As summer fades into autumn we take stock of our wardrobes, packing away sandals and bringing out ankle boots. Skin rituals change too, we’ve already added a hydrating serum to our routine and a hand cream to our bag and when it comes to hair, now is the perfect time to re-assess too. It’s likely that summer heat, chlorine, sand and sea has left your hair lacklustre and dry with dull, faded colour. Restoring your hair from root to tip is an autumn ritual that will help to defend against the cooler weather, ensuring your mane stays bright and glossy well into December.
Why So Dry?
Hair is formed of three layers, the outer cuticle, cortex in the middle and the medulla, this layer formation determines your hair type and colour, and offers protection. The cortex is where natural pigment melanin sits, and this is where synthetic dyes must reach to alter hair colour. To do this they make an opening – damaging the cuticle in order to reach the pigment. Hair’s natural moisturiser, sebum, travels through cuticles, so once they are damaged through the dyeing process, sebum has difficulty accessing them and hair struggles to stay hydrated, quickly becoming brittle.
What To Do?
If you’re seeking immediate results then a trip to the salon cannot be bettered. Refresh your colour, get rid of any split ends, and while you’re there treat your hair to a high-tech conditioning treatment. Many salons now offer Olaplex which works to restore damaged hair bonds and protect newly coloured strands by closing the cuticle following the application of dye.
There’s a lot you can do to restore hair colour at home too. Hairdresser and colour guru Christophe Robin advises “it’s so important to use products which not only help colour last but also protect, nourish and restore.” Try switching to a colour specific shampoo as these ultra-gentle formulas prevent colour-fade which can occur with stronger formulas, plus nourishing ingredients will help restore and repair damage. We love Leonor Greyl Bain Vitalisant B Shampoo for Dry, Coloured, Sensitive Hair.
In addition always use a hydrating conditioner, such as Living Proof Restore Conditioner to restore moisture and keep the cuticle flexible for brushing and styling. Christophe also recommends “haircare treatments at least once a week, especially if you use a lot of colour or heat styling on your hair. Your hair will be nourished and hydrated making it stronger and resistant to further colour treatments.”
For an extra colour boost choose a mask which helps to deepen your shade such as Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care in Warm Chestnut or Baby Blonde. “To get the most out of a mask” says Christophe, “warm a wet towel in the microwave and place in on your head whilst the mask is on. The heat will open up the cuticles and allow for a deeper and more nourishing treatment.”
If your hair is looking particularly dry then try to avoid heat styling. Blow drying hair removes surface water but also destroys the moisture that is bound to it, leaving it parched and looking dull. If you absolutely must blow dry then always use a protective mist like Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat UV Protective Primer and try using an ion blow dryer, like T3 Featherweight Luxe 2i Dryer. Ions dry the hair directly from the outer cuticle, whereas traditional hairdryers dry outwards from the cortex within the hair shaft to the outer layer, which is far more damaging.
If your blonde has taken on a slightly green sheen thanks to chlorine and sea water over the summer months, then take a leaf out of Christophe Robin’s book and “dip the affected area in effervescent aspirin for three to five minutes and then rinse.” He explains “aspirin contains salicylic acid and when used on the hair it counteracts the alkalinity of chlorine (a common cause of brassiness) to neutralize the green quickly.”
Wet hair is much more susceptible to breakage so treat it kindly and be gentle when detangling. Coloured hair tangles more easily thanks to the rougher cuticle, so use a mist like IGK Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-in Conditioner to make light work of combing and try a Tangle Teezer which minimises damage with specially designed flexible teeth.