Beauty & Health

Best tips for healthy, summer hair

by Adriana Donnola, expert beauty stylist 

While summer in Sydney signals the start of outdoor fun, it also spells torture for our hair if it’s not looked after properly. UV rays, chlorine, saltwater and heat styling all strip locks of its lustre. Although prevention is always best, it doesn’t always work out that way. Here are my favourite preventative buys and also the best-of-the-best reparative buys so either way you’ll keep your hair looking it’s healthy best in the heat and humidity that’s on its way.  

1. Always apply a leave-in conditioner before you swim which protects strands from moisture-zapping chlorinated or sea water. If you forget, the next best thing to do is totally drench hair with cold water before you dive in as the hair shaft can only soak up only so much water (better tap water than chlorinated or sea water). I love KMS Moist Repair Leave-in Conditioner, $32.50, Price Attack.


2. Give your hair a break from the hairdryer and embrace summer's casual braids, ponytails, and loose buns.  Silk ties won’t snag and damage your hair like regular elastics can (and do).  I love Slip’s Skinnie Silk Scrunchies, mixed 6 Pack, $50, Mecca Maxima.


3. Wet hair is at its most vulnerable so that’s why you shouldn’t use a regular hairbrush. Instead, switch to a specifically designed wet brush, I love: the original Tangle Teezer in Pink Fizz, $21.95, Priceline Pharmacy, which gives your scalp a follicle-stimulating massage as well. Or opt for a wide tooth comb and keep it in the shower to comb through conditioner. I love: Mason Pearson Rake Comb, $41.95, David Jones


4. Keep locks frizz-free, hide split ends and add shine with a hair oil applied from mid-length to ends. Just a couple of drops will suffice.  I love: Moroccanoil Treatment Original, $63.95, Price Attack.


5. Do you know how old your hairdryer is? It’s time to update if it’s one without ionic and ceramic technology which protects and smoothes hair as it dries, causing less damage. Also, make sure you always use the nozzle attachment as this concentrates the airflow down the hair shaft for a smoother, shinier end results I love: Parlux Powerlight Ionic and Ceramic Hair Dryer, $285, Price Attack.


6. Commit to scheduling a conditioning treatment or a moisturising mask at least once a week. After washing your hair, towel hair dry,  apply the treatment and then wear a shower cap for 30 minutes to let the mask penetrate.  You could also lay a towel on your pillow and keep the treatment on hair overnight.  I love: The Body Shop’s Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Hair Mask, $25.95, The Body Shop.


7. If you can’t go without the straightener (I hear you!) make sure it’s rapid-heating and damage-minimising. It should distribute heat evenly and have a temperature control so you can turn down the heat. I love: ghd platinum + styler, white, $350, Mecca Maxima.


8. Switch to a silk pillowcase. The smoother surface is much kinder on delicate strands than cotton so it minimises frizz - even if you toss and turn all night - and on hot summer nights it feels cool to touch (It’s great for preventing creases on your face too!)  I love: slip queen pillowcase, $95, Sephora.  


9. Swap in a hydrating shampoo and conditioner:  Look for seriously moisturising formulas and oil-based conditioners for sleek strands. I love: Ogx Shampoo Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco, $20, Woolworths.

10. Before a day outdoors use a UV protector to minimise fade and always wear a hat to protect locks (and your face!) from direct sunlight. Heat and sun oxidize expensive and time-consuming hair colour making it look dry and fried, especially for redheads. I love: Rita Hazan Lock + Block Protective Spray, $36, Sephora.  If you do happen to burn accidentally, avocado oil is a great holistic remedy for scalp sunburns.


Remember to keep visiting your hairdresser. Snipping hair ends creates strength so don’t skip that regular 6- to- 8 week in-salon appointment.

Adriana Donnola has been writing about all things lifestyle for over 25 years on magazines including New Idea, Who, InStyle, TV Week and New Weekly. She has interviewed the world’s top celebrity makeup artists, skincare specialists and hairstylists loves to help women become a more beautiful version of themselves. For more information, please click here to visit her website 'Shop With A Beauty Editor'.