Nine ways to protect and repair your dry, damaged hair

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By Katie Wright

"Over-exposure to sun, sea and sand or chlorine can cause damage to the hair. Signs of damage mainly include bleaching out or fading of colour, dryness, split ends and increased flyaways or frizz," says Luke Hersheson, John Frieda UK creative director. "Generally, thicker, coarser and darker hair is more resilient to the UVA/UVB rays. This type of hair tends to be less dry as a result of over-exposure. This is because oil tends to reside in the pigment of darker coloured hair." But even thick, dark hair can suffer in summer.

"The hotter weather and summer holidays can affect all hair types, regardless of texture," warns John Vial, co-founder of Salon Sloane. "However, coloured hair is prone to greater absorption as it tends to be more porous."

Hersheson agrees: "If you've lightened your hair, you need to be more careful as you've partially started stripping away the natural oil along with the pigment."

So what can we do to fight these folicular foes? It's about prevention and cure, the experts say, knowing what to do - and what not to do - before and after exposure to the elements.

Whether you're heading off on hols or feeling the effects of the heatwave back home, here they offer nine ways to look after your locks...

1. Cover up

"There are some basic and easy rules to protecting your hair - the most obvious being wearing a sun hat or headscarf. This will act as a physical barrier between yourself and the sun," Hersheson advises.

2. Slather on SPF

Vial says: "Like with our skin, the sun can also damage our hair and scalp - if a hat isn't your style, use a good quality SPF for your hair to stop the chlorine penetrating each shaft of the hair. I'd also recommend using colour-protecting shampoo and conditioner as this will prevent fade."

3. Mask while you bask

He continues: "Whilst on the beach, a great way to look after hair is to put a treatment on the mid-lengths and ends and then put it in a braid - this will provide nourishment whilst keeping hair off your face whilst you sunbathe."

4. Tame those tangles

"Brush hair twice a day to keep tangles at bay," Vial says. "Start at the ends and work slowly up the shaft to avoid knots collecting."

5. Hydrate from the inside

It's not just what you put on your hair that matters: "Start from the inside out," Vial says. "Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hair and skin hydrated. Also eating lots of oily fish will promote shine and add nourishment."

6. Try a treatment

"A deep conditioner is incredible at restoring hair health," Hersheson recommends. "I love the John Frieda Full Repair Hydrate and Rescue Deep Conditioner. It's a rich, yet lightweight deep conditioner that is perfect for protecting and repairing all dry and damaged hair types, including colour-treated hair. If you have curlier hair, the John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Deep Conditioner is perfect."

"For complete control and repair of rebellious hair we offer ultimate treatment from KeraStraight," says Harry Wiffen, senior stylist, Trevor Sorbie. "The treatment is a protein based hair smoother and repairing treatment. The treatment has the added benefit of holding blow-dries for longer and works to limit the effects of humidity on frizz prone hair."

7. Half the heat

"Minimise the use of heat appliances as these will only do further damage to already dry hair," Vial warns.

8. Add an oil

"Hair oils are a great solution to help put moisture back into damaged hair," Vial advises. "Depending on how damaged the hair is, I'd recommend using them once or twice a week, applying it through the mid-lengths to the ends - putting it on the roots of the hair can potentially reduce volume."

9. Chop and change

"Prevention is better than cure," Vial says. "I always advise my clients to never let it get to the stage where the hair has become damaged, however, if you have allowed it to happen, then the first thing to do is to book in for a cut to remove the damaged ends."

Catherine Devane