If you have a vacation planned, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is your hair color fading.

But the sun can totally take a toll on hair. So we asked Bridgette Hill, lead colorist and creative director for the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach Salon, for her top tips on keeping hair color fresh on vaca. Here’s what she had to say.

Why should people worry about fading during vacation? What can cause the fading?

Brown hair can turn red/orange and blondes can turn into a brassy copper tone. Vacation hair can be your colorist’s nightmare upon return because of the extra effort and time it takes to get back to the original color canvas.

Anything that disturbs the cuticle of the hair creates fading, in essence, any hair manipulation including combing and product use, opens the cuticle, which weakens the bond between the pigment and the hair structure, creating loss of color. The chemicals in Jacuzzi pools and public water outlets open the cuticle to encourage fading.  The sodium from salt in the ocean immediately affects the structure as well as the ultraviolet rays from the sun.

What colors are most susceptible to fading?

Reds are the most susceptible because it is the largest color pigment molecule, therefore, it cannot penetrate as deeply into the hair structure as colors in the brunette or blonde family.

What do girls living inland need to do to their hair vs. girls who live on the coast?

Any hair color client should have different regimens based on seasonal changes, lifestyle, and styling habits. 

Girls on the coast: coastal living means a great deal of sodium in the air and more sun exposure. In warmer tropical areas, the hair should always be treated as damaged hair no matter the condition.  True treatment based lines are essential to keeping the cuticle healthy for all hair types and textures.  Fine thin hair requires the same protection as thick and coarse hair just in different amounts and delivery systems. Fine haired clients should use product lines that offer water based leave in moisture and conditioners so hair is not weighed down.  Because the client is typically going from indoor air conditioned settings to outside environments, the hair can become harried (no pun intended) by constant environmental shifts. The hair needs an extra coating of moisture and protein to act as a guard and reinforce the cuticle. 

Inland clients deal with an opposite scenario, where the outdoor cooler air is beneficial to the cuticle and hair structure, and the indoor heated environment is damaging.  Their regimens need to include nourishing the ends regularly with some type of light lotion or serum to ensure the cuticle has reinforcement while indoors. 

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