There is a common misconception that naturalista have it easy and that wearing your curly is low maintenance.
Well anyone with a crown of ringlets will tell you that it’s quite the opposite.
If left to its own devices, curly hair can easily become unruly, dry, and prone to breakage.
While winter can be brutal on curly hair, summer brings its own challenges.
The harsh UV rays can leave hair dehydrated, humidity causes unwanted frizz and there is damage caused by salty seawater and swimming pool chemicals.
Here are tips on how to maintain healthy curly hair this summer.
Co-wash, or limit your shampoos
Because you spend more time outdoors and you’re more prone to feeling hot and sweaty, the temptation to wash your hair regularly is a big one. But over-washing can lead to dryness and breakage.
Try to stretch your shampooing to every seven days, and to co-wash in between. Washing your hair with conditioner (co-wash) is enough to remove sweat and impurities, and will also ensure your hair gets plenty of moisture.
When using a shampoo, select one with a gentle formula that won’t strip your hair of moisture.
The Hask Curl Care Detangling Conditioner (R179.95) is an ideal product to retain moisture, soften and smooth curls, and makes for a great co-wash.
Seal in moisture and beat humidity
A lightweight gel isn’t just a great styling product – it also helps lock in moisture. It’s a better summer option than styling creams, because the latter is water-based, and won’t outlast the effects of humidity. A gel provides much better curl definition in the heat.
Try the Perfect Hair Mango & Marula Curl Activating Gel (R99.99), as it’s a defining, frizz-control gel that gives your hair a long-lasting hold, leaving no white residue behind. This gel locks in moisture, for perfectly popping curls and coils.
Take care in the sun
Our skin isn’t the only part of the body that is vulnerable to the sun – our hair is too. Whenever possibly, try to cover your hair with a hat or scarf, as this will help minimise sun-induced damage.
Shea butter and sesame oil have natural UV filtering properties, so look for these ingredients in your leave-in products for added protection (note that unless a hair product has an SPF rating, it won’t offer the kind of protection you can expect from a skincare SPF product, and you’ll need to take extra precautions).
We love Hask Curl Care 5-In-1 Leave-In Spray (R189.95) because it’s a multi-purpose product that softens hair and adds shine, seals in moisture, detangles, helps prevent damage, and offers thermal protection.
Take care when your hair is wet
Wet hair is more fragile than dry hair, so don’t bind your curls into a tight ponytail or bun after a dip in the pool, as this can lead to split ends in the middle of the hair shaft.
Rather slick your hair back with some a leave-in conditioner or spray, and wear it loose (a headband or scarf is great for keeping curls out of your face).
Formulated with 100% pure shea butter, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream (R140.00) helps to leave dry, damaged and coarse hair softer, more manageable, and more resilient.
Apply a deep conditioner after swimming
The warmth of the sun can help your hair soak up conditioner. After swimming, rinse your hair with fresh water and follow with a deep conditioner. Look for a formulation with hydrating or moisturising properties. A few minutes in the sun will help this product penetrate deep into the hair.
The Marc Anthony 3x Moisture Deep Treatment Mask (R179.95) contains Hydrolyzed Keratin to smooth the cuticle and target damaged curls to prevent breakage.