Spring is in the air and not only does that bring changes with the weather, it also brings changes with your natural hair. Natural hair is more prone to becoming damaged, fried, and dehydrated from too much sun exposure but there are ways that you can protect your delicate strands from becoming damaged.
As the weather heats up it is important to remember to drink plenty of water and to keep your crown overly moisturized to combat the sun's drying rays. Through planning and purpose you can ensure your hair stays beautiful and healthy.
Start the Season with a Fresh Trim
Having your ends trimmed will revive your winter curls and help your hair flourish throughout the season. The winter air can be drying to our hair causing damage, breakage and even split ends. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair and once they’re damaged, it’s almost impossible to revive them.
Split ends can cause even more damage to natural healthy hair because the split will continue to travel up the hair strand, causing more damage and resulting in more hair having to be removed later. It’s best to get a trim at the stat of the season so that your hair can reap all the benefits of having a fresh start.
Use a Clarifying Shampoo After Outdoor Activities
If you’re a natural that loves to spend time outdoors swimming, working out, or participating in other vigorous outdoor activities then you may want to consider adding a clarifying shampoo to your haircare regimen. Although it may help to deep condition your hair prior to swimming, you should use a clarifying or chelating shampoo to rinse chlorine and other harmful chemicals from your hair.
A clarifying shampoo works well if you are working out a lot and sweating. Sweat contains salt and can also dry out your hair if not washed out. Also explore various co-wash regimes to help protect your hair's natural moisture.
Incorporate Co-washing Techniques in Your Natural Hair Regimen
Speaking of co-washing remember that it involves using a conditioning cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and buildup from the hair. As the weather warms, this is the best time to reintroduce co-washing back into your natural hair care routine or to adopt the method if you’ve never tried it. Co-washing is highly beneficial during the warmer weather because co-washing cleansers contain more conditioning properties and low levels of harsh detergents and surfactants that can strip your hair of essential moisture.
This provides a gentle cleaning for your hair and scalp without drying out your hair. Your hair will feel soft, hydrated, and moisturized after trading in your traditional shampoo for co-washing with a cleansing conditioner.
Use a Leave-In Conditioner with SPF
Not only can the sun be damaging to your skin if you spend a lot of time outdoors, it can also wreak havoc on your hair. Damaging ultraviolet radiation (UV) rays can strip hair of its natural moisture making it appear dry and dull. Not to mention, sun damage can also lead to split ends brittle hair and breakage. Just as you would need to reapply sunscreen to your body every few hours, the same applies to sunscreen for your hair.
It’s best to use leave-in conditioner sprays that you can easily reapply to your hair every few hours without destroying your hairstyle. Shampoos and rinse-out conditioners with SPF are okay, but they will only provide protection for so long. Adding a leave-in conditioner or spray with SPF will help shield a significant amount of the harmful radiation being emitted by the sun. Hair sunscreen will also help protect your scalp from sun damage and sunburn as well.
Be Smart When Using Products with Natural Humectants
Humectants are ingredients that attract moisture from the atmosphere. This moisture is then attracted to your hair to help it remain moisturized and hydrated. Ingredients such as honey, castor oil, and glycerin are natural humectants that help restore moisture to dry hair. However, if you live in hot, dry areas such as Arizona and Nevada you may want to steer clear of humectants because they can work in reverse.
Because there is little to no humidity in these areas, the humectants can actually strip your hair of necessary moisture adding them to the surrounding atmosphere instead. If you live in a drier climate, be sure to moisturize your hair frequently using a creamy, moisturizing product and sealing in the moisture with an oil-based product.
Avoid Heat Styling and Drying Techniques
Heat styling is very drying to natural hair and in combination with the drying effects of the sun, this can be a lethal combination to the health of your hair. It’s also harder for naturals to achieve certain heat styles during the warmer months because of the level of humidity and heat. Although you may have used heat styling tools throughout the winter, you may want to use the warmer months to experiment with styles that don’t require the use of heat such as heatless hair straightening styles.
Wash and go hairstyles are a favorite for many naturals during the spring and summer months. Protective hairstyles such as cornrows and braids also work well for the season. Remember to keep the ends of your hair protected from the sun to eliminate sun damage and minimize hair dehydration.
Keep your Hair Hydrated from Inside Out
It’s important that you remain hydrated as the warmer weather emerges. It’s very easy for your body to become dehydrated in warmer weather so it’s important to drink plenty of water and watch what foods you eat. Eating fried, fatty foods can leave your hair dry and dull, lacking vital nutrients that your hair needs to thrive.
Your hair is the last part of your body to receive the essential vitamins and nutrients from what you eat and drink. Be sure to drink plenty of water and not just throughout the spring and summer season but all year long.