I decided to grow out my naturally curly hair way back in 2009, and I have never regretted that decision. I have never felt more like myself than I do with natural hair. But one of the biggest adjustments was learning how to care for it, and that there is a difference between what I do and the products I use in the winter and what I do during the summer. So when Walmart asked me to share some summer beauty tips, my hair was my first thought. If you’re struggling to care for your hair in the heat of the summer, here are some of my favorite tips for keeping it beautiful and manageable.
Moisturize, then moisturize again
Once upon a time, I thought my hair needed oil for moisture. Once I went natural, I quickly learned that what my hair needs instead is water. A lot of water. In the summer, when there is no worry of getting sick from walking out the door with a head full of wet hair, I like to spray it with either straight water, or a water-based spray like Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Refresher Spray (available at Walmart) at least once or twice a day, preferably at night before retwisting. This is especially true for my youngest daughter, whose hair is very prone to dryness. A quick spray and retwist leaves her hair well moisturized and glossy the next day.
Add oil after water
When I wash my hair in the summer, I like adding a light penetrating oil throughout my strands to help seal in the moisture from the water. My hair tends to prefer olive or avocado oil, but coconut oil works for a lot of naturals as well. After washing, simply squeeze out excess water, pull the oil through your hair from root to tip, then condition as you normally would. This process leaves my hair soft and well-moisturized, exactly how I like it.
Lose the Split Ends
I admit that I have a hard time with this one myself. I am not a fan of cutting my hair. But in my experience, holding on to my broken, uneven ends just makes my hair prone to tangles and make it difficult to retain length. This becomes even more true in the summer when I’m more likely to become lazy with my hair and ignore an issue like this. I’m in need of a trim right now, in fact.
Deep Wash After Swimming
For the most part, I co-wash my hair, meaning I wash primarily with conditioner. But during the summer, when we’re more likely to go swimming in chlorine or salt water, it is important to wash it out thoroughly and deep condition your hair. My favorite clarifying shampoo is Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo, and I love using their Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner for deep treating my strands.
What other tips do you have for naturalistas who are trying to care for their hair in the scorching summer? Feel free to share in the comments below!