HomeLifestyleFashionCurls feeling frazzled? 6 ways to repair summer hair damage

Curls feeling frazzled? 6 ways to repair summer hair damage

Holidays and hot weather are brilliant for raising your spirits during summer, but they can wreak havoc on your hair – especially if it’s wavy, coiled, kinked or curly.

Sun, sea and swimming pools – or all of the above – can leave your crowning glory looking frizzy and lacklustre by the time September rolls around.

“Curly hair can be more fragile than straight hair because the cuticle layer remains more raised than it is on straight hair, which leaves it more vulnerable to breakage,” says Kevin Hughes, global artistic director at Moroccanoil.

Plus, if your strands aren’t healthy and hydrated it’s harder to get that gorgeously glossy, defined look, because curly hair naturally tends to be less shiny.

“When there are twists and turns in the hair shaft, it absorbs parts of that reflection, reducing some of the shine that we see,” Hughes explains.

“This dullness is increased if the hair is damaged or distressed by UV rays, sea and environmental aggressors.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are six expert-approved ways to rejuvenate curly hair…

1. Soothe your scalp

“Curly hair has less moisture than straight hair because the oil from the scalp cannot move down the strands of hair as easily,” says Hughes.

This problem can be exacerbated in summer if you’ve been sunbathing without a hat. “Occasionally I see dry or damaged scalp on clients who have braids and textured styles, as it is more exposed to the sun and subject to sunburn,” he says.

Just as you would apply aftersun to parched skin and keep it covered, treat your scalp to a moisturising serum or mask and leave it on overnight.

“I would be sure to use some aloe vera, apply to your scalp and wash less often to allow the natural oils to replenish and balance the scalp,” says Hughes.

2. Detangle knots

“Healthy curls and coils are well-defined, springy and bouncy – lack of definition and tangles could indicate damage,” says Jennie Roberts, afro hair Expert at SheaMoisture UK.

She recommends regularly detangling to “prevent knots and tangles from forming, which can lead to breakage. Use a brush or comb designed for curly and/or coily hair to avoid damaging the curls, kinks and coils”.

Hughes suggests applying conditioner to wet hair before you wash it as an extra detangling step: “The conditioner will break down what is in the hair and rinse away with the conditioner, so the shampoo won’t make it worse than it already is.”

3. Bring back the bounce

“Gently stretching a strand of hair should result in some level of elasticity without immediate snapping,” says Roberts.

“If your hair breaks easily without any flexibility, it might be damaged.”

From shampoo to styling, hydrating products are key for repairing your locks, says Hughes: “Look for ingredients that moisturise the hair, like panthenol and jojoba, as well as strengthening ingredients, like vegetable proteins.”

Roberts adds: “Consider using a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week to maintain moisture levels.”

4. Avoid heat and chemicals

“Minimise the use of heat-styling tools like blow dryers and straighteners, as they can cause further damage, especially in humid conditions,” says Roberts.

Always use a heat protection spray, and if you’re planning a summer escape, try to resist the urge to book salon appointments for anything other than a trim.

“Wait until you get home from holidays before you have any chemical treatments such as colouring, perming, or relaxing,” Roberts says.

“As you’ll be able to assess the condition of your hair better – the heat and weather will just add to the damage.”

5. Revive your curls

While it may be tempting to reach for a heat styling wand when you want to zhoozh up your curls, if you want to protect your locks, it’s better to use a gentle hair routine during the summer months.

Starting with freshly washed hair, Hughes says: “Make sure to blot it dry with a towel, meaning don’t be rough with it, then spritz through a heat protection spray – this will be the last time you comb through your hair.”

Next, he says: “Scrunch the hair from the ends up to the scalp with the palm of your hand, then use a diffuser to dry the hair – essential to keep from blowing the curls around and getting frizzy.”

If you do have any frizzy areas, use a heat styler sparingly: “Use a curling iron the same size as your curl; pick up random pieces of hair and redefine the curl with the iron.”

6. Lightweight styling products

“Choose lightweight products to prevent buildup and to avoid weighing down your curls in the humid weather,” says Roberts.

“Hair butters and creams will melt, so water-based products are always advised.”

This is particularly important for the final step in your styling routine.

“Use a curl-enhancing styling product,” says Hughes, such as a mousse or cream, to scrunch and set your locks. “Don’t brush or comb through your curls after hair is dry.”

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Leave-In Conditioner, £8.99, Superdrug

SheaMoisture Strengthen & Restore Hair Treatment Masque, £12.99, Boots

Osmo Curl Revival Replenishing Cream, £10.99, Sally Beauty

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Quinoa Frizz Control Gel, £21, Cult Beauty

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream, £26.85

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