Leading hair extensionist and co-owner of The Belle Brush, Nancy speaks about her top tips for looking after your tresses on holiday, the most common mistakes, and why no one talks about the dangers of sun damage to the hair.
Nancy Cavanagh is one of Ireland’s most respected hairdressers and experienced extensionists, owning her own salon – Belle Hair – in Galway, an award-winning range of hairbrushes – The Belle Brush – and most recently, the latter being the styling tool of choice for hairstylists on the set of Netflix’s Bridgerton season 2.
Over the years Nancy has acquired extensive knowledge of hair health and is passionate about one area of this in particular: the protection of hair in the sun, which is evident in her Q&A on the matter, as outlined below. We all know the importance of protecting our skin on holiday with the highest possible SPF, but as Nancy maintains; “the skin doesn’t stop at your forehead”, and UVA & UVB rays are just dangerous for our scalp and hair.
Why do you think the dangers of sun damage on the hair aren’t widely discussed?
A lot of the time people don’t realise that their hair has been damaged by the sun and put it down to other causes such as colouring or styling damage. Therefore, it’s not something that is widely discussed – which is why I am here. Can your hair get sunburnt? Absolutely! Sun to the hair is no different to sun to the skin. It can be extremely dangerous for the health of your hair and skin. Remember your skin doesn’t stop at your forehead.
What is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to looking after their hair in the sun?
They forget just like the skin; your hair also needs to be protected from the sun rays – especially the scalp. Once the hair is burnt, unfortunately the damage is irreversible and can only be grown out so here is how to stop it.
What are your top tips for protecting your hair on holiday?
I know this may sound silly and I can recommend all the products under the sun (excuse the pun), but the most vital product you can use is a hat. There is absolutely no benefit in exposing your hair to the sun – whether it be lying by the pool or exploring a new city.
Purchase a product containing protection against UVA and UVB rays. We have lots of these available on www.bellehair.ie for all different hair types.
Are there any key products we should bring with us?
We recommend four key products when on holidays:
- A clarifying shampoo to remove chlorine and salt water as this left in the hair can cause it
to become very dry and brittle.
- A hydrating conditioner / mask rather than a repair one, as sometimes overuse of some
repairing products can dry out the hair.
- A leave in conditioner, as mentioned above with protection against UVA and UVB filters
is a must.
- Last but not least, your two hero products are The Belle Brush Original and a serum, to
be used every single day to keep your hair from knotting – especially if you are swimming on holidays.
Is the process the same for blondes and brunettes?
Absolutely. No matter what colour your hair is, the above is applicable. However, in saying this, I would recommend that blondes be more vigilant, as blonde hair is very prone to discolouring in the sun.