Summer is here and it’s time for bathing suits, beaches, and barbecue! And for many naturals, it’s the season to release the kinks and curls from protective styles to don the infamous wash ‘n go, braid out, twist out styles and more! But before whippin’ your hair back and forth and all the fun in the sun, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to maintain healthy, thriving hair during these summer months.

FROS AND FRIZZIES AND SHRINKAGE…OH MY! We’ve all had those days when we have perfectly styled our hair just to walk outside and it transforms in a matter of minutes! Don’t fret…embrace it! Shrinkage is a part of our natural journey that we have to live with. It is a sign of healthy hair, but admittedly can be annoying when we wanna flex on ’em! Don’t spend too much time trying to keep your styles absolutely perfect. Carry an emergency kit in your bag or purse with hairpins, ouchless bands a pick/wide tooth comb, and an accessory or two. If your hair transforms, go with it and rock it with confidence! Summer is the time for carefree styles and you can fro it out or sweep it up and look amazing!

MOISURIZE, MOISTURIZE…did I say moisturize? Don’t skip the H2O …water is our friend! We need to stay hydrated year round and especially in the summer months it is important to increase our water intake. Be sure to moisturize and seal your hair consistently to avoid dry, brittle, breaking hair. It’s easy! You can add it to your night time routine or even carry a spray bottle in your bag to moisturize on the go!

SPRITZ, BABY SPRITZ! If you want to save a few coins, you can easily make a quick spritz using water, and oil like jojoba, castor, or almond which are natural sealants. You can even add aloe vera juice which is antifungal and packed with great vitamins for the hair.

AMP IT UP! In addition to daily moisturizing, deep condition at least every other week (or as needed) to give your hair that extra moisture punch!

MAD HATTER SWAG. While you’ll want to show off your beautiful kinks and curls, it is important to also protect your hair from heat and the harsh sun.  Because of the humidity and the frizzies, it is tempting to heat style. But try your best not to apply excessive heat. And if you’re going to be at a fish fry or outside for a number of hours, the direct sun can cause dryness. So, make hats part of your summer fashion!! Sun hats, beanies and caps not only protect your hair from the elements, they make über cute accessories!

BLAME IT ON THE ALCOHOL… drying alcohols that is.  The heat and humidity is already a culprit for dry hair. It is best to avoid styling products that contain drying alcohols like ethanol, SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, alcohol denat, propanol, propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol which are known to increase brittleness and cause frizzies.

JUST KEEP SWIMMIN’! While enjoying that dip in the pool or the ocean, swimmer’s ear is not the only thing to be worried about. Chlorine and salt water is harsh on natural hair. But have no fear! You can enjoy your itsy bitsy teeny weeny….(well you know the rest) and avoid damage to your kinks and curls!  Before swimming, wet your hair and apply a heavy conditioner or heavy sealant like castor oil or shea butter. Leave it in your hair while you swim. This will help to create a barrier between your hair and the chlorine/salt water. Also, invest in a nice swim cap to help. After swimming, thoroughly rinse your hair and use a gentle, sulfate free clarifying shampoo to remove the chlorine. (I like Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Shampoo or Naturalicious’ 5 in 1 Clay Wash.)  Afterwards, be sure to do a thorough deep condition and follow with a nice leave in conditioner.

LAZY DAYZ. Keep with your regimen!! Being too lazy is one of the largest causes of dry hair and breakage and you will regret it later. Lethargy will get you a free trip on the struggle bus at the end of summer! Have fun, but be consistent for best results!

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