Photography via iStockPhoto/miljko

Your Guide to End-of-Summer Hair Repair

It's time for some [hair] damage control.

“If there’s a time when you’re going to neglect your hair, it’s probably going to be in the summer,” says David D’Amours, Kérastase’s Canadian Editorial Director and owner of salon Privé par David D’Amours in Montreal. Whether your routine has taken a backseat to summer fun or you’ve spent a good deal of time in the sun and surf, your strands may have taken a bit of a beating over the past few months. Chlorine, sea salt and UV damage can all do a number on hair, leaving it dry and brittle. “It’s a build-up of everything,” says D’Amours. “It’s sun damage, it’s chlorine, it’s sea salt from the ocean, or you might not be washing your hair as often.”

Add the heat of styling tools to that equation and the timing is just right by summer’s end to enter into restoration mode. “I see less breakage from the sun than I see breakage from people who don’t put heat protectors in their hair,” says D’Amours. “But it’s always good in the summer to have something that works like a sunscreen for hair.” D’Amours recommends starting a regimen of hair masks every four to five washes. “Especially if you have colour-treated hair, curly hair, blonde hair or balayage, you need something adapted to your hair type,” he advises. For blondes, a colour-restoring shampoo is a smart end-of-summer move, helping to reverse any yellowing or brassiness that may have developed.

“Although hair is durable, it is a complex fibre and isn’t indestructible,” says Kevin Mancuso, the Global Creative Director of Nexxus. “In the summer you’re exposed to sources of damage that can harm the structure of your hair and the amount of moisture it can hold…Any source of heat is going to burn your hair and the sun will do the same: lightening the hair and making it more brittle.” According to Mancuso, the sun can strip hair of its natural oils, leaving it more vulnerable to breakage—and taking a dip in the pool to cool off only compounds that damage. “Chlorine is very similar to the chemical process that strips your hair when it is being coloured. The longer that chlorine is in your hair, the more damage it can cause, especially when followed by sitting in the sun.”

Luckily, fall is the perfect time to get hair back on track. Here are the products you may want to lean on to restore your hair to its pre-summer glory.