Keep your hair cool and curly this summer

Alexys Sutton loves her natural hair. Photo courtesy Sutton

From kinky to coily, natural Black hair is not culturally unique but a historical treasure that must be protected. Its distinctive texture has been used to create maps to freedom, create Black millionaires, make political statements and determine the identity of our African ancestry. 

Upon every Black head is a reflection of the power and strength of those who have come before us. The French writer and intellectual Voltaire said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” So it is with our hair.

Given that we are heading into the driest season of the month you must be sure to protect your curls from the outside elements. 

The first step to healthy continuous growth is to get rid of the dead weight — also known as split ends. While they may give the illusion of added inches they do not retain moisture and will actually damage the rest of your hair over time because of their unsavory habit of traveling up the hair strands, killing off what was originally healthy hair.

While a short cut may take some time to get used to, celebrity stylist Kent Papworth said in an interview with WebMD’s Health and Beauty page that the season should help to speed up the process.

“That’s because there are more hairs in the anagen, or growing stage, during late spring and summer than in the dead of winter,” Papworth said.

Photo courtesy Sutton

Pools and beaches are always a move to remedy the sweltering summer heat but be sure to protect your hair before taking a dive. Chlorine and salt water can strip your hair of its natural protective oils and leave your hair dry and brittle. Soaking your hair in fresh water or leaving in conditioner before taking a dip can help strengthen your hair strands. If you plan on swimming consistently it may be better to rinse and conditioner wash to keep from drying out your hair. A protective or clarifying shampoo once a week should do the trick.

If you can feel your skin burning from the heat imagine how your hair must feel. Leave-in conditioner with SPF will definitely come in handy this time of year due to the damaging effect of sun damage, causing breakage and split ends. Protective styles, hats and scarfs are also great ways to defend your curls against harmful UV rays. Experimenting with fun scarf colors and styles also serves as a super-fun summer project. Cosmopolitan magazine features multiple styles and tutorials on scarf wrapping:

The key to healthy hair hydration is becoming one with water. This includes using water-based products and drinking lots of H2O. Hair blog “KinkyCurlyYaki” states that hydrating your body from the inside out can also improve hair growth and nutrients. Applying deep conditioners, keratin hair masks and co-washes can also help provide your hair with the nutrients it needs to pop-out and turn up for your fall glow-up. 

 Natural haircare can definitely be a hassle during the summer but the reward of a healthy mane is well worth the cost. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.