
Soothe your scalp
Salt water can be irritating to the skin on the scalp. It’s drying, and a dry scalp can lead to itchiness, discomfort and even flaking. Give your scalp some extra attention this holiday season to ensure it stays fresh, healthy and moisturised. Marc Anthony Detox Scalp Treatment (R180.00) provides instant cooling relief for a dry and irritated scalp. This scalp treatment contains peppermint oil and witch hazel, which leave your scalp feeling refreshed.
If your scalp is prone to irritation, try Nilotiqa Shea & Coco Anti-Itching Hair & Scalp Spray (R99.95). Rich and creamy, it provides natural hair with optimum moisture from the root. It soothes a dry and itchy scalp for up to 48 hours.
A weekly or bi-weekly hair mask is a good idea, no matter what climate you’re in. If you’re spending a lot of time at the beach, a hydrating or moisturising mask once or twice a week will help maintain your hair’s moisture levels and keep it soft and shiny.
If the humidity makes your hair prone to frizz, try OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Extra Strength Hair Masque (R210.00). This ultra-nourishing blend of coconut oil, vanilla bean extract and essence of Tiare helps calm frizz and tame fly-aways, leaving hair with a silky, soft bounce and shine. It is perfect for reviving dehydrated hair that requires restoration.
If your hair has been damaged and needs repair, try John Frieda Miracle Drops Damage Repairing Hair Mask (R44.99). Infused with vitamin E oil, it helps transform damaged, breakage-prone hair into a stronger, restored style.