Summer loving had me a blast,
Summer loving happened so fast,
Had my hair, cute as can be,
Then all the chlorine turned it crazy.
Now I need help, a – s – a– p.
Sorry that was lame. But I kind of couldn’t help myself. And as much as I’m all for summer lovin’, my hair is definitely not too happy about it.
C’mon, the humidity is bad enough, now on top of that we’re sweating, there’s bugs…it’s just insane. Summertime is a metaphorical obstacle course for all the curlies out there, because, let’s face it: summer curly hair is not always something you love. Between increased frizz, buildup from sweat, and wondering just what struggles your hair’s going to conjure up when you emerge from the pool, it’s enough to make you want to tear it all out!
But before you reach for the closest pair of scissors (or book an appointment at the salon, if you have the patience), there is hope! We’ve gathered together some experts to tell you how to care for natural hair in the summer. Prevention to damage control, we give you the ultimate guide on summer hair care tips for curls.
If you’re dealing with humid heat
We all know it – that sticky, seeping heat that makes you feel like you need a shower, after your shower.
Aside from being super uncomfortable, this humid heat causes frizz – especially in hair that’s not hydrated. Thirsty curls are looking for moisture, which is why they reach out into the air. They’re desperate – and it’s not a cute look. Your best bet to combat this? Start in the shower. You need a hydrating cleanser and conditioner (like Decadence). Then layer up on your styling products.
Shari Harbinger, bonafide Deva guru, and Co-Founder of the DevaCurl academy recommends starting with a layer of cream, to give curls even more moisture. Then layer up a gel to lock in definition and hydration.
To maintain frizz-free curls throughout the day, turn to the glazing technique. Basically place product into your hands (Shari recommends Set It Free, Hairspray, or B’Leave In), emulsify it, and flip your head over. Lightly spread the product it over the top surface of your hair. And voila! Frizz reduction magic. Glazing people, it’s a good thing.
If you’re sweating and ending up with tangles at the nape
This is an easy styling trick to prevent tangles. Create a small horizontal section of hair at the nape of your neck. Then wrap that section of hair around the rest of your curls, creating a natural ponytail. Secure with a pin.
Not only does this lift hair off the nape, but you also don’t need to use a rubber hair tie to secure your hair up. While hair ties can always cause pulling in breakage, it’s super important to avoid them in the summer because when mixed with sweat, they can cause even more tangles. Yes I’m serious. The world is cruel.
If you’re combating edge control
Wearing your hair back? Yeah, most of us are. Hello it’s 100 degrees outside.
Buns, ponytails, pineapples, they’re all super cute, until you get that halo of frizz right around your face. That’s not so cute.
Then once the hair is wet, it’s time to set. Put a little bit of cream styler (like Styling Cream) on your fingertips, and gently push the hair down and back away from your face frame.
If you’re dealing with the bugs
This tip was a serious game changer from Danielle (aka @msdanidk). “Look to peppermint drops. Not only do they smell great, and are great for your hair, but it acts as a repellant for mosquitoes.” #JustAnotherReasonToUseNoPoo. Bonus: lemon grass does the same thing, and that’s in One Condition Original.
If you’re dealing with sun exposure
Bad news: sun burns your hair like it does the skin. Ugh, I know. Like what are we supposed to do add sunscreen to our hair?
No, don’t do that.
While there’s no cure all to protect your strands, there are definitely steps you can take to protect your curls and if your hair is colored, minimize fading.
Tip Number 1: If you usually opt for gel stylers, consider switching to Arc Angel Gel. It contains orange peel extract, which provides UV protectant benefits.
Tip Number 2: Wear a hat when you’re out in the hot sun. It will protect your hair, preventing added dehydration. Worried about hat hair? Consider putting your hat over your curls after setting it with a gel. Then don’t break the cast, it’ll preserve definition. Then later on, when you’re indoors, say sayonara to the hat, scrunch out the cast, and you’re left with fabulous, defined, soft curls.
If your scalp gets sunburned
When I was like ten, my family went to the Bahamas. Pre-teen Samantha got braids and burned her scalp into a crisp. This hurt. A LOT. The skin on my scalp was super raw. If this happens to you here’s some tips to get you through it:
Stay away from any lathering cleansers, and anything that stimulates your scalp. Your best bet is a super hydrating, soothing cleanser, like No-Poo Decadence.
Let your hair air dry. Using a diffuser or exposing your scalp to any kind of heat will just exacerbate the issue.
Turn to a protein mask, this will help soothe and protect your hair as it continues to grow. DevaCurl has something extra special coming, so stay tuned 😉
If you’re getting in the pool or heading to the beach
I don’t wanna hear none of that nonsense if you’re like I CANT GET IN THE WATER MY HAIRRRR.
Girl it is humid as heck outside, so I know you didn’t straighten your hair. Therefore it didn’t take you three hours. Listen to Ryan, get in the dang water. Your curls will be fine.
Here’s what you need to know to keep ‘em in top shape:
Chlorine and salt water have very different effects on the hair. Salt is drying, it pulls moisture out. But it can simply be flushed out with water and a regular cleanser. You can rehydrate your hair with a conditioner or Heaven in Hair. Salt water is easier to rinse out, but chlorine is different, it needs to be washed out.
You see chlorine is attracted to porosity, it likes to embed itself into the hair and stay there. It’s kind of like when the in-laws come to visit, they make themselves super comfy and they don’t plan on going anywhere. That’s chlorine in a nut shell. It stays in your curls and changes the way they feel. It causes your hair to dry and turn to green. No Bueno. The solution? Buildup Buster Micellar Water Cleansing Serum. Used on wet hair in place of your regular cleanser will help to remove the chlorine, and then you can hydrate your hair as normal with a conditioner.
But can you do anything before you get home to the shower? Yes, actually, you can.
The best thing you can do is wear a swim cap. Yeah, I know. They’re really not cute. But if you’re really worried, nothing protects your hair better. Here’s how to use one:
Wet your hair in an outdoor shower first, then apply conditioner. This will act as a barrier to the chlorine. Then put a cloth cap over your curls. Then put a latex cap over that one. This seals in your curls, but also protects them from the latex, which can pull on the hair and cause breakage.
Not into swim caps? There’s still steps you can take to protect and preserve your hair.
To keep your hair hydrated, consider this tip from Danielle, “Bring a spray bottle to the beach/pool to keep your hair hydrated. I like to mix a little conditioner or my favorite moisturizer for added hydration.” We love the idea of mixing in Set It Free for extra hydration.
After you get out of the water, you can also add a deep conditioner. “I ALWAYS put a mask in my hair. I have no time for dryness or breakage. Rinse your hair with fresh water after going in the pool or beach, then apply your mask, IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE,” says Eden (aka @edenmarley).
Worried about tangles? Consider braiding your hair before you get in the water. Keeping your hair in braids will minimize the hair’s ability to move, and thus tangle.
And there you have it – tips for dealing with the bugs, the humidity, the pool, and more! Now we want to know, what are your best summer hair care tips? Share with us in the comments below!