Member of the Institute of Trichologists

Protecting Your Hair and Scalp When On Holiday

We have all heard our parents and the adverts that go on about the importance of looking after your skin in the sun, yet while many people are on top of covering their limbs in sunscreen, they still seem to forget potentially sensitive parts of the body such as the neck, ears, scalp and hairline.

So we asked Lisa Gilbey MIT, a member of The Institute of Trichologists from The Northants Hair & Scalp Clinic to give us advice on the importance of looking after your hair and scalp in the heat of the summer.

She said: “Those of us who enjoy the sun feel that it is a real tonic and that acquiring a tan improves our appearance.

Protecting Your Hair and Scalp When On Holiday

“On holiday the last thing we think of is protecting our ears, hairline, parting and the back of our neck with suncream, particularly important if you have had you hair plaited exposing your scalp.

“Looking after your scalp is important as a sunburnt scalp can become tender and in due course the skin will peel away looking like you have an embarrassing flaky dandruff problem.

“Sunstroke is also a risk through the sunrays penetrating the scalp, or more easily if a man is experiencing common baldness as there is less hair to protect the head.

“Gentlemen participating in golf or other outdoor activities must either wear a hat or use a high SPF suncream to prevent hyper-pigmentation (large freckles) on a denuding scalp as UVA and UVB in combination alter the scalp surface.”

Colouring your hair before your holidays is also something that Lisa has some advice on.

She said: “People are always in two minds whether or not to have their hair coloured before they go away on holiday.

“The sun photochemically produces a chemical reaction within the hair shaft, enabling colour pigments to oxidise and lighten the hair’s colour.

“Wearing a hat or using products containing SPF will help prevent colour fade.

“Applying conditioner to protect from UV rays is a myth, just as wearing moisturiser on our body contains no sunscreen.

“Very blonde dyed hair or fair-haired young children can experience a tinge of green on their ends where the hair is porous.

“Believed to be from chlorine this actually is due to the metal copper in the swimming pool water or algaecides, the newer mechanical systems are usually free of this now.

“Despite the name copper you may ask why the hair is not dyed this colour from the water but as the hair dries, copper is precipitated out as a copper sulphide. “With copper’s positive electrical charge and hair and skin possessing a negative charge; water will evaporate from the hair when you get out of the pool but the copper does not, which with the cationic charge remains in the hair and turns it green by an oxidisation process.

“Oxidised metals in the water bind to the protein within the hair shaft, depositing the green colour.

“Rinsing your hair in clean water when you depart the pool is important and the use of a chelating shampoo which can be bought from Boots will remove metals.

“Tomato ketchup in some cases counteracts the green, failing that a weak cleansing solution in the hairdressers can remove the stain from the hair too.

“Covering your hair and scalp proves beneficial, failing that a high sun factor applied every two hours to the exposed skin or more frequently after perspiring or swimming will help counteract the damaging and ageing effects of the sun.”

This article was written previously for Spree, Evening Telegraph.

Lisa Gilbey MIT

Lisa Gilbey MIT is a registered qualified Trichologist with many years of experience treating patients who are suffering from a broad range of hair loss conditions and scalp problems.

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