Sun’s out, surf’s up and my curly hair demands the extra TLC to beat the sweltering summer heat. I mean, do not get me wrong, I love the season of bikinis, tank tops and pina coladas. I want to feel the rays of the sun on my face, get the tan lines and let my hair down... but if I want to rock some happy and bouncy curls all summer long, I need to be a little bit extra careful.
In the number of summers I’ve experienced in sunny California, I have learned a few things that are essential for the season. So curly girls (straight haired girls, too), let me share my Summer Haircare Playbook.
Curly Hair Gone Limp
Dull, lifeless flat. Ever had those days where your hair just won’t cooperate or listen to the volume that you want? It’s almost as if it has a mind of it’s own. Oh, if I had a dime for every time that happened to me... The thing here is, a change of season means a change in your hair care routine, too. If your scalp or tresses end up feeling dry and lifeless, a heavier conditioner may be needed. If it tends to easily feel greasy or oily, opt for a milder conditioner or clarifying conditioner which will free up the scalp from dirt and too much oil. My hair easily feels oily so I love using this conditioner for my stubborn ringlets.
New Hair, New me
Our hair gets really dry and prone to split ends when exposed to heat too long. This makes summer the perfect season for a makeover...or a trim. Trimming is fine - just don’t reach for the scissors when you get too bored and cut it yourself. Leave it to the pros! I have so many friends who cut their heir or gave themselves bangs during this quarantine season because of some random DIY video they saw online. Some turned out good...the majority were not too fortunate. They ended up being expensive accidents that had to be dealt with at the salon. So save yourself the heartache and the horror of uneven fringes. Hit the salon and transform your tresses the right way!
Moisture is Power
With the way our curly hair responds to the elements of sun, water or wind, it can get really frustrating and confusing to take care of it sometimes. There really is no one sure-fire-way to deal with all of it. But when it comes to taking a dip in the pool or swimming in the beach, I learned some really effective techniques to be extra cautious with my crowning glory.
The chemicals in the pool like chlorine, strips the hair of the natural moisture. This is a fact whether you are curly haired or not. The same goes with salt in the water that may tend to leave your hair dry and brittle, especially when left unwashed and exposed to more sun. So what do I do? I moisture lock.
Moisture locking your hair but putting a light layer of coconut oil or conditionerbefore jumping in to the water is a real game changer. This practice has saved my naturally thin hairfrom thinning any further. And of course, don’t forget to rinse and condition after your swim, too. Have you ever tried combing your hair right after dipping in the pool? Oh, the horror of seeing my fallen hair.! You remember that struggle, right? Moisturize your hair and you won’t have to worry too much.
Shampoo When Needed
I have never met a professional hair stylist who would recommend shampooing everyday. Shampoo every other day or only when needed is their expert opinion since cleansing daily does more harm than good to our scalp. For instance, due to the pandemic, I now work from home. I don’t get too exposed to the elements and I hardly sweat so I only shampoo 2 or 3 times in a week, once my hair feels heavy or dirty. However, if you lead an active lifestyle, choose a shampoo that isn’t too harsh and do not pour it directly onto your scalp like some lazy people I know. Dilute it with water and mix in the palm of your hands. Carefully focus on cleaning the actual hair and not too much on the scalp.
A handy alternative is using dry shampoo. It’s convenient to use and soaks up excess oils in the hair. And since there is no towel-drying needed, it can save you some time if you are on the run during your busy work weeks, too! Basically, do not over shampoo.
Brush It Off
I comb my hair after showering. Once in the morning. That is it. I don’t mess with it too much. I would use my hands to comb through it if I need t. I thoroughly thought that this was the way to go. But after using a detangeler brushmy hair care routine has changed for the better!
So how would you know which brush or comb will fit you best? It’s just like dating. You try several types before finding the right one! The one I’m using is so comfy and stimulating,it almost makes me feel like brushing all the time... but remember, everything in moderation. I do it only when needing a good scalp stimulation. My nieces love this brush, too. Whether that or they just like me pampering them.;-)
If You can’t Take the Heat, Don’t
Seriously, I sometimes feel like fainting when exposed too much to the sun. That’s how our hair feels when exposed to heat styling and harsh blow drying. Now, before you complain about getting that brazillian blow out quality, you love, hear me out. You may still use the blow-dryer but on a medium or cool setting. Use a light serum to protect your hair or better yet air-dry it. Let your hair down and feel the wind.
For styling my curly hair, I have grown to love using curlers overnight or putting my hair in a bun when using dry shampoo. I get a woke-up-like-this waves that smell so good and feel so light and bouncy, especially when I wear my satin cap.
We Can’t Shake off the frizz
At least not totally. But it is possible to tame it a bit. Due to the rise in temperature and higher levels of humidity, our curls tend to be more unforgivingly unruly during summer. This is especially true for those who have very thick or very curly hair. The best way to deal with the frizz is is to use a light product that can help tame the hair and make the tresses more manageable. You will need a product the protects, moisturizes and cleanses your scalp. This would allow the nutrients to reach your roots and get absorbed by the strands. I use O So Easy-To-Use Dry Shampoo - Argan Oil and it gets along with my hair, keeping the frizz at bay. Find one that works for you, too.
Colored hair is more prone to maximum damage due the chemical that has already ben used on it. I went through a phase where I colored my hair several times in a span of a quarter. Going from brunette to blonde to red head in that short amount of time made my friends worry. It was as if I was truly going through some sort of personal crises. My hair suffered during this time so much that I had to get a pixie cut just to start fresh. Oh my precious curls – I thought my ringlets wouldn’t come back. But thankfully they did and whenever I colored my hair now, I am more careful about the proper products to use for and to make sure I do not expose it to the sun too much. Now, I know better
Protect from Within
We are what we eat and this is applicable to hair, too. I mean I can even see that this is true with my cats! When I feed them different cat-food, their fur just isn’t as shiny or it sheds. For humans this is the same. Our hair needs vital nutrients to keep it healthy and smooth. That is why shampoos are infused with lots of vitamins like biotin, Vit. D, Vit. C, Omega vitamins... some of these still need to be clinically proven for their link to healthy hair but it does not hurt to have a vitamin boost for our hair on the outside. On the inside, we can add more nuts in our diet, eat fresh and healthy food. This will not only reflect on our hair but on our skin and bodies, too.
Cover It Up in Style
Where is that pretty wide brimmed hat you bought from a vacation or those colorful scarves and bandanas sitting in your closet? Wear it, flaunt it! It saves your hair from UV rays while looking stylish, too! I definitely feel fancy when wearing a flowered hat when I step out with a face mask. :-)
Now, you might find this odd or funny but umbrellas really work, too. We usually use it only when it rains but it’s a great layer against harsh rays and can protect your skin, too.
Now this playbook is a combination of tips and tricks I have picked up along the way as a curly-haired girl struggling with keeping my hair bouncy and full. There will be bad hair days and this playbook might need to get updated with additional care tips but one thing is for sure: My summers are fun and colorful and my hair is protected and happy most of the time. These days, I am that curly girl sitting in a poolside chair sipping a margarita with my hair down. It’s summer baby. Let’s take a dip!
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