I know what you’re thinking……
Summer is almost here or almost here depending on your location, and humidity can be hell on natural hair.
So, what’s my point?
Well, this summer’s natural hair tips are all about protection.
Summer time is the season of Vitamin D, vacations and go-go-go. That means more trip to the beach, parties by the pool and hours in the backyard for family reunions and barbecues.
Unless you like to keep your hair covered from late May to early September (kudos if you do), your hair is going to be under a lot of heat and for longer periods of time. If you think a daily flat iron or blow dry is bad for your locks, just think about what ninety degree weather will do to it.
With that in mind, you don’t need to hide in doors all summer. Fortunately, there is a simple solution. I’m going to give you 5 hair saving tips to protect your natural hair during the summer.
1. Go Minimalist With Your Products
You may have heard the phrase, “Keep it simple sweetie,” in regards to completing certain tasks and may have used it to apply to areas in your own life.
Well, whether this be the case for you or not, you will want to apply that to your hair care routine as well. At least what you will be doing this summer.
To promote natural hair growth, you want to limit what you use so as to minimize product build-up. If you add in the extra sweat from all the heat and added activities, you are going to have one dirty scalp. Keeping your routine simple will leave your scalp feeling cleaner and your hair lighter.
2. Lock Out Water With Oil
Speaking of fun outdoor activities, let’s talk about swimming.
I love the beach. From the cool sea breeze to the warm sand beneath my feet. With the beautiful contrasting shades of blue between the ocean and sky and the sounds of the crashing waves. Like many, you may like to get your feet wet and may remain long enough to get dumped on.
No biggie. In fact it sounds wonderful! It’s just not the greatest on the hair. Whether you are having a water fight on the sandy shores or in the community pool, you are going to want to protect your hair from drying out from the exposure of saltwater and chlorine.
You can do this by oiling up your hair before hand and putting it into tight (and cute) protective styling such as cornrows or bantu knots.
These methods will help protect your hair from absorbing so much of the saltwater and chlorine.
3. SPF Those Strands
An amazing tip I was not even aware of myself is that you can use a leave-in conditioner with SPF to protect your hair and scalp. Am I late to the hair sunscreen train?
What I discovered is that a leave in conditioner with SPF will not only moisturize your hair, it will protect it from salt, chlorine and sun damage.
So before you hit the pool and the beach, you can add an SPF leave-in conditioner to your hair routine before you apply oil and style your hair. I recommend:
- Bare Republic Eco Active Hair care with its anti-frizz component is an affordable product.
- Bumbles invisible oil protective primer, a do it all for all hair types, is an option as well.
If you are unable to find any of these products, you can apply a bit of sunblock to your hair and scalp, although I wouldn’t recommend it due to the product build up on your hair and scalp that may be a battle trying to wash out. It might help to add a bit of it to your moisturizer before applying it to your hair. If you do decide to go this route, be sure to check and make sure your sunblock doesn’t have any alcohol in it which can be drying.
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4. Know The Weather
Different weather calls for a different hair regimen and yes, even within one season.
Some days may be dusty dry (I can imagine myself coughing already).
On those days you want to use an Anti-humectant such as raw Shea butter, Mango butter or the tried and true olive or coconut oil*. These butter and oils with their anti-humectant qualities will help keep your hair from drying out.
On the more humid days, you can either let nature add some loving to your texture and let it frizz your fro to perfection or you can moisturize your hair with Humectants such as raw Honey, Agave, Keratin and Glycerin to draw in moisture from the air to nourish your curls in the heat of summer.
There are also many other Humectants that you can use but making sure your products have a good balance of vegetable oils and butters will lock and seal in moisture, delaying moisture release and may give you that healthy balance between overly moisturized and dry without all of the frizz.
*Coconut has a natural SPF of 4-5 and contains antioxidants that help protect the skin from the harmful radiation of the sun. I wouldn’t advise you to use it as your only UV protection but it is a great addition.
5. Drink Like A Fish
The core of our hair strands are made up of keratin (which gives our hair that elasticity) and a lot of moisture. The best thing you can do for your hair and body is to stay hydrated. As the saying goes, water is always the best drink (whether it is preferred or not).
I personally have a sweet tooth, so plain water just doesn’t appeal to me. I tend to add Lemon juice or Apple Cider Vinegar to my water but too much of this may be bad on your teeth.
Another solution and an awesome treat for those summer days are fruit infused waters. You can try different combinations to change up the flavors and aesthetic to jazz up your water bottles. Have a drink while you wet your hair before your daily L.O.C (liquid, oil and cream). I myself prefer the L.C.O method to really seal in the moisture.
The bottom line
So there you have it.
5 super easy tricks that will protect your hair in the summer heat. Stay hydrated and moisturized with these summer hair saving tips and enjoy the sunshine and rays worry free. Sound good?
Of course there are more hair care tips to protect you from the elements as well as some great products that people use year round such as deep-conditioning and wigs worn as a protective style.
How do you keep you hair protected and moisturized during the summer? What are some of your favorite products?
By Kierra Walsh
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