Richard Ward's summer hair secrets
Come September, look around: it's easy to see the women who've taken good care of their hair over summer: it's still glossy, sleek and holds its style well. The rest are headed straight to the salon with dehydrated hair, to have a couple of inches of the worst damage trimmed away. But hair help is at hand, thanks to A-list hairdresser Richard Ward, whose Chelsea hair salon is a mecca for the well-groomed. (He also just happened to do The Duchess of Cambridge's hair for her wedding, though really deserves to be famous for much, much more than that!)
One of our go-to hair gurus, Richard says, 'Hot, steamy summer days and nights can leave hair looking far from the golden, shiny locks one would like to associate with the beach season. The drying implications of the sun, humidity and chlorine can leave locks looking barbecue-d, dry, brittle and frizzy especially if the hair is coloured or has been chemically treated...'
Here are his answers to some of the - um - burning questions about summer hair that women have, to avoid that 'barbecue-d' scenario...
Will covering my hair help to reduce the damage?
'Wear a hat at all times – especially if it’s coloured – or use an SPF product – any of the Kérastase Soliel range are unbeatable and really can help preserve condition. Covering is essential to avoid the sun damage even an average two-week holiday causes, so prevention is always better than cure. We would never expose our skin to the sun without protection, yet many people rarely give a thought to the equal harm sun is capable of to hair…'
What else can I do to protect my hair from sun damage?
'It’s an exercise in damage limitation. Try to multi-task using "beach time" as "conditioning time" by applying an intensive treatment at the start of the day, then beach-shower off before swimming. Wear long or mid length hair tied up, ensuring the aged ends are tucked in as these are always the most susceptible to damage. French plaits are a great style choice they leave only the better conditioned root area exposed, hence minimising damage.'
How can I replace the shine?
'The best way to replace lost sheen and restore fade damage when you get back is to invest in an in-salon vegetable gloss colour which adds depth and tone, making the cuticle reflect light and therefore making the hair look shiny. Have a trim as soon as you get back and invest in a series of intensive salon conditioning treatments to restore moisture and protein.'
My hair often looks limp on holiday, what can I do to avoid it?
'Hair tends to look limp because often you are touching the hair with sweaty, cream- and lotion-laden hands! Avoid playing with your hair too often and see the difference, especially in humid conditions. Cleanse and condition your hair well and tie up, allowing it to dry naturally on the beach. When you shake it down even the straightest hair will have a kink and wave to it, avoiding unnecessary heat damage from styling.'
What can you recommend as an instant fix for frizzy hair?
'A serum will also prevent frizz caused by humidity but just use a small amount and smooth in downward movements into the end, avoiding the roots so your hair doesn’t look greasy.'
What’s the worst thing to put on my curly hair?
'Water! The humidity will cause water to be absorbed therefore creating frizz (just like a drizzly day does). Use a lightweight conditioner and take tame new fine hair (for instance that grows around the hairline) with a slick of leave in conditioner to make the hair look groomed spray. Carry a wide tooth comb and some leave in conditioner in your beach bag - but shower off salt sea water after swimming before applying.'