How to Look After Hair Extensions on Holiday

How to Look After Hair Extensions on Holiday

Going on holiday when you have tape extensions may feel like a complicated process. Away from the comfort of your salon, you might be worried about how to handle the responsibilities of caring for your tapes and preventing risking them from additional damage. 

At North Professional Hair, we pride ourselves on not just being a tape extension brand, but also being a team of industry professionals, committed to educating our salon customers and their clients - hence writing articles, just like this one. 

In this blog, you will learn about the major risks you might face on holiday, things you should specifically avoid and what to pack in your suitcase. By the end, you will feel confident in your ability to care for your tape extensions on holiday, no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing!

What causes hair damage on holiday? 

Going on holiday can pose a risk to both your natural hair and your tape extensions. Whilst you may be used to normal risks, such as heat and styling damage, going on holiday can expose you to ones you may not have considered before. 


Different types of water on holiday can damage both your natural hair and tape extensions. These types of water include hard water, salt water, hot water and chlorinated water.

Hard water has very high levels of minerals in it, often found in the water abroad. When you get your hair wet with hard water, the mineral content leaves a film over the top layer of the hair. This film prevents moisture from penetrating the cuticle, which can leave both your natural and extension hair dry and brittle, and result in colour fading or brassiness. 

Saltwater, which as the name suggests, has a very high level of salt minerals in it - this water is found in the sea. Saltwater has the same effect on both your natural and extension hair as hard water, however, it can be even more drying. 

Hot water, which may be difficult to avoid in a hotel bathroom with tricky shower settings, opens up the hair’s cuticle. When the cuticle opens, it allows the water and hair care products to wash any moisture or pigment away - resulting in quicker colour fade than normally expected. 

Chlorinated water is often found in swimming pools, both abroad and here in the UK. Chlorine in the water can chemically bond with the artificial pigments on the top layer of the hair when it gets wet and draws any product out of the cuticle. This can result in both the natural and extension hair becoming dry, brittle, brassy and the colour fading. 

UV Rays 

UV rays from the sun, which can have a higher index in the summer and abroad, can significantly damage both your natural and extension hair. 

UV rays have the ability to break down the top layer of the hair, resulting in dry and dull hair which is unable to retain moisture. The rays can also break down the colour pigment in the hair, making the hair look brassy and fading its colour. 

What causes your hair to change colour on holiday? 

Whilst going on holiday can pose the risk of damage and colour fade for both your natural and extension hair, you are also at risk of your hair’s colour changing too! 

Chemical-based suncreams

Some suncreams contain chemicals that are added to absorb all types of UV rays. UV rays, as mentioned earlier, come from the sun and have a higher index in summer and abroad. 

When hair is exposed these chemicals, such as suncream getting on the ends, a reaction can occur, causing the hair to turn pink or orange. 

When these chemicals absorb UV rays on hair, the reaction causes the cells in the hair to break down. As the cells break down, it then causes the hair to change colour - lighter colours to pink, darker colours to orange. 


As mentioned earlier, chlorine is a chemical often found in swimming pools, both in the UK and abroad. Like avobenzone, a chemical reaction happening on the hair can cause it to change colour. 

One way chlorine can change your natural and/or extension hair’s colour is by lifting it. If the water has excessively high levels of chlorine, the chemical can lift the colour out of your hair (in a similar way to bleach). 

However, the most common colour change that chlorine can cause is turning your hair green or blue. When chlorine combines with copper (an element commonly found in swimming pools), it causes a chemical reaction. When this reaction occurs, it can create a green or blue film that sticks to the top layer of the hair, which often stains.  

Things to avoid whilst on holiday to protect your hair:

If you’re worried about the risk of damage or colour change to your extension hair whilst on holiday, check out our handy list of what to avoid and why:

From above:

  • Getting hair wet in the sea or swimming pools
  • Excess exposure to UV rays 
  • Chemical-based suncream

Other things to avoid:

  • Brushing wet hair - will cause breakage, as hair is more fragile when wet
  • Sleeping with wet hair - will cause hair to dry knotty and tangled, causing breakage when brushed or risk tension on the tape adhesive 
  • Leaving your hair down or putting it into a bun - will make hair knotty and tangled, causing breakage when brushed or tension on the tape adhesive. Instead, put your hair in a low ponytail or loose braid! 
  • Overuse of heated tools - will dry hair more, when it is already compromised, which could result in further damage
  • Oil or alcohol-based products near the root - will cause tape adhesive to lift and risk extensions slipping out of hair 

Suitcase must-haves when you have tape extensions:  

Not sure what to pack? Check out our list of suitcase must-haves when you have tape extensions, including a wild card:

Toiletry bag: 

  • Moisturising spray / Hair mask / Hair oil - helps rehydrate the hair 
  • UV protection spray - protects the hair from UV damage 
  • Detangling spray - helps brush through any knots and tangles
  • Heat protection spray - always needed when using heated tools, such as hairdryers 
  • Salon-quality shampoo and conditioner - should always use salon-quality products, especially when hair risks being compromised on holiday 

Everything else:

  • Mineral-based suncream - so that you limit your hair’s exposure to avobenzone 
  • Hairdryer - helps speed up the drying process
  • Swim cap - prevents hair from getting wet in swimming pools or the sea
  • Sun hat - helps protect hair against UV damage 
  • Good quality detangling and extension hairbrush - helps brush through any knots and tangles
  • Lots of hair ties - keeps your hair in stylish and protective styles, such as low ponytails and plaits 

Clip-in hair extensions:

What if there was a way to avoid any risk of damage or colour fade for your tape extensions? Well, there is! Removing your tape extensions before going on holiday removes the risk. Instead, synthetic and human clip-in extensions can be worn temporarily to keep your length and volume, without the worry. 

Top tip for tape extensions after your holiday

If you decide to keep your tape extensions in whilst you go on holiday, it is essential that you book in to see your tape specialist as soon as you get back! 

Your tape specialist will need to assess your extension hair to see if any colour change, fade or damage has occurred and if they are able to remedy it. 

The ultimate risk of going on holiday with tape extensions is that you may need to purchase new hair when you get back, if the damage is irreparable. 

Time to jet off?

You came to this blog searching for the best advice on how to look after your tape extensions whilst on holiday; nervous about all the responsibilities they bring. 

Since reading, you have learnt about the risk of both hair damage and colour fade, what things you should avoid whilst on holiday and what items to take with you in your suitcase.

But what now?

North Professional Hair is committed to being industry-leading educators, through our training, educational resources and informational articles. We strive to be a constant support for both our salon customers and their clients, whatever they need from us. 

To learn more about tape extensions, visit our North Blog. Our aftercare blog, ‘Tape In Hair Extension Aftercare: How to Care for Your Tapes’ is especially helpful!

If you have any concerns about your tape extensions, talk to your stylist. We have North-certified salons all over the UK. Click here to find one near you. 

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