Hair Damage Is Irreversible. Here’s How To Prevent It During Summer.


Between sweltering beach days, refreshing dips in the pool and summer soirees that require us to put our best tresses forward, summer is the time of the year when hair takes a hammering. Since it’s

Split ends, breakage, less shine or diminished style retention are all superficial signs that your hair is damaged, says Jake Reynolds, senior haircare engineer for Dyson. “The easiest way to check whether you have damaged hair for yourself is by taking a strand of hair between your fingers and gently pulling it at either end,” he explains.

“If it can stretch to around a third of its length, it’s a sign that your hair may be less damaged, however, nothing is failsafe. If the hair snaps or stretches without returning to its original length, this could be a sign of dryness and/or damage.”

Improperly treating your hair can cause irreversible damage — yes, irreversible. As we well know, prevention is better than cure when it comes to any avoidable medical condition, and hair is no exception.

Treatment plan

“When your hair is exposed to too much sun, sea and salt, the outside layer, called the cuticle, becomes compromised causing discolouration, dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends and frizziness. It also means your hair is more likely to absorb chemicals and minerals,” says Jaye Edwards, founder of EdwardsAndCo salon in Sydney and Australian ambassador for Color Wow.

“To keep your hair hydrated, once a week, swap out your conditioner for a leave-in treatment to give sun-damaged hair a potent dose of hydration. The Kale-Infused Dream Cocktail, $60, from Color Wow is perfect for strengthening the hair.”

Gently does it

“At the beach, seawater coats hair with a layer of salt, which increases the friction of the strands. Be sure to rinse out your hair before drying or brushing to avoid damage,” explains Jake. “Drying your hair with a towel or brushing and combing your hair can overstretch the strands and weaken them to breaking point. Aggressive brushing can also hurt the shiny outer layer of your hair, making it feel rough and look dull.”

Jade Hart, founder of New Zealand hair and body care brand Everblue, recommends using a hair turban to remove excess water from hair, especially if you need it to go from wet to dry quickly. “A gentle hair turban made from fleece or high-quality microfibre minimises friction and absorbs water faster, which in turn prevents breakage and frizziness,” she explains. “The fast-drying benefit also means you may not have to bring out the hair dryer as much, which is great news for those split ends

Slip, slop, slap

“It’s essential for all hair types to prioritise UV protection, ensuring that your scalp is protected against damage,” says Jake. “UV has also been shown to degrade the colour molecules formed during the dying process, causing the colour to fade and impacting overall look and shine.”

Chloe Zara, hairstylist and founder of Chloe Zara Hair, suggests covering up with a hat whenever you’re out in the sun. “This will protect the scalp, which can easily burn, and protect hair from direct sunlight.” If wearing a hat doesn’t work with your ensemble, stay in the shade as much as possible and use a leave-in product that offers some UV protection, such as Chloe Zara Glossifying Hair Mist, $59.

“Try styling your hair in a low bun. This can be an effortless way to style your hair while still looking chic over summer,” suggests Chloe, as another way of limiting the exposure your strands receive to the sun.

Dial it down

“Take a break from using heated styling tools and let your hair air dry naturally,” recommends Chloe. “Using the correct products for your hair type will help to enhance your natural hair texture.” Talk to your hairdresser about products that will support your hair to dry naturally such as styling creams, leave-in conditioners and smoothing oils.

If you must, use heated tools with adjustable temperature settings or those with intelligent heat control to avoid damaging your hair with extreme levels of heat.

“High temperatures, typically above 150C, lead to changes in the shape of keratin stands within the hair, causing the hair to become weaker, less elastic and more susceptible to other types of damage. All Dyson’s haircare machines are equipped with intelligent heat control, which helps prevent extreme heat damage and promote healthy hair and shine,” says Jake.

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