Five- star holiday, now one-star strands? Check into our Holiday Hair Rehab

Post-vacay hair hell? Start following these steps now and your winter hair will thank you for it…

It’s okay, you’re among friends. You can tell us here at Layered, how bad did it get? Did you forget to use a sun shielding lotion on your hair and scalp? Mmm-hmm. Been there. Refused to spend precious cocktail-swigging minutes rinsing out the pool/sea water before hitting the bar? Yup, we feel you. Now you’re dealing with parched hair that’s desperate for a detox. Oh, we know, we’ve done it too…


It’s the end of August, and you’re facing up to the ravaged results of a hedonistic holiday that’s been heaven for you, but hell for your hair. Not everyone is so happy with the hair they come back from their break with…

So, check your tresses into Layered’s Holiday Hair Rehab – let them enter this safe space and share their pain with our team of therapists, and we’ll get them through this and looking better than ever!

I’m brassed off!

Making some noise about your brassy hue? Your hair needs a sun shield as much as your skin – not only can it burn, but it can also alter your hair colour, especially if you’re a less-than-natural blonde. But nobody panic! For an instant brass banisher, reach for a really good silver shampoo, such as Fudge Professional’s Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo and leave it on to do its thang.


“Work into a lather then leave on the hair for a couple of minutes to allow the formula’s hydrating guarana and violet pigments to neutralise the unwanted yellow tones that beset blondes,” says Tracy Hayes, global head of technical training at Fudge Professional. “You can double up with Clean Blonde Violet Toning Conditioner, which is my favourite, because it contains a slightly lower level of violet pigments for further toning without the purple-rinse look!” When you’re out of the shower, spritz towel-dried hair with Clean Blonde Violet Tri-Blo, a triple-action toning prep spray with professional strength violet micro-pigments to knock out even more yellow-orange tones, while protecting against heat of up to 235˚C AND providing high-octane shine to dull, sun-frazzled hair.

If it’s REALLY bad, then a trip to the salon for a toning service at the sink might be in order. It’s pretty quick and will get you looking heavenly rather than post-holiday-hellish within 60 minutes (that’s counting in a luxe blow-dry, too).

Matthew Curtis, runway stylist and owner of Matthew Curtis Salon, admits that some clients come to him following summer holidays with brassiness beyond the capabilities of at-home toning products! “In these instances, we use DIA Light by L’Oréal Professionnel Paris, a great ammonia-free product that reduces brassiness within minutes and with an acidic-based formulation to neutralise the alkalinity of blonde hair and seal the cuticle to restore gloss and lustre.”

Ouch! My scalp is scorched!

Feeling the burn? Take some (cold) comfort in that you’re not alone. A staggering two-thirds (68 per cent) of British women said they were previously not aware that hair can burn just like the skin, almost two-thirds (66 per cent) of women admit that the sun causes a ‘huge to quite a lot’ of damage to the health of hair and scalp – and over a quarter (26 per cent) of women admitted that they have experienced sunburn on their scalps.

“When you burn your scalp, you really need to use a cooling shampoo such as Bain Riche Dermo-Calm from Kérastase,” says Sally Montague, who has a group of gorgeous salons in Derbyshire. “You’ll feel the cooling sensation right away, but try and keep your scalp covered after burning.”

Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley, admits: “Summer holidays may be one of the greatest times of the year but, sadly, they can be one of the most stressful periods for the hair.” No wonder then that Philip Kingsley has an After-Sun Scalp Mask infused with chamomile and aloe vera to soothe and can be used all year round if your scalp is feeling a bit dry and flaky.

Eeek! My hair is now frazzled straw!

