Photo: Lola Swan

Charlotte Mensah’s Holiday Hair Care Tips


Celebrity Stylist and current British Hairdressing Awards, Afro Hairdresser of the Year Charlotte Mensah of Hair Lounge, London, reveals how to care for your hair in the summer.


I don’t want to avoid swimming, what can I do to help maintain my hairstyle?

If you want to swim on holiday, there are definitely products on the market that can help but when coming into contact with chlorinated or seawater, your aim should always to be to minimise contact with your hair. So whether you’re sporting natural, Afro or relaxed hair or wearing braids, locs or a weave, the best solution can often be to wear a swimming cap. Swimming caps in general reduce and protect your tresses from the full onslaught of the water. Depending on your hair type, you can also follow the tips below as they should certainly help you whilst on holiday:

Natural/ Afro hair: Wet hair with tap water and apply a barrier to the hair, such as a heavy oil like Shea Butter or Castor Oil or my Manketti Hair Oil   

Relaxed hair: Wet hair with tap water and apply a lighter oil, for example coconut oil, before entering the pool or sea.

Braids / Locs: With the braided and Loc style, you can pre-mix your conditioner with tap water and make a solution that can be sprayed on or use KeraCare Hair Milk before entering the pool or sea.

Weave: Weaves are not vulnerable to chlorine or salt water but always remember to protect your extensions with a leave-in conditioner such as MIZANI 25 Miracle Leave In Treatment Milk or KeraCare Leave In Conditioner.


What products should I use when swimming?

Natural/ Afro hair: Apply a generous amount of Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre Shampoo Treatment to wet hair before going into the pool or sea. You should always wet your hair before entering the pool or sea because this will help to protect your hair from the discolouration and drying damage that seawater and chlorine can cause. Your hair can only absorb so much water so it’s best if it doesn’t soak up chlorine or seawater as they can strip the hair of essential lubricants.

Relaxed hair: Rinse hair before entering the pool or sea; apply a large amount of KeraCare Silken Seal Liquid Sheen to damp strands. The silicone will coat the cuticle to help protect your hair from the force of the water.

Braids / Locs: After spraying in a leave-in conditioner, gather the hair loosely at the crown and secure with a silk scarf.

Weave: Spray in MIZANI 25 Miracle Leave In Treatment and braid your hair before entering either the pool or sea in order to prevent tangling.


What are the best products and treatments to keep my hair moisturised whilst in a hot climate?

You should use less product in humid climates as there is much more moisture in the air, whereas in a dry arid environment, you’re more likely to need to apply more as the heat will soak up moisture much faster.

Natural/ Afro hair: Use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner that is formulated to care specifically to care for naturally curl hair. I like my Manketti Oil Shampoo and Manketti Oil Conditioner.

Relaxed hair: To counteract the dehydration caused by the heat, use Mizani Thermastrength Style Serum enriched with Shea Butter. This product is designed to leave your hair feeling strong, shiny looking and full of body.

Braids/ Locs: Try Manketti Hair Oil which is brilliant on Braids and Locs. Enriched with a unique blend of organic Manketti nut and Ximenia oils to condition and nourish hair.

Weave: Use MIZANI Spradiance High Gloss Serum to give your hair a long lasting and lustrous shine thanks to its natural derived extracts and conditioning agents.


Do you have advice on caring for dyed hair whilst on holiday?

Natural/ Afro, Relaxed hair, Braids, Locs & Weave: If you’ve dyed your hair recently, always use shampoos and conditioners especially formulated for coloured hair such as Moroccanoil Moisture Repair shampoo and Conditioner. The Sun can damage colour-treated hair so protect it from UVA and UVB rays with moisturising hair products that contain sunscreen such as MIZANI Butter Rich Deep Nourishing Hairdress.


Are there any treatments/products pre or post holiday that you would recommend?

Natural/ Afro, Relaxed, Braids, Locs & Weaves: Pre – Before you jet away to sunnier climes, I recommend popping in for a Hair Lounge Shea Butter Moisturizing Masque. It’s a high performance Vitamin E formula deeply hydrates and conditions while dramatically improving hair texture, elasticity, shine and manageability, this treatment is perfect for all hair types.

Natural/ Afro, Relaxed, Braids, Locs & Weaves: Post – Once you touch down, book in for the Hair Lounge Manketti Oil Hair Treatment. This highly concentrated formula is also rich in Vitamin E and C and deeply softens, moisturises and infuses protein back into the hair, making your hair stronger & more beautiful than before and is ideal for any hair type.


Holiday Hair Do’s:

*Treat yourself to a deep conditioning treatment. It will nourish deep inside the hair shaft to give your hair that extra protection whilst on holiday.

*Have your hair trimmed to get rid of any split ends before your holiday

*Use a leave-in conditioner

*Rinse your hair in tap water before and after a swim in the sea or pool

*Go for a relaxed beach wave look


Holiday Hair Don’ts:

*Excessively use a blow-drier or straightening irons, as this will encourage dryness and breakage.

*Forget to coat your hair with a leave-in conditioner to protect your hair from chlorine or salt.

*Forget to wear a hat or silk scarf whilst sunbathing

*Worry about your hair being perfect; you’re on holiday

*Forget your Manketti Oil Hair Treatment when you get back.