It’s important to take care of curly hair during the summer. One main cause of hair damage is strong sunlight, and curly hair tends to become dry because it absorbs heat from the sun. While it’s important to protect your hair with a hat and sunscreen, you can also change your routine to optimise its protection.
The best products to use on curly hair in summer contain water-based ingredients. Products that contain oils can make your curls feel greasy, weigh your hair down, or make it look dull. Curly hair can be both a blessing and a curse. It adds to your personality, but it can be difficult to manage. To avoid heat damage and frizz, you need to make sure that you are hydrating and caring for your hair properly.
Here are some tips to make your curls silkier and glossier this summer:
Curly hair is prone to becoming dry, so the less you wash it, the better. Excessive shampooing opens up the cuticles and strips the hairs of natural oils, which will dry out your curls even more.
When shampooing, concentrate on rubbing and cleansing your scalp properly with your fingertips.
Use alcohols and sulfates-free products:
Sulfates and alcohol can strip and dehydrate hair strands, causing them to become brittle and frizzy. When it comes to textured hair, go for moisture-based products that gently nourish the hair shafts without stripping them of their natural oils.
Embrace a pre-shampoo routine:
Textured curls and ringlets need long-lasting moisture and protection to minimise unwanted tangles. This prevents unnecessary roughness and damage during the shampooing process.
Apply a conditioner:
Leave a conditioner or conditioning oil on your hair for at least 20 minutes before you shower. If your hair is super-snarled, you can pop on a plastic cap or towel to help heat up your head, which will open up the cuticles of the hair and make the conditioner penetrate more deeply.
Use a microfibre towel:
Don’t rub your hair with a harsh towel because this can cause the cuticles to open up and make your hair frizzy. Gently dry your hair with a microfibre towel or a cotton t-shirt instead and gently scrunch out the leftover water. Don’t fiddle with your curls while they’re drying. Playing with them or running your fingers through them may cause them to frizz up.
Use moderate heat:
Excess heat can cause your curls to lose their natural spiral-like shape, making them look lifeless. If you notice this happening, avoid using any kind of heat for a week or two and focus on rehydrating your curls to give them their bounce back. If you do use hot styling tools, use them on a moderate heat setting and always use a heat protectant.
Never brush curly hair:
Only comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb before you shower from bottom to top to remove the knots. You can also gently finger comb your hair after you shower. Wet hair is more prone to breakage, so be super patient and gentle if you’re combing it while wet.
Avoid mousse and hairspray:
These two products contain alcohol and can make your curls crunchy.
Use a diffuser:
When drying your hair, a diffuser can help to maintain hair texture and protect your curls from frizzing up. Put the diffuser on low-power mode and use a scrunching technique to get perfect salon-finish curly hair at home.
Opt for natural oils:
Natural oils are a rich source of Vitamin E and fatty acids that can help to lock the moisture into your hair, controlling frizz and improving manageability. Massaging natural oils into the scalp boosts blood circulation and promotes hair growth.
Follow a sleep routine:
Pile your hair on top of your head into a bun or a loose ponytail when you go to bed, reducing the friction between your hair and the pillowcase. Switch to satin or silk pillowcases instead of cotton ones to reduce the friction.
Use cold water:
Hot water strips the natural oil or sebum from your scalp and hair and can also open up the cuticles making the hair strands prone to frizz and breakage. Coldwater rinses are your safest bet whether you are shampooing or conditioning your hair.
Trim split ends:
Have your hair trimmed every six or eight weeks to get rid of any split ends or damaged hair. Curly hair needs to look and feel healthy to be at its best.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 1 September, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.