Like most of us, my summer hair care routine is negligible at best. On most days, it’s a matter of: swim, rinse, repeat. We know that sun, salt water and chlorine are among the worst offenders when it comes to damaging our strands. Add to that a stepped-up social calendar (which inevitably comes with an additional dose of hot-tool styling) and you’ve got a recipe for a hair nightmare. There is one thing that I do, though, that helps negate all that bad behavior. A three second post-shower maneuver that doesn’t require expensive treatments: post wash, I always use a hair turban.

For the uninitiated, a hair turban is a microfiber towel that is designed to sweep your damp, delicate strands into a twisted, soft and fluffy arrangement on your head. The microfiber gently wicks away excess moisture so you don’t have to rub or tug your hair. Excessive friction when drying your hair roughs up the hair cuticle and can weaken your strands, making them more likely to snap, causing split ends and frizz.

How damaged is your hair? Take the test.

When your hair is wet, it’s elastic. This is why you should never brush it when it’s wet, and you should also avoid tying it up too tightly. But how do you know if your strands are already suffering? To test the damage of your hair, pluck a strand out of your head when it’s wet. Stretch it gently. If it stretches to 50% of its length without breaking then it’s normal. If it only stretches to 20% or less then it’s dry and damaged.

The road to recovery

Whether or not your hair is damaged, the best thing to do is to switch to a hair turban for every wash. Think of it like an insurance policy against your hair’s mistreatment. No matter how much damage you throw at your hair, if you treat it gently when it’s wet, that damage will lower considerably.

My turban of choice is the Turbie Twist. It’s the perfect size and shape and it features an elastic at its base to secure it in place. I’ve tried a bunch of different hair turbans and many of them use buttons to secure them which inevitably come undone or fall off. At $12 for two towels, it’s also excellent value and can be found in Woolworths and Big W.

I usually wrap my hair up while I’m still in the shower and then wear the turban for at least 15 minutes while I dry myself and apply my skincare. If I’m doing makeup I’ll leave it on while I do that, too. By the time I take it off I find my hair is considerably drier which cuts my blow-dry time in half.

Supercharge your hair mask

The other thing you can do to repair your hair is to apply a protein or keratin treatment. I usually do it once or twice a month – a good time is while you’re in the bath. If you really want to up the ante on your hair mask, apply the treatment to damp hair (always squeeze it out really well with your turban first as you want to remove as much moisture from the hair as possibly without drying it.)

Next, wrap your head in cling wrap before wrapping it in a hair turban (don’t worry it’s still damp from your first use). The heat from your double-wrapped head will help the treatment infuse. Rinse your hair well and rewrap in your turban to gently begin the drying process. It’s also good idea to skip the hair dryer and hot tools every now and then, too. By employing these few little tweaks you’ll have your crowning glory back in no time.

Story by Sigourney Cantelo. In association with Turbie Twist.

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