By the end of summer, the ends of my hair are a mess: dry and ’80s-hair-gel crunchy. The obvious solution is a haircut, which would leave me a good two inches shorter. Or, I could get to work with some quality products and change up my haircare routine.
Having spent the majority of my adult years (who’s counting!) with long hair, I’m going with the latter.
What the experts say
First, a little lecture on prevention. “The main contributor to fried hair is chemical damage. So, that’s over-colouring, over-heat styling, exposure to the environment and pool or ocean swims,” explains National Kerasilk Ambassador Kirby Lago. If you’ve had a highly enjoyable summer taking your expensive blonde highlights to swimming pools and parties, this is the price you’ll pay.
Next summer (or if you’re lucky enough to be taking a winter break somewhere warm), it’s worth considering this advice from celebrity stylist Adam Reed. “Style as little as possible, and when you do, use GHD tools [he’s a global ambassador] and ensure the heat does not go above 185 degrees,” he says.
When colouring for summer, it’s worth trying gentler techniques such as balayage and softer hues such as honey, rather than platinum. Maintenance toners, which add pigment and shine, are another, less-drying option, Reed adds.
If swimming, lather your hair in a leave-in treatment (pre- and post dip), tying it back loosely and out of the water, please wear a hat.
Try honey tones for summer, rather than platinum
First, the bad news.
“Hair rarely recovers fully because it’s a dead fibre when it comes out of your head, which is why prevention is so important,” says Reed. Professional treatments – such as Olaplex– will be fried hair’s best friend. They work as a filler that gives the effect of healthier-looking hair.
Heard of hair slugging? While it’s yet another TikTok buzz phrase, in this case it actually works wonders on dry, damaged hair (and it’s been around for centuries). “It’s basically where you saturate the hair with oil – overnight preferably – and wash it off in the morning,” says Reed, adding it improves moisture and shine. He also recommends changing up your haircare products (known as hair-cycling), according to what your hair needs, just as you’d cycle through skin products to fix specific issues.
Treat your hair more deeply once a week with a mask or hair-slugging, too.
In terms of ingredients, both Reed and Lago agree you should prioritise moisturising jojoba oil, shea butter and coconut oil, along with strengtheners such as proteins and keratins.
Here are the products we love: