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How to avoid holiday snap cringe

30th March 2012 Print

Despite a holiday being the time when we're at our most tanned, relaxed, dressed (or undressed), there's that familiar sinking feeling that we don't quite look as hot in the snap as we felt when we posed for it!  It's a cliché for a reason - because it's often true: Disappointment with how we look in our holiday snaps.

Top hairstylist Errol Douglas MBE , with over 3 decades  working with A list celebrities and on session styling shoots with the likes of Rankin and Andrew O'Toole, suggests the solution is in adopting a few simple on location haircare habits and a couple of tricks when taking the actual picture. "The common hair mistakes we make when travelling are exposing hair to sea salt and UVA" says Douglas " When we pose for shots in bright sunshine or at restaurants at night, we fall victim to a potentially unflattering device - the flash. Both are easy to correct, anyone can look as hot as they feel in their snaps with a few simple changes"  Hot holiday hair starts, Douglas advises, with:

1. Pre Departure Preparation: Before travelling, if you're going to have a colour, do it at least two weeks before leaving. The sun naturally "lifts the colour" leaving it looking washed out. Douglas recommends a salon  Illuminating Colour Gloss by Matrix: "It ensures not just colour but a healthy shine pre-flight"

2. On Location Protection: Salt, great on food not on hair. Tie it back and use a protective spray in and out of the water.  With a centre parting it's very SS12 catwalk. Good products for sun protection, avoidance of pool chlorine build-up and moisture infusing include: Biolage Sunsorials range by Matrix, Morrocan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask & Kevin Murphy "Born Again" Mask

3. Sun And Sand Friendly Styling: For long hair on the beach, ask your stylist how to create a twist up bun or a Fishtail French Plait - both prepare hair for the evening and protect excellently. Additionally, be careful of sand, it's corrosive, and for anyone with a scalp issue it'll aggravate.

4. Frizz Freedom: For tropical and humid destinations, there are lots of products on the market that can prevent hair from frizzing and add weight. Pack them - they're a passport to evening glamour and better snaps. Try: Sleek by Matrix, Moroccan Oil Frizz Control or Treatment Oil Light

5. Seek Gloss Over Grease:  Hair looking lank in the pictures when it felt soft in the flesh? That's a sign of over active sebaceous glands. Not confined to shiny face, over stimulating the follicles on the scalp in hot climates by washing out sea water with hot water leads to greasy locks. Wash hair in cool water  and preening to a minimum, it'll allow follicles to rest and lie smooth.

6. On Trend And On Location:  For a great catwalk to boardwalk/day to night look, Douglas suggests a reveal of the up do from the day "When you take out the braid it leaves a great red carpet wave with great movement evening glamour"

And to the snaps: for doing holiday hair efforts justice without turning the whole affair into a long shoot, Douglas suggests just two quick and simple tips:

Move It: Shoot the person from different angles. 3 simple clicks of centre, left and right gives a surprisingly different image and choice.

Let It Move: Avoid overuse of product in the hair, it'll look more attractive with natural movement

Sunsets Are Sexy: Dusk offers a very flattering light for the face, refreshed, rested and back lit

Get Flash Rules Right - Off At Night, On In The Day (Yes That's Right): Flash indoors produces harsh, cold light and is the most common cause of unattractive "red eye"- it feels counterintuitive but switch it off.  Similarly, daytime outdoors is where the flash is your friend, eliminating shadows and diluting the contrats that create unattractive facial shadows.

Douglas advises his clients to consult his quick checklist when packing to ensure that bad hair doesn't eclipse holiday outfit choices:

A wide toothed comb

A great shampoo and conditioner with a strong UVA component (don't rely on those provided at the hotel)

A mousse or oil to combat a drying atmosphere

A cool Alice band - simple but a suprisingly dramatic look changer

A scarf - covers a multitude of sea, sun and sand sins for old school glamour

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