Five ways to prevent your colour fading this summer

Heat and sunshine can make your new hair colour fade long before your summer holiday is over. But with these tips, you can enjoy a natural long-lasting look.

You can see it in your holiday photos - you start off with a bright, fresh colour straight from the salon, but as the week rolls on your bold look can fade dramatically.

Because while you may love soaking up the sunshine and splashing in the water, all the heat, UV light, salt and chlorine is tough on your hair, stripping it of moisture and colour.

But you don't have to put up with dull locks at the end of your holiday: with a few simple steps, you can protect your tresses and seal in the colour you love.

Turn down the heat

Hot hair-dryers and styling tools dry out your hair and make it harder for colour to last. So if you can go for a natural, fuss-free beach hair look in the summer, your hair (and its colour) will thank you for it.

But if you absolutely can't do without your curling tongs, try turning down the heat or treating your hair with some protecting spray or light oil before you style it, such as Pantene Pro-V Dry Oil with Vitamin E.

Prepare yourself poolside

Everyone loves to splash around in the pool or at the beach on holiday - but it's not much fun for your hair. The salt in seawater can fade colour fast, while chlorine in the pool can add a green tinge to bleached hair.

Keep the chemicals out by wetting your hair in fresh water first, so it can't absorb so much of the salt or chlorine. Adding a bit of conditioner can also create a barrier against salty or chlorinated water.

Use sunscreen for your hair

Just like your skin, your hair needs protecting from the sun. The UV rays in sunlight can break down the chemical bonds in hair dye, bleaching them over time. So your bright, natural colour can soon look washed out in summer.

You can keep UV rays off your hair by covering up with a hat, but if you miss letting your hair down in the sunshine, try a spritz of Pantene Perfect Hydration UV Protecting Spray. It works just like sunscreen on your skin to protect your hair from UV damage.

Use a colour-protecting shampoo & conditioner

Using products that are designed for coloured hair can help prevent the dye washing away in the shower. Pantene Colour Protect & Smooth is formulated to lock in colour for up to eight weeks - that's nearly all summer long.

"I love the just-coloured look of my hair but it fades so quickly. This combo really made a difference," says reader Jeanp. "My colour has lasted longer than normal and my hair feels conditioned and healthy."

Rinse with cold water

Keeping hair cool helps it to hold onto colour. Your hair stretches more when its wet, and raising the temperature increases the stretch even further. When the hair structure is relaxed like this, pigment can escape.

That means you can prevent colour fading by washing with lukewarm water. If you're feeling brave, take a cold shower - it can even be refreshing after you've been roasting on the beach.

How do you take care of coloured hair on your travels? Let us know in the comments section below.