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How to Care for Your Hair This Summer, According to an Expert

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When it comes to your vacation checklist, ensuring that your hair is properly prepped and protected for warmer climates can sometimes fall off the radar. You wouldn’t take to the beach or poolside without applying adequate sun protection, so it’s crucial to apply the same principle to your hair (particularly if you’re a not-so natural blonde). From the swimming cap dilemma to getting the lowdown on whether blonde hair really turns green thanks to chlorine, we put our most pressing (and practical) summer hair care queries to Jo Hansford, color expert and founder of Jo Hansford salon.

Can I go swimming with newly dyed hair?

“As a rule of thumb, I’d always recommend that you cover dyed hair, because the chlorine found in swimming pools will lift color. Also, lots of people rinse their hair in water after going swimming, but you need to thoroughly shampoo and condition hair to wash off the chlorine.”

Is there an ideal time to get your hair dyed before going on vacation?

“When it comes to an ideal time for coloring your hair before a holiday, if you get your hair dyed regularly—like every four weeks for root touch-ups—then I’d recommend that you get your hair colored two weeks before your trip. That means you’ll be due for an appointment to get your color redone when you’re back from vacation. And that’s when you want it to look it’s best: post-holiday.”

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Can exposure to the sun really lighten or change your hair color?

“Extreme sun can lighten hair. And by that, I mean the kind of sun exposure you’d experience on a summer holiday—even natural color can lift, not just dyed hair.”

Can sea water damage your hair, too?

“Another thing people aren’t aware of is that swimming in salt water is just as bad for your hair as swimming in a pool. The salt water can also lift color and, as such, I’d recommend hair is thoroughly washed (not just rinsed!) if you want to avoid this post swim.”

Can chlorine turn blonde hair green?

Yes, chlorine can turn hair green if your hair is colored blonde, or you have blonde highlights. To keep blondes bright, use shampoos and conditioners specially crafted for blonde hair, which tend to include violet pigments which brighten and help maintain color. If you’ve suffered unwanted side effects from chlorine, the best thing to do is to visit your hairdresser for a consultation to get some advice on how to return your color back to normal.”

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Do I really have to wear a swimming cap?

If you want to keep your hair in good condition, yes. It does depend on whether you’re swimming above the water or under the water, but covering your hair will ensure it’s less impacted by chlorine and salt water.

Does hair become more likely to break or split in hot weather?

“Not necessarily. If your hair is already dry, it will get drier in the summer. It’s a case of protecting your hair year-round. And just like when you go on vacation during the summer months and you take extra steps to protect your skin, the same should apply to your hair. Always choose good quality, high performance shampoos and conditioners, such as those that are paraben-free and designed to enhance both color-treated and natural hair.”

Wow, good to know!

This post was written by Katie Rosseinsky. For more, check out our sister site Grazia.

NEXT: Check out these amazing hair color transformations that made these women look so much younger!

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