Summer hair hacks for stressed tresses

We all know how hot summer conditions can be harmful to our skin. We slip, slop, slap (slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat) to protect ourselves. But we should give just as much thought to the havoc summer sun, wind, chlorine and saltwater can have on our hair. So here are a few ways to look after your crowning glory this summer.

Less heat, less harm

If the sun's already beating down on your hair, think about reducing the heat styling you do over summer. Maybe for you this means setting your hairdryer on warm rather than hot. Or could you leave it instead to completely air dry? And perhaps you can give the tongs or straighteners a rest at least a couple of days a week. Using a natural serum designed for heat styling will also reduce the damage your hair sustains.

Hold the new hue

Summer conditions are drying and damaging to hair - particularly if it's already dry, damaged or colour treated. This is the time to ease up on chemical hair treatments, whether in the salon or at home. If you need to colour your hair for summer, it's a good idea to try and schedule this a month or two before going on holiday.

Condition, condition, condition

If you're spending a lot of time outside in the sunshine and swimming at the beach this summer, use ecostore's Dry, Damaged & Colour conditioner. This will help prevent colour fade, as well as smoothing and detangling locks that are in and out of saltwater. Its matching shampoo is also good for protecting the colour and is a very gentle, nourishing way to get hair clean without being squeaky. And it's got a refreshing bergamot and orange fragrance that smells like summer.

Return to your roots

While you feel like shampooing your hair every day, doing so will cause more harm than good. Too much shampoo can dry up your scalp and hair even more. If you tend to sweat more on the scalp and if your hair gets greasy and sweaty easily, go for a mild shampoo. If your hair's long, focus on the roots and scalp, rather than washing the whole length of your hair. As you rinse your hair, the suds will gently cleanse your hair down to the ends.

Chop chop for easy care

Sun, frequent washing, blowdrying and swimming can cause mayhem with long hair - leaving the tips brittle and encouraging split ends. Luckily, summer is also a great time to go a bit shorter. Although bear in mind that low maintenance hair for you might be a style that's long enough to put in a ponytail. If you don't want to go short, a trim can bring hair back to life by getting rid of frazzled ends.

Made in the shade

The most effective sun protection for hair is to simply cover it up. There's a reason straw hats and summer go together, so have a rummage through your wardrobe and revisit that headwear - whether it's a silk scarf, a beloved baseball cap or a straw cowboy hat. A bun, plait or other ‘do' can protect long ends by reducing the area that's exposed to strong sunlight. This also has the bonus benefit of keeping frizz to a minimum and keeps hair off the back of your neck, to prevent that sweaty, sticky feeling.