Summer can be your friend or foe when it comes to managing curly hair. The humidity can enhance your curl-pattern and increase volume. But at the same time, it can cause your curls to limpen. And not only humidity, but UV rays and salt water from ‘beach days’ can put your hair-health in danger. There are a number of styling techniques that can help you achieve the curls and ringlets of your dreams.
Protection from the elements
The sun’s UVA and UVB rays are just as harmful to your hair as it is to your skin. UVB rays damage the cuticle which is the outermost layer of hair. This damage makes the curl limper and more difficult to stay curly. You should also watch out for chlorine when you’re going swimming, which strips the hair of natural oils and makes it dry. Limiting exposure is the best way to prevent this, but if you want a fun day out at the beach or by the pool, wearing a hat or head scarf can help you look good while having fun! Using products with UV protectants is also essential. There are also ways to style your hair in protective ways such as braids, twists and wigs to protect your curls.
Curly hair tends to be on the drier side and craves moisture, which is only amplified during the summer. Regular deep hydration treatments are essential to get moisture back in the hair. Using a leave-in conditioner is also great for curly heads as it can prevent frizziness. The conditioner reacts with the moisture in the air and keeps your hair in your desired shape.
For best results sealing with a mousse or butter is necessary.
Gentle detangling is key
Summer weather creates sweat, which can actually make mats worse as sweat makes your hair greasy and untamable. Since curly hair is more delicate, handling tangles is a tricky business. Using your fingers is the easiest bet as you have the most amount of control. Use your fingers for as much of the process as possible.
Being gentle with your wet hair is also important as this is the stage where your hair is most malleable. Use a wide tooth-comb or a detangling brush. A detangling lotion is also useful and can speed up the process.
Your hair washing routine depends on how dry or oily your hair is, but for most curly-haired people it’s between 3-7 days. For C type curls it could be even longer. Using a sulphate free shampoo is integra; to preserving your natural moisture in your hair. Combining that with a cleansing conditioner is ideal for the summer. How often to wash hair varies from person to person, but with curly-textured hair, it tends to range from every three to seven days, or possibly longer for oily and kinky hair, says François. But no matter how often you cleanse.
Styling according to your curl type
Curls can be categorised into three different types- waves, spirals and coils. For wavy hair, a lightweight priming lotion will work wonders and not be too heavy on the hairs, causing limper waves. For spirals, using a gel to define the curls will be useful, as well as for locking-in moisture. For coils, it is essential you treat your hair while styling it. This curl type tends to be the driest, so it’s important to look for products that provide a lot of moisture and protection. A thicker styling butter or cream is perfect for this curl type. Using a twisting technique when applying butters gives extra definition. The way to do this is by choosing sections of strands that naturally group together, then twisting from roots to end in the natural direction of your spirals. If your desired look is waves and not ringlets, breaking each twist into two and flicking your hair from side to side is great and simply technique to set the hair and give some added volume.
Curls can be a lot more difficult to manage than other hair types. But the pay-out is amazing, as you can be cute and confident with beautiful, natural hair!
By Ruelle Sittampalam