Hair Therapy: Late-Summer TLC at Vidal Sassoon

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If my hair is the barometer of warm-weather fun, clearly I've got to step the fun up. My hair is too damn healthy.

If you're having a summer of poolside, beachside or picnic fun, I need to be your friend. But -- and don't take this the wrong way -- your hair may need some TLC.

According to Tara Barry, a colour expert at Vidal Sassoon Salon in Toronto, summer damage is more obvious than winter stress, especially at the top of your head. "Hair colour lightens in the sun," she points out. "Plus you're probably dealing with increasingly fragile ends as a result of heat styling, chlorine and sun." As well, although we're steadily reminded to use SPF on our skin, UV protection for hair and scalp is still a relatively new concept. Add that to excess sebum, humidity, perspiration and your scalp's probably in a bit of a bad mood, too.

Uh... maybe I'm not doing our new friendship any favours. Would it help if I now tell you about Sassoon's in-salon summer-rescue conditioning hair treatment, available at Sassoon salons worldwide? The Malibu ($37 CAN) is designed to counteract the dulling effects of chlorine, iron and sulfur, which would be of particular value to blondes who spend a fair amount of time in the pool rather than poolside. The treatment promises to brighten colour and highlights without using peroxide and is suitable for all hair types.

"We also have treatments for dry or sensitized scalps, and fine-hair treatments that won't weigh even the finest hair down," says Barry. "Each appointment starts with a personalized consultation, of course, so we can do what's best for you."

If you can't get to a salon, Barry offers some home haircare tips:
1) If you can skip a day between shampoos, do it.
2) Concentrate your shampoo action on your scalp, using the pads of your finger tips (rather than your nails) to give yourself a good scalp massage as you cleanse.
3) Concentrate conditioner at the ends, where you really need it. If you're dealing with super-dry hair or damage, deep-condition hair once per week.
4) Minimize heat styling if you can.
5) Loosen up those ponytails to reduce breakage.

So... we're friends now? Yay! I look forward to your next pool party! May I bring my friend Clive-O, if he promises to behave?

Photo courtesy of Vidal Sassoon.