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Beat the Summer African American Hair Blues

How to Properly Care for Your Adopted Angel' Curls!

By

Mahisha Dellinger, Founder of CURLS

Founder of CURLS Photo ©

Mahisha Dellinger

Our favorite time of year is finally here - Summer! With it comes the daily assault of taxing chlorine compounds, drying sea salt, and damaging sun rays - not to mention all of the havoc we wreck on our angel's hair from daily styling fax pas.

Chlorine and salt water both dry, discolor, and damage hair. Chlorine binds to the hair, filling in gaps in the hair shaft. Mineral deposits in salt water make hair brassy and brittle. Both severely dehydrate her normal hair. Imagine how these elements affect her delicate, kinky/curly hair which tends to be much drier than straight hair. It is imperative that you (1) take preventative steps to avoid damaged, lifeless hair, (2) moisturize her hair on a daily basis to restore moisture balance, and (3) take the time to incorporate a quality summer hair care regime.

Here are a few summertime tips that will keep damaged, split, brittle, frizzy hair away, so you and your angel can enjoy the summer without worry.

Summer Hair Care Tips

    1. Before she enters a pool, lake, ocean, or any body of water, drench her hair with water and apply a coat of conditioner to the hair. This water/conditioner mixture will fill up the gaps in her hair shaft and act as a barrier from the chlorinated water. Follow up with a little club soda; it makes for a good post-pool rinse. I recommend wearing a swim cap as often as possible. Although most hate wearing them for many reasons - uncomfortable, unattractive, or it never stays on, etc. - using a cap, that securely protects the hair, is always the best option.

    2. If there is a time to be extra gentle with her hair, it is now. Treat her hair like a fine silk blouse. Purchase a gentle hydrating shampoo. ALWAYS follow up with a rich conditioner. Shampoo gently - massage a small amount of shampoo into scalp, rinse well. Use a quality conditioner with moisturizing ingredients to deep condition her hair on a weekly basis during the summer. Look for ingredients such as wheat germ, jojoba oil, coconut oil, silk amino acids, etc.

    3. Over-shampooing and under-conditioning is a common culprit to dry and frizzy hair - especially in the summer months. Shampooing more than 1x a week is not recommended. On "shampoo-less" days, simply do a conditioning rinse - rinse her hair to remove styling products (this is when using the right products that are water soluble come in). Apply an ample amount of your favorite conditioner, comb through, rinse, and proceed with styling. Doing so will pump much needed moisture back into her hair without stripping away essential nutrients, rinse away unnecessary dirt and oil, and give her a fresh, clean start.

    4. Avoid products that contain synthetic oils such as mineral and/or petrolatum oil, as they further dehydrate her hair. Also avoid products that contain drying alcohol, such as hair spray, mousse and some gels. Instead, opt for a finishing lotion.

    5. Pay special attention to the ends of her hair; after all, they are the oldest part of the hair. Mix a bit of a conditioner with a natural oil, apply, and comb through ends; leave in for extra protection.

    6. Hydrate her curls DAILY...this is very important! It softens the hair, eases comb ability, moisturizes and conditions, preps it for the next step, and leaves a little goodness behind. Use this daily, under any styling product you use for her hair. Consider this "underwear" for the hair.

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