Summer Hair SOS
Summer shelves in the pharmacists are jam packed with creams and oils and balms to help out your poor face / body come the sunnier months. And, yeah, good. Use them.
What about your hair though? That’s actually on top of your face and body and as such even closer to the sun.
My hair has panic attacks from May onwards. If it’s not doubling in size from humidity like one of those novelty flannels, it’s stuck to my forehead in salty clumps. Not to mention the fact I’m a ho for the hairdryer and straighteners - so afterwards stepping outside in 30 degree heat is tantamount to having a portion of triple cooked chips perched on my head.
No one wants a crispy barnet, and if it isn’t showing signs of distress now I can guarantee by the time the clocks go back you’ll be paying the price. Improper hair care was responsible for the famous Humphries autumn/winter bob-cut of ‘14, and the tears thereafter.
Sort yourself out with one or all of the below.
THE BODY SHOP SHEA BUTTER RICHLY REPLENISHING MASK, £12
I was initially furious re: this purchase, as all their dang packaging looks the same (lid with a big picture of a nut on top) and what I’d intended to buy was a body exfoliant. I can’t be arsed returning things so was planning on gifting it to some poor sod one day because I’m CHEAP but I wound up in an emergency and had no choice but to use it. And here we are, top of the list! It’s a once a week (maybe even a fortnight) treatment that’s extremely thick (quite like the solid bit in a can of coconut milk, if you’re a curry maker), creamy (again, like coconut milk actually) and nutty (is this just coconut milk?).
DAVINES OI ALL IN ONE MILK, £21.50
I looooove this brand, I love that it’s called ‘Oi!’, even though I’m unsure as to whether they get the quite thuggish connotations. This milk is such a gorgeous product that’s light, luxe and smells really pretty in a non floral way (I’m sick of floral stuff to tell the truth, I get enough of that outdoors this time of year). Spray in after towel drying your hair. It’s not a heat protective spray as such, more a daily deep conditioner that nourishes and always seems to make my hair better than when I don’t use it. I sometimes spray it on my ends if they’re feeling dry.
I believe this was a real front runner in the best of the Liberty’s calendar for myself AND Claire, and anything that can unite the beauty houses of Montague and Capulet has to be bloody good.
Get it in Liberty’s for the points.
NUXE HAIR SUN PROTECTION, £12.50
Clue’s in the name. Hair. Sun. Protection. Pretty much covers it wouldn’t you say?
I’ve been pretty surprised throughout my investigation into sun protection for hair how many of them are labelled as oils. I’m loathe to put anything like an oil on to my body or hair before stepping in to the sun since Big Brother in 2005 when Kinga (remember her? Well she put the wine bottle up her chuff. Now you do) would sunbathe covered in olive oil like pre cooked chicken. I remember thinking ‘that looks dangerous’ and I was absolutely right. As for putting oil in hair, the idea of the chips I mentioned earlier puts me right off. My body is not chicken, my hair not chips. I am not a Nando’s meal deal.
This claims to be a ‘milky oil’ which I thought was weird until I used it then I sort of understood, it’s like a very very thin condensed milk. Anyway it says it protects against UV, salt and chlorine. I hate swimming so, so much even in summer - fight me - and one of the many reasons is because I don’t like what it does to my hair. But sometimes you just have to suck it up so people think you’re fun don’t you, and when a couple of weeks ago I did finally bite the bullet and get wet this really came through.
MALIBU CLEAR HAIR AND SCALP PROTECTOR, £4.99
In such a saturated market, sometimes you just have to go with what you know. Malibu is my default sun lotion because it reminds me of family holidays in Florida when I was a small child; I can almost smell the heat and all you can eat breakfasts alongside the coconut scent, and it puts me in mind of Mickey Mouse headbands and of pastel Floridian colours, the ones that were millennial before they were called millennial.
Some of us have fair hair. Some of us have quite thin hair. I do not have either problem, but if you do it’s a REALLY good idea to spray this on to your finger & dab it through your parting, and around your face at the hair line. You really don’t want those bits going red mate.
AVEDA SUN PROTECTIVE HAIR VEIL, £22.50
A hair veil! How period drama of Aveda. Listen, this doesn’t make much of a difference in terms of hair shine or styling or whatever. But if, like me, you are scared of UV rays getting in to your body or brain, it’s simply a very comforting thing to have. I have immense trust in Aveda, those lads know what’s up, it smells fresh and of that lovely thing to say out loud: ylang ylang. It also contains cistus, which I obviously read as cystitis when I first saw it.
KEVIN MURPHY SMOOTH AGAIN ANTI FRIZZ TREATMENT, £30
Prevention is obviously better than cure, but if you’ve an emergency where you’ve turned into a scarecrow this is very good. I bought stylist-of-the-supermodels Kevin Murphy’s leave in treatment when I realised that stylist-of-the-parttimemodels John Frieda’s left me a bit heavy and oily. I really like old Kev’s, it’s a great rescue remedy post holiday. I only use it on my ends and never, EVER on the roots - I would advise you do the same (side note: I never use conditioner on my roots full stop. And I rarely use shampoo on the ends. If that sounds mad, let me tell you a very posh hairdresser once gave me that advice and I’ve never looked back. It also saves you a fortune as you use half as much product).
I do still really like John Frieda’s stuff, particularly the heat defence spray that comes in the garden centre water spray bottle. If you’re prone to bursts of brittle hair they will absolutely deal with that.
FUNCTION OF BEAUTY LEAVE IN CONDITIONER, £15
Trowel devotees will know there is very, very little I don’t love about Function of Beauty. Their customised shampoo and conditioners have been absolutely unbelievable, and the shampoo in particular lasts an age. There are, however, two drawbacks:
1 - I have had what can only be described as a ‘fucking nightmare’ with their delivery service on my last order, which I have had a constant back and forth with them about for a month and a half now.
2 - You can only order the leave in conditioner alongside the shampoo and conditioner as an add on. Like the deals at the till of WHSmith.
On occasion you can buy the leave in treatment separately, they do specials promotions with it. Best thing to do is follow their instagram for that, @functionofbeauty.
Back to the product itself though, and it is honestly amazing. I run it through my scabby ends after washing, and it just glides through & detangles and is a miracle. It can also go on dry hair when you need a pick me up. I’m an impatient, occasionally tempestuous person by nature and the very fact that I haven’t told the company to piss off after this postal service charade is testament to how brilliant it truly is.