Whether you’re crossing your fingers for sun, or you’re a pessimist rolling your eyes at the inevitability of drizzle and umbrellas, there are certain things you need to do to keep your hair in order when the mercury finally rises. No sweat.
Mistake: Your Hair Is Too Thick
OK, it’s not your fault that you were born with thick, curly or unruly hair. It’s not your fault that your hair grows out rather than down. It’s definitely not your fault that this increases your sweat levels tenfold.
But you’re the only one to blame if you don’t try and tame it; you’ll frizz out when it’s humid and perspire when it’s hot. Neither of which is a good look.
So, lose the length. If you’ve got a symmetrical face, try a buzz cut – it’s on trend, easy to maintain and will take 10 minutes off your morning routine.
For everyone else, get the top chopped to a more manageable length (pro tip: ask your barber to remove some of the weight throughout by point cutting) and opt for a close taper on the back and sides.
The bonus about having thick hair is that it will grow back by the time summer ends.
Mistake: Your Hair Is Too Long
You’ve seen the 1970s revival on Gucci’s runway and thought “yes, I want some of that”. So your mane has gone unchecked since September. Fine when it was chilly, but now you’ve got a sweaty neck and greasy hands from pushing it out of your face all day.
The obvious option here is to just cut it shorter – but why waste your hard work? Instead, try a low hanging, loosely tied bun to help alleviate the heat and keep hair out of your eyeline.
N.B. This style is not to be confused with a pony tail or top knot. Nor does it give you an excuse to wear an Alice band. And don’t ever refer to it as your ‘man bun’.
Mistake: You Didn’t Get Your Hair Cut Before Holiday
We get it – fitting in a trim before you jet off is optimistic. You’ve got deadlines to complete, bosses to appease, airport transfers to book. An hour at the barbers seems almost indulgent.
However, not only will you spend the week with a hot, sweaty head; not only will those obligatory holiday Instagram shots not star you at your best; but when you do come home and get it trimmed, there will be tan lines everywhere there was once hair.
Instead, go for a slightly-shorter-than-usual haircut a couple of days before you go away. Give your hair two or three days to bed in and one wash to figure out how you like to style your new ‘do.
Mistake: You Use The Wrong Type Of Hair Product
When it’s hotter, the molecules which make up the nutrients and essential oils in soft styling products such as waxes, gels, cremes and pomades move further away from each other, dissipating and resulting in less hold than when it’s cool. Away from the lab, this translates to ‘melts all over your head’. Not fun.
Opt instead for a cut that requires less maintenance and styling, then use dry finish products – texture dusts, salt sprays, clays, hairsprays – to counteract the sweat and grease that your head and hands will produce.
And for the love of god, stop running your hands through your hair.
Mistake: You Don’t Use Any Hair Products
With certain hair types, forgoing styling products can actually dry your hair and scalp out, which means itchiness and split ends.
If nothing else, use a moisturising shampoo, as this helps your hair retain its natural moisture. Then, if required, add a nourishing styling product made using natural ingredients – the enzymes in organic products react better to heat and are less damaging than those which contain chemicals such as sulfates, parabens and alcohol.
Mistake: You Aren’t Treating Your Skin Properly
Keeping your hair looking its best is a waste of time if what it sits above is a mess. Tan lines may be bad, but burns and flaky skin are worse – not only aesthetically, but also for your health. So be realistic: your Celtic complexion was not what the makers of Spray And Bake Tanning Oil had in mind.
Instead, choose an SPF that will actually protect you, then moisturise properly after a day in the sun.
For the next few weeks, swerve the exfoliator – it strips away that brand new tan. Instead, use a soap or face wash which isn’t a scrub but contains hyaluronic acid, an enzyme that breaks down the natural glue which attaches dirt and dead cells to your skin, without ripping it off.