At this time of year, who has time for high-maintenance pampering? We’d certainly rather be outdoors, enjoying the beach/barbecue/our begonias, or just watching the sun go down. And at Beauty Bible we’ve a hunch what we all want – fixes that make us look fantastic – fast.
So this edition, we’re going to let you in on the secret of making your hair look fab, in a flash. So: here are our best beauty cheats and short-cuts – so you can spend less time on getting gorgeous, more time on making the most of summer, while the sun shines. (Trust us: there’ll be plenty of time for long, languid beauty rituals in a locked bathroom, when the clocks go back again…)
And watch this space on VH for how to perform speedy miracles on face and body, next month…
Slather on conditioner, in the sun. This does double-duty: it protects your hair from the ravages of salt water and chlorine, and if you rinse your hair thoroughly when you get back from the beach, you shouldn’t need to shampoo and condition it from scratch. Ideally, wet your hair first, then slather on a rich conditioner or a hair mask, and comb through.
Or – better still – shake up your own hair protection. There are some terrific UV-protective sprays around – but hair guru Philip Kingsley suggests making your own, ‘shaking together some waterproof, high-protection-factor sun oil, with a thick conditioner. When thoroughly mixed, apply it in sections along the lengths of the hair, placing more on the ends, then comb through for even distribution. This combination of oil and conditioner will protect your hair from chlorine or salt water, maintain the hair’s moisture levels and condition it – all at the same time.’
Add these, to your box of (hair) tricks. Accessories enable you to glam up hair for summer evenings without having to go to the trouble of blow-drying or styling hair. (If anyone’s ever found a hotel hairdryer that does a decent job, we’d like to know the location – and plan our next holidays around it!) Kerry Warne (Creative Director of John Frieda) advises buying hair accessories whenever you see pretty ones. (NB If you’re vacationing in France, Italy or the US, they’re world capitals of great hair accessories; why not bring some back as souvenirs?) Look for these…
• Kirbigrips in different colours
• Slides/barettes – all kinds, all sizes
• Combs (look for antique combs as well as modern versions)
• Black scrunchies
• Bulldog clips (tortoiseshell, transparent or metal)
• Head bands (preferably thin, in black grosgrain, clear or coloured plastic)
And don’t forget fresh flowers; if you gel your hair back or put it behind a thin hairband and add a fresh flower behind the ear – a hibiscus, a lily, a gardenia – nobody will notice that you didn’t have time to rinse the salt from your hair!
Don’t fight your curls. Try to straighten hair that naturally curls or frizzes and you’ll be fighting a losing battle. If your hair’s long enough, New York superstylist Stephen Knoll suggests working a leave-in conditioner or lightweight gel through wet hair, then twist the hair up and secure it with a large clip. ‘That will crush the hair so it takes the shape of the twist,’ he says. Once it’s dry, take it down. ‘It will have defined way pattern instead of all-over curliness.’ Then once hair dries, the important thing is not to brush it; use your hands and shake the hair loose.
Care for your colour. Like vampires and exotic orchids, colour-treated hair withers when exposed to direct sunlight. Blonde highlights become white and brittle, while red and brunette shades can turn brassy, due to oxidisation from too much sun. So even if you don’t normally use colour-care products, make them part of your holiday kit, so you don’t have to head straight from the airport to an appointment with your colourist.
Give your shampoo a little help. Pack a tub of bicarbonate of soda: dissolved in water, it can reduce the acidity of mineral-rich hard water, making it softer – and upping the efficiency of shampoo. It’s particularly useful for hair that’s exposed to chlorine, in pools, as it helps remove the mineral build-up that dulls hair. For a pre-shampoo rinse, mix a large tablespoon of bicarb with the equivalent of a large water-glassful of warm water, and pour through wet hair just before you work in your shampoo.) The completely brilliant Phylia de M CLEAN shampoo also has a great clarifying effect, and we’ll be packing it for our travels.
Go for a hat trick. A big, floppy hat is your best summer hair defence of all, keeping hair in optimum condition, so it’s easier to style and stays shinier. End of story.