Whether you’re jet-setting or staycation-ing this summer, we can bet beach bumming is in the cards. Then again, taking your supplements daily while keeping up with your color all just to lose luster to UV rays and the salty sea doesn’t sound so fun. Before you bump beach day off your agenda, take it from French Mane Master Christophe Robin, colorist to Queen B, Rita Hazan, and Australian Mane Master Kevin Murphy on how to care for your hair after the beach.
Salt in your strands is good AND bad
There’s good and bad news about dipping your ‘do in the salty sea. As French hair maven Christophe Robin tells us, “Salt water is great for the scalp (it helps sooth and purify) and because it gives hair texture for a messy look— “coiffé -décoiffé” as we say in France, but it can be a bit drying for hair.” To prevent post-beach breakage, apply a protective oil after swimming to counterbalance the drying effects, like the Christophe Robin Moisturizing Oil with Lavender or a leave-in conditioner like KEVIN.MURPHY UN.TANGLED.
A little sun won’t hurt
Hair color-conscious freaks should be relieved to know that the beach won’t derail your dream color. “One day should not ruin your color. I think it actually makes it a little better. If you feel as though it faded out, use a gloss to revive your color,” Rita Hazan advises. But back-to-back beach days can and will damage your hard-earned color. Kevin Murphy says, “The sun oxidizes both your skin and hair. When you colour your hair it also has been oxidized so the sun will accelerate this, so you need to protect it. Apply a hair masque or rich conditioner to dry hair before you go to the beach, or do a braid or bun. By coating your hair with a masque of conditioner, you are making a barrier to stop your cuticle opening up and letting go some of that colour you paid good money for.”
But if you get brassy…
Christophe’s DIY for blonde-and-brassy babes is a quick, affordable fix. He tells us, “Aspirin diluted in some water and used as a rinse-off works great to get rid of unwanted tones like yellow or green.”
Your mane is only as good as your mask.
Christophe suggests doubling up on the moisture and following those few drops of oil with a mild cleanser to wash out the salt, like the Christophe Robin Cleansing Mask with Lemon, a detergent-free shampoo that deeply nourishes the hair fiber without stripping it down. Its acidic pH helps maintain a vibrant hair color and prevents fading.
Once you’ve said sayonara to the salt, drench your hair in Christophe’s two-ingredient DIY mask: “Natural aloe vera gel and coconut oil are great to moisturize and nourish dry hair. Mix both with a bit of water and create you own moisturizing spray.”
Slow your roll on the suds
Don’t resume your normal wash routine just yet. Like Kevin mentions, “Salt is very alkaline, so the best way to counteract the alkaline is with a conditioner because a conditioner is an acid. The conditioner will balance up the pH and take hair back to normal very quickly.” Instead of shampoo, Kevin recommends a co-wash (conditioner wash) or a cleansing treatment to neutralize the alkaline. If you have oily hair and going shampoo-free freaks you out, hold your hair over with dry shampoo (we love OUAI Dry Shampoo) and mend split-end casualties with Rita Hazan Triple Threat Split End Remedy.
Brush with boar
When you do lather up, forgo your comb and reach for a boar bristle brush to prevent breakage. “You should always use a boar bristle brush as this massages the cuticle layer and does not snap the hair. The boar bristles smooth the surface and help to distribute you natural oil through the hair, giving it more shine,” Kevin notes.
Want beach waves without the beach? Click here to see 9 products for textured tresses sans salt and sand.