If you’re anything like us, you’re eagerly counting down the days until your next beach holiday, with your flights and hotel booked, bikini packed and sunglasses on standby.

Sun, sea and sand are the perfect combination for a relaxing summer break. Unfortunately, they’re also major causes of hair damage. Holidaymakers may find themselves returning home with hair that’s drier, more brittle and more fragile than when they jetted off.

Whether you’re a keen swimmer or sun-worshipper, it’s worth thinking carefully about how to protect your hair. Although hair care products for post-summer hair repair are available, it’s important to take steps to prevent or minimise damage to your hair in the first place.

Beach-Proof Your Hair

Take Cover

The simplest way to protect your hair on the beach is to wear a hat (a floppy, wide-brimmed style is the best choice) or headscarf.

Avoid spending long periods in the sunshine between 11am and 3pm, when the rays are most likely to damage your hair, not to mention your skin.

If you’re swimming or sunbathing, cool off regularly in the shade.

Spray Away

We all know about the importance of wearing sunscreen on our skin, but did you know that our hair also needs SPF protection?

Hair sunscreen sprays are readily available on the high street. They can be used to protect your scalp as well as your tresses, and some even have a pleasant cooling effect.

If you plan to take dips in the sea, choose a water-resistant formula.

Protect Your Parting

Your hair’s parting is particularly vulnerable to sun damage. Instead of exposing the same area of your scalp to the sun every day, vary your partings. Go for a centre parting one day and a side parting the next.

Alternatively, pull your hair back to avoid a parting altogether.

Shake It Out

Getting sand stuck in your hair must be one of the most annoying aspects of trips to the beach. The grains can irritate your scalp and strip your tresses of their natural oils.

The trick to removing the sand is to wait until your hair is completely dry (you could always blow-dry it to speed things up) before leaning forwards and ruffling your fingers through the strands.

Get Wet

The salt in seawater can dry out your hair. Thankfully, you can considerably reduce the amount of seawater your hair absorbs by dousing your tresses in tap water before swimming.

The same advice applies if you go to the hotel pool and want to keep the chlorine at bay.

Time for TLC

Unfortunately, the sun breaks down a protein called keratin, the key component of hair.

Help to keep your locks strong this summer by using a keratin-enriched, deep-conditioning hair mask. You can think of it as a luxurious pampering session for your hair!

Avoid Hotel Hairdryers

The chances are that you’ll be washing and drying your hair more frequently on holiday than you’d do at home, as you’ll want to remove all traces of saltwater and sand after each trip to the beach, especially if you’re getting dressed up to go to a party or restaurant in the evening.

Don’t settle for your hotel room’s mediocre hairdryer, as it may scorch your hair, leaving it more prone to beach-related damage. For salon-quality results, pack a luxury hair dryer with ionic and infrared technology – it’ll dry your hair quickly while being kind to every strand.

Remember to take an appropriate adaptor and check the voltage rating at your destination is compatible with your hairdryer. Then you’ll be all set for super-silky summer holiday hair!