Natural Hair Stories: Part 2
During winter, we go into hibernation mode. We stay more indoors, we turn on the heat in our offices and we tuck our hair away in protective styles such as braids etc. During the springtime/summertime, we change our entire regimen and what better way to start than with your hair.
Trim your ends
I usually advice people to trim their ends as this will revive your winter curls and help your hair flourish throughout the season. The dry Namibian 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, regardless of products that claim to restore split ends. 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.
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 build-up from the hair. Ideally start a fresh regimen by first using a clarifying shampoo to remove all of winter’s product build-up to give your scalp a fresh start. 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 cleansing 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. Also be mindful of how you wash your hair, remember to be gentle with your tresses. Don’t wash your hair as if you’re washing clothes.
Use a leave-in conditioner with SPF
The Namibian sun is hot, we all know that. It can be damaging to your skin if you spend a lot of time outdoors, it can also wreak havoc on your hair. I’m sure you’ve all seen how your hair colour changes during summer. 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. 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 mindful when using 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 glycerine are natural humectants that help restore moisture to dry hair. However, if you live in hot, dry areas such as Windhoek or Keetmanshoop for example, 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 such as olive oil or even shea butter.
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 styles during the warmer months because of the level of heat. You may want to use the spring/summer months to experiment with styles that don’t require the use of heat such as heatless hair straightening styles. My favourite method is stretching with three strand twists.
Deep Condition/ Hot Oil Treatment
Deep Conditioning is always a stable in my springtime and summertime regimen, your hair will thank you for it. Right after washing your hair is the best time to apply a moisturizing deep conditioner or hot oil treatment at least once a week. You can also make your own deep conditioners from products in your kitchen.
LCO or LOC Method
Liquid, Cream, Oil OR Liquid, Oil, Cream, whichever one you are using make sure you are sealing with an oil. For moisture to be kept in your natural hair it is important to add the moisture and follow-up with a sealant (coconut oil, shea butter, etc).
Taking Care of your hair from the inside out.
Watching what you eat and drink during any season is important, but during the Spring/Summer our bodies can become very dehydrated, especially if we aren’t drinking enough water. Our hair is the last part of our body that receives water, so drink enough water daily. Drinking water is what keeps your hair thriving! 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.
By: Zodidi Jewel
Co-founder, Director at Natural Hair and Beauty Expo
If you missed out on our Natural Hair Stories: Part 1, find it Here