Holiday hair? Just let it all hang out! From Penny Lancaster to Margot Robbie, celebrities are giving their sleek styles the cold shoulder while they are chilling on vacation
- Every holiday I tried to wrestle my hair into the sleek waves I aim for at home
- Eventually, I surrendered and embrace au naturel approach on summer break
- That’s why I was delighted to see celebrities giving sleek styles the cold shoulder
- When I look at pictures of me with hair gone a little wild, I actually love the look
- I implore you to scale back your haircare kit to bare minimum on your next trip
For years it was a battle I fought tirelessly, using every weapon available to me — from serums and sprays to straighteners and round-bristle hairbrushes.
Even though it was a fight I didn’t have a hope of winning, every holiday I doggedly persisted, spending hours sweltering in hotel bathrooms as I blow-dried my hair in 30-degree heat, determined to wrestle it into the sleek waves I aim for at home.
Needless to say, within minutes of leaving for dinner, the heat and humidity would inevitably cause my hair to return to its naturally curly, untamed state; all my hard work for nothing.
I’ll be hair for you: Friends star Jennifer Aniston presents what she calls her ‘humidity hair’
The mane in Spain: The normally immaculately coiffed actress Margot Robbie let her hair down in Formentera
Eventually, I surrendered and I now embrace an au naturel approach on my summer break. Only these days it doesn’t feel like defeat. Honestly, it’s more like liberation. A whole two weeks without the tyranny of blow-drying and straightening in a bid to look groomed and professional.
That’s why I was delighted to see beauty guru and businesswoman Trinny Woodall letting her usually immaculate locks run wild on a break in Colorado this week. And she’s not alone. From Penny Lancaster to Margot Robbie, celebrities are giving their sleek styles the cold shoulder.
In fact, I’d say this has given me a little thrill of anticipation that I will soon be sporting holiday hair too in France — and not giving a fig how unkempt I look.
Rocking a new look: Penny Lancaster, aka Mrs Rod Stewart, has fun in Italy this week
Running wild: Fashion’s Trinny Woodall ditched her styled locks in Colorado
Apart from freeing up more time for fun, letting your hair do its own thing on holiday frees up your suitcase, too.
My washbag used to be crammed full of hair products. As well as shampoo and conditioner, there’d be priming creams, setting sprays, serums, mousses, gels and oils to cover all eventualities. Because the thing about holidays is that you never entirely know what you are up against, hair wise, until you get there.
Will it be the humidity that gets you, the salt water at the beach, or the chlorine in the pool? And there’s no telling how the water in Ibiza, or Provence, might affect frizz and volume levels.
The turning point for me came after a trip to Hong Kong — infamous for high humidity — in 2008. I’d been sitting outside having a drink with friends and popped in to use the loo. Having smoothed and straightened my hair just an hour earlier, I couldn’t believe the image reflected back at me by the mirror: my hair had quadrupled in size. In desperation, I tried to use hand cream to tame it, but it was hopeless.
In a tangle: Hollywood star Catherine Zeta-Jones gives in to the curls
Now that’s a Mexican wave: Superstar actor Nicole Kidman goes brush-free in Cabo
Needless to say, there is no photographic evidence, but trust me when I say I looked like I was wearing a clown wig.
It reminded me of the Friends episode where Monica (Courteney Cox) is in Barbados and her hair also suffers the effects of humidity. The episode revolves around jokes about her bouffant which, as Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel puts it is ‘twice as big as it was when we landed’. Oh, I felt her pain.
Rollers in the deep? Adele shunned her normally sleek style for an altogether more messy do in this Instagram post
Instaglam: BGT judge Amanda Holden posted this natural look on social media
While my huge Hong Kong hair isn’t a look I want to repeat, when I look at pictures of me with hair that’s been allowed to go a little wild, I actually love the look. There’s some beautiful alchemy that might be to do with the speed at which my hair dries in Mediterranean climes, or the mineral content of the tap water in California, but whatever it is, you just can’t reproduce it at home. So if, like me, you are yet to jet off on holiday, I implore you to scale back your haircare kit to the bare minimum. Instead, spend your money on a hydrating mask and a good trim on your return.
As for the time you’ll save, spend it having another sundowner, and revelling in the joy of actually letting your hair down — the very definition of what a holiday should be about.
Picture research: Claire Cisotti
A TOP STYLIST’S TIPS FOR STAYING SLEEK IN THE HEAT
There is an art to letting your hair run wild without allowing it to completely take over, says Nick Peters, artistic director at Daniel Galvin’s London hair salons.
Lots of women like to dial down their hair care routine over summer. The two key things are preparation and protection. By preparation, I mean how you wear your hair. After you’ve washed and conditioned in the morning, consider putting damp hair into braids for the day — this will keep it from blowing around in the wind and getting tangled. It also keeps hair out of your face and away from your neck when you’re hot and bothered. When you take it down in the evening you’ll be left with tumbling, beachy waves. And that’s whether or not your hair is naturally wavy — I defy even the straightest hair to resist the pretty kinks created by being in plaits all day.
Add in a crème or oil to prevent UV damage — I like the Soleil range from Kérastase or Bumble and Bumble’s Invisible Oil UV Protective Dry Oil — and you’ll find it won’t frizz, split, and the colour won’t lift in the way it would if it was truly left to the elements. Finally, an Alice band or the classic pushed-back sunglasses look is great both for preventing a burned parting — and for keeping your larger than-life locks swept back off your face.
As told to LIBBY GALVIN