Summer is here and you know what that means: The humidity and heat are here, too! So while you definitely should be having tons of fun in the sun, the ultimate goal for your summer hair should be proper care. May these quick tips help your strands survive this hot and sweaty season intact and stronger than ever.
1. Embrace the Au Naturel
With all the humidity and the heat that summer provides, this is a perfect time to say peace out to those blowouts. Instead, embrace your natural texture while you ditch the heat (as in blow-dryers and flat irons; not the sun, hon). Even if you are in transition or have chemically straightened hair, a wash-and-go or rocking a twist-out while the sun’s out will give your hair a much-needed break from damaging effects.
The key is to lock in moisture no matter what. Get a hold of a moisturizing conditioner like Kiehl’s Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid Formula 133 (which, by the way, you can leave in, too) and hydrate your kinks as often as needed. Last summer I also created a rejuvenating spray using my favorite leave-in conditioner by Giovanni, filtered water (you could use tap, too) and a little bit of olive oil. It was life-changing on the days when my curls were dry and parched from the heat.
2. Wrap It Up or Cover It Up
The quickest, easiest and most effective way to protect your locks, ladies, is to lock them down under a hat or a wrap. I never head out in the sun for long periods of time without one in order to keep my hair color from fading and my curls from drying out. A wide-brimmed sun hat is always a stylish option and the Wrap Life makes head wraps easy (and beautiful) for us all. Speaking of wraps, if you prefer a hat with harsh materials like straw or canvas, be sure to use a satin scarf as a barrier between your mane and these materials in order to prevent unnecessary breakage.
3. All Set, Even When Wet
Yes, a Baywatch moment looks great on Instagram, but constantly subjecting your tresses to chlorine is not worth the stress it puts on your hair, ladies. So if taking laps in the pool is your thing, get your hands on a swim cap. Just be sure it is not too small and won’t pull on your edges while you’re getting your backstroke on. Speedo has a great selection of sizes, and the Aqua V Silicone Cap Large option is perfect for all the ladies I know with a ’fro.
If, however, you like to let your kinks loose when you swim, then show your hair some love by 1) starting with a prerinse before heading into the pool (wet hair absorbs less chlorine); 2) thoroughly coating your wet hair with a silicone serum like John Frieda Original Six Effects Serum (it acts as a great barrier between your hair and the water); and 3) post-swim, rinsing your hair again and cleansing it with any shampoo with EDTA or phytic acid in it. And, of course, following up with conditioner.
4. The Protective Collective
Last, but certainly not least, summer is the perfect time to join the “Protective Collective” girls. Braids, twists, cornrows and top knots are not only stylish but will also keep your hair off your face and your delicate ends protected. Plus, in addition to helping your hair grow, this option will also save more time in your morning routine and make your vacation beauty regimen instantly fuss-free.
Don’t make the mistake of confusing a protective ’do with a lazy hair regimen. Be sure to protect your hair at night with a satin wrap or pillowcase, show your scalp some extra TLC by spritzing it with water for a few minutes daily in order to lock in moisture, and finish the process by applying your favorite sealant or natural oil to your roots.
And don’t skip washing your hair while you’re rocking a protective ’do, sis, either. Don’t worry; you don’t have to douse your head in water and shampoo if you don’t want to. Instead, every two weeks or so, you can dry-wash your hair using a damp cloth and shampoo. Just part your hair and wipe your scalp down in small sections.
Also, as tempting as it may be, don’t leave your braids or twists in too long. Most stylists recommend rocking protective styles for one to two months at a time. Any longer than that and your new growth will begin to stretch and therefore become damaged. Speaking of damage, try to pull your twists or braids up into an updo only a few times a week. This constant tugging on your roots pulls at your hairline—and we all know how delicate our edges are, ladies.