Summer! It's that time of year again. I do not know about you, but I really enjoy the warmer weather. To me, summer is a time of hanging out in the backyard with my family, going to the park, the beach and generally enjoying the summer fun. The heat, sweating and salt water / chlorine can really dry your hair out. While I usually wear my natural hair in a curly shake and go, I noticed that I must keep my hair moisturized as much as possible during the hot summer months.
Here are some tips that I personally use to keep my curly natural hair in shape:
Water is your best friend. Drink lots of it to keep your entourage body hydrated. You'll need it on those hot summer days. After washing your hair, saturate it with your favorite conditioner. It can be any conditioner, as long as it works for your hair. I let it sit on my head for about fifteen minutes, with or without a plastic cap. Then I rinse it lightly, being sure to leave some of the conditioner behind. The leftover conditioner coats my hair and offers some protection from the summer sun. I allow my hair to air dry and find that it is soft to the touch.
Mayonnaise is not just for bread and tuna salad. Mayonnaise can be an excellent conditioner for your hair because of the eggs and the oil that it contains. If your natural black hair is dry and brittle, mayo may be the solution you need. It's an inexpensive, effective conditioner. Try this recipe: Mash very very ripe avocado and mix it with a small jar (approx 1 cup) of real mayonnaise. Apply to the hair and pop on a plastic cap. Leave the mixture on for about 30 minutes (or longer), then rinse out thoroughly. This will leave your hair very soft and moisturized.
Use Protective Styles
As I wrote above, I usually rock a curly afro most of the time. The problem is, I often find that this style dries my hair out the fastest. So what's a natural doll to do? Read on.
Get rough and stuff with your Afro Puffs. I think that Afro puffs can be a protective style if you thoroughly moisturize the ends. Form your puffs, mist lightly with water and rub just a bit of 100% pure aloe vera gel on those ends. I've found that it's easier to moisturize the ends in a puff than the end in a shake and go.
Braids or cornrows . Braids do not always mean sitting in a salon for three or four hours while someone pulls at your head. If that's your style, go for it, but I just can not sit that long! Try braiding your own hair in three or four braids and pinning them up. I can not cornrow to save my life, but for those who have that skill, I've seen some beautiful styles. Both styles will suit you well for pool and beach swimming and look stylish too!
Twist and Shout . While my daughter's natural hair is not as thick as mine, the hair still requires the same kind of attention. I like to put her hair in two-strand twists as soon as I finish with washing and conditioning. Twists are cute, bouncy and can be migrated into a lovely twist-out style. On top of it, they are easy to do and quick to complete. Use aloe gel or other water based cream for the twists.
Cover Me . When walking the boardwalk, hanging out in the backyard or taking a walk in the heat, wear a hat. Not only will the hat keep you cool, but it will also protect your hair from the hot sun. The sun heats your hair just like a hair dryer does, and can dry it out just as fast. Wear a cute hat to keep the sun away.
I hope these tips help you keep that natural hair protected during the hot summer months. Enjoy and have fun in the sun !!