If you’re going on VACAY this summer and wear hair extensions, here’s how to avoid your locks lacking lustre.
Everyone wants that beach babe look – long hair, skimpy bikini, great tan… but as holiday season approaches, make sure you’re in the know about the potential damage being in the sun can cause for your own hair and your hair extensions!
The harsh rays of the sun, chlorine and sea water combined cannot alone damage the hair’s cuticle, but can cause your own hair and hair extensions to discolour.
Chlorine content in pool water will damage hair extensions, as it reacts with the hair causing discolouration. As well as turning the hair orange/pink or even a greenish tint, the chlorine strips the hair’s natural lubricant, sebum, leaving your hair very dry and brittle. Avoid swimming if you use extensions or have blonde hair.
As salt is a natural dehydrator, sea water and hair extensions don’t mix well! The high salt content causes hair become extremely dry, discoloured and difficult to manage. Even on your own hair the sea water is very harsh as it strips away the natural sebum but as hair extensions do not produce or receive sebum from the scalp, they can become particularly dry.
It’s well drummed into us to protect our skin in the sun but what about our hair? UV rays will strip the colour from your hair extensions and cause them to become dry, frizzy and more susceptible to breakage; therefore we advise wearing a hat in the sun to reduce exposure to strong UV rays and use protection on the hair such as a UV spray.
Hard water is the name given to water which has a higher level of alkaline/mineral content. The level of which varies depending on where you are, so if you go abroad and experience a higher level of alkaline than what your hair is used to, it can cause your colour to fade or turn orange/pink in tone. The build-up of iron content in water over time will mean you need to have your hair coloured or extensions toned or neutralised with specific shampoos to counter-act the discolouration.
Now, here’s how to combat
Keep your hair conditioned – with the exposure to heat, humidity and sun on holiday, your hair is going to be drained of life. Ensure you are using products which nourish the hair, the Beauty Works Argan Oil helps keep extensions supple whilst you’re away and when you return, try will restoring locks with the Pearl Nourishing Mask to replenish moisture. Great for clip-in extensions or permanent extensions, this mask will give your hair much needed TLC.
Hidden nasties found in water such as chlorine, salt and hard/alkaline water can destroy your hair extensions in a few days. A UV spray can help protect against the sun and the Beauty Works Ten-in-One Spray will help with all that. The chemical reaction between chlorine and the sunlight will cause discolouring with chemically coloured hair (which basically means 90% of the population), you may have noticed that after you come back from vacay your hair won’t be the same shade as it was before and it’s EXACTLY the same with extensions which are also chemically coloured. So it’s a good idea to tie your hair back to avoid getting it wet or wear a hat in the sun as often as possible.
Use a Boar Bristle Brush to detangle the hair, spread natural oils and minimise breakage. Never sleep with your hair wet… ever! Your hair is more vulnerable to tangling when wet, and hair extensions are heavier when wet. You will do more potential damage to your own hair and the hair extensions if you don’t dry your hair off straight away.
You will probably be styling your hair more often with summer social occasions and vacations, and that means you will be using heated tools. Using a Heat Protection Spray will help, not only with damage to the cuticle, but it will prevent the hair from changing colour. This is particularly noticeable with mid shafts to ends, where you will hold the styling tool for a longer period of time. Don’t forget to control the temperature – if your styling tool heats up to over 180°C, we suggest you keep heat as low as possible.. Try our travel size Heat Protection Spray which comes in a handy handbag size!
HELP ME MY HAIR IS ORANGE!? Keeping your blonde hair blonde or your brown hair rich in tone can be an endless struggle. Sun, chlorine, hard water, and even washing your hair are all things that can lead to unwanted orange and pink tones in our hair. Discolouration can of course happen to hair of any colour of hair, but blonde hair in particular can go green in chlorine and the sun can make it go ‘warmer’ or in some cases a pinky tone.
So here’s how to banish brass…
Brassiness occurs as your colour begins to fade. The causes are basically any element that has the ability to lift or fade hair colour (UV rays, chlorine, iron water and even heated tools over time). As colour fades, an imbalance of colour molecules are left in the hair’s cortex and brassy tones will shine through.
Whilst it is probably advisable to speak with a professional hairdresser that specialises in colour, not all of us have the funds to get our colour refreshed every couple of weeks!
When you return from holiday and find your hair has potentially gone a warmer tone, we suggest counter-acting unwanted tones of orange and pink with specific toners or shampoos designed to clarify the hair and equalise the tones that may have been stripped out.
There are several brands on the market you can use, violet toned shampoos and conditioners help to balance out orange or yellow tones in the hair as they sit opposite orange on the colour wheel. However it’s a good idea to always see a professional stylist and have a chat about the desired shampoo you need before applying these to extensions.
Hair toner is a low peroxide deposit only colour used to neutralize unwanted tones in the hair
They work by cancelling out colours opposite to them on the colour wheel. Toning is usually done in a salon, although there are at-home options available. We recommend seeking advice from a professional stylist when deciding on a toner that will work with your hair colour and restoring the shade.
So there you have it, your ‘must-have’ guide to keeping your hair and hair extensions healthy in the sun. Next stop, the Caribbean please!