Sun! Beach! Pool! You might have had fun on your holiday, but we’re guessing your hair was screaming for mercy, right? Now it’s time for your lengths to get a relaxing break at a spa you can create at home. If you can deal with a crunchy shower cap on overnight, sleep in Kérastase Résistance Masque Force Architecte

However, sometimes you need to check in with your hairdresser and let them work their magic. There are some amazing backwash treatments that can deliver a dose of redemption in one visit (and it probably wouldn’t hurt to just get a quick trim to tidy up your burnt ends, too). “L’Oréal Professionnel Paris Serie Expert Powermix treatments are perfect – the personalised masques are a huge hit at Linton & Mac as they are tailored to our clients and the results are amazing,” says Jen Linton at Aberdeen’s Linton & Mac. “We love that they are jam-packed with the purest ingredients that can be freshly mixed at the backwash, while the double dose treatment caters for specific needs, so we can adapt the solution accordingly.”

I’m green – and it AIN’T with envy…

Oh yes, as if it wasn’t difficult enough to keep blondes looking beautiful, you have the extra fun times of your hair ‘hulking out’ with a mossy green hue if you really batter them on your hols – we’re talking lots of dips in a chlorinated swimming pool with no protection.“If your platinum locks start to appear green, dip the affected area in effervescent aspirin for three to five minutes and then rinse,” advises fount-of-all-knowledge, Christophe Robin. “Aspirin contains salicylic acid and when used on the hair it counteracts the alkalinity of the chlorine to neutralise the green quickly.”

And looking ahead, listen to the wise words of that iconic French hairdresser once more. “You would never wash your silk blouses with detergent and I always tell my clients that the same rule applies to your hair,” says Christophe. “Whether your hair is coloured, highlighted, natural, dry, frizzy or fragile, a gentle, detergent-free formula is important. Adopt the ‘no-shampoo method’ used by Californian and Brazilian women who wash their hair with masks or conditioners to avoid damaging hair already weakened through colouring.” He points to his rather lovely Cleansing Mask with Lemon, a ‘low shampoo’ product that exfoliates the scalp with acidic lemon, seals the cuticle of alkanised coloured hair and helps prolong your colour.

My expensive extensions have changed colour!

You ladies of extra-long lengths have to be super vigilant going forward, because your extra hair can be more sensitive. Some complain of green or orange hues, often down to chlorine and mineral deposits, such as copper and iron in foreign water filtration systems and pipes, but Victoria Lynch, founder of extensions brand Remi Cachet, was keen to investigate more.

“It’s really important that the hair extension wearer understands that the colour change is a chemical reaction to something that has happened to the hair,” she explains. “We have been testing our hair across the ranges and colours, alongside other brands, with sun cream, the effects of water and sun.” A chemical called avobenzone, an ingredient used in most sunscreens for its UVA absorption, but just like your clothes can discolour hair it contacts. It’s also used in lots of products such as perfume and hair perfume, so extension lovers need to check their product ingredients carefully. While the sun helps to speed up the chemical reaction, the change is most noticeable on blondes.

Victoria’s answer was Malibu C (nicknamed ‘little packets of miracles’), which not only rectifies the damage caused but also repairs the hair to leave it in great condition. Choose from Swimmers Remedy, Hard Water Wellness and Miracle Repair Reconstructor, and they’re only a couple of pounds a pop!

My hair’s thirsty… so, so thirsty

Did you go sea swimming without anything protective in your hair? Eeek! Salt is a natural dehydrator and as hair is at its healthiest when it’s hydrated, this is bad news – salt water strips the hair of its moisture, so you’ll see dry, brittle and difficult to manage hair. You need to put those oils back in your hair!
The L’Oréal Professionnel Paris Serie Expert Nutrifier range has a glycerol and coconut oil formula that helps to hydrate and nourish hair. “It adds lustre, shine and prevents hair breakage and split ends, but because it’s silicone free, your hair is left feeling lightweight, natural and soft to the touch. It’s like it’s been replumped!” says Adam Reed from Adam Reed London. There’s an in-salon treatment called Monodose Nutritive Concentrate for undernourished hair that you enjoy at the backwash, and Adam recommends that you “grab a tube of Nutrifier DD Balm to take home – it’s perfect to help protect hair and leave ends softer, more supple and shiny”